Skip to main content

Could this camera phone from Xiaomi have a pop-up 360º camera?

Could this camera phone from Xiaomi have a pop-up 360º camera?
(Image credit: Let's Go Digital)

Camera phone tech currently seems to be at the forefront of technological innovation, with exciting new patents appearing thick and fast. Whether it's folding phones, 108MP camera phones or pop-up cameras, it seems that there's plenty of revolutionary new tech to sink our teeth into. The latest patent to appear is from Xiaomi – and it depicts an iPhone-like camera phone with what appears to be a pop-up 360º camera.

While an interesting patent doesn't necessarily mean that the camera phone it's depicting will hit the market, it is a useful indicator of where the manufacturer's attention is placed. While Apple used to be the great innovator of the camera phone field, it's now falling to smaller, often-Chinese, companies to push the boundaries of technology further.

• Read more: Best camera phone

Tech website Let's Go Digital recently reported on the aforementioned interesting Xiaomi patent, which depicts a camera phone with a borderless screen that's devoid of a notch or punch-hole selfie camera. The top of this Xiaomi camera phone has two circles, which the patent depicts as being able to come out of the housing as some kind of pop-up system.

While the summary patent description doesn't describe what these circles are specifically for, Let's Go Digital posits that it could be some kind of camera system – possibly even a 360º camera. While this might initially seem like a bit of a stretch, the fact that there isn't a front-facing camera (which is almost a requirement for camera phones at this point) points to Xiaomi having found a new solution to erase the need for a punch-hole/ notch selfie camera. 

• The best Xiaomi phone guide

It's possible that this patent could point towards an under-screen camera, as Xiaomi has already announced that it's developing a phone with this technology. However, as Let's Go Digital points out, this still leaves the two pop-up circles on the top of the phone shrouded in mystery. 

Read more

Best lenses for iPhone and Android phones in 2020: add on phone lenses
Best budget camera phone: these are the best cheap camera phones right now
Best iPhone for photography in 2020: from the iPhone 7 Plus to 11 Pro

Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something she is so adept at that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Before joining the site, her formidable hands-on abilities served her well as features editor for Practical Photography. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images.