Xiaomi has filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) for a smartphone with a solar panel mounted at the rear. While this may not sound as outlandish as some of the other patents recently filed by a few other OEMs, it is surely appears to be the most practical one. The patent documents suggest that Xiaomi may launch a solar panel equipped smartphone in the near future.
According to the patent filed by Xiaomi on July 27th, the smartphone would come with most features found on modern devices. It offers a massive screen-to-body ratio since it misses out on a notch, punch-hole or a pop-up camera at the moment. This has fuelled rumours that it could be featuring an under-screen front camera technology. Xiaomi had demonstrated the possibility of incorporating such a feature in smartphones a few months ago. The absence of a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner indicates that it could be equipped with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
What is interesting is that despite the inclusion of solar panels, the device does not seem bulky from the renders that have been created on the images of the phone found in patent documents. The solar panels are marginally raised from the rear panel, but the bump is not significantly wider than conventional smartphones.
The smartphone has a dual camera setup at the rear with an LED flash module. Ironically, the camera bump seems larger than the solar panels. The solar panels cover nearly 70 percent of the rear panel. The device is expected to start recharging its battery by simply being exposed to the sun, without needing a wall adapter.
Smartphone manufacturers have worked on numerous accessories for their devices in the past, but solar panels are a first. The ergonomics of the device is praise worthy. If a Xiaomi phone with an integrated solar panel on its rear soon becomes a reality, it could spark a revolution in the smartphone ecosystem.