Earlier this year, a new Xiaomi patent revealed that the company is working on a smartphone with a secondary display. The design revealed a triple camera module arranged horizontally on the rear, with the rest of the back panel taken up by the second display. Pricebaba has now spotted a new Xiaomi dual-screen smartphone patent on CNIPA, China’s National Intellectual Property Administration. The new design features a different placement of the camera module, and the secondary display appears to be along the lines of the Mi Mix Alpha, which was unveiled in China last September.
The latest patent design shows a vertically-aligned triple camera setup in the top left corner of the back panel, and a display with a tall aspect ratio placed next to it. In the drawings, the secondary display shows the camera viewfinder, which indicates the rear cameras can also capture selfies. This is surprising because the patent also indicates the presence of a selfie camera. In a smartphone like the Mi Mix Alpha for example, the rear cameras also function as the front cameras, eliminating the need for a separate selfie camera altogether.
The main display appears to be an old-school 18:9 panel without any notch or punch-hole cutout, which is outdated in 2020. The thick top bezel sports the earpiece, a couple of sensors and a selfie camera. Other elements in the drawings include a 3.5mm headphone jack on top, alongside what looks like a secondary microphone and IR blaster. On the right edge, we can see the physical buttons for volume and power, whereas the left edge is home to an ejectable SIM tray. Finally at the bottom is the USB Type-C port with speakers on either side.
The new design is a weird mix of new and dated design elements, which tells us that this patent could mainly be for the secondary display placement on the back. Unfortunately, the patent itself doesn’t necessarily mean that Xiaomi will actually launch a smartphone like this in the future. That said, this particular dual display design appears to be a more commercially viable alternative to the Mi Mix Alpha.