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This camera phone will have a lens made out of LIQUID?

Xiaomi
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi is well known for experimenting with unique camera phone designs, but its latest offering could be its most interesting yet. Xiaomi has officially confirmed on its Weibo blog that the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Mix will be the world's first camera phone to incorporate "liquid lens" technology in its camera.

If you can't quite wrap your head around the idea of a lens made out of liquid, the basic concept is that the lens of the camera will use a liquid wrapped in a thin film to replace an ordinary optical lens. This liquid will be controlled by a motor, which will be able to adjust both the focal length and the autofocus. 

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This means that a liquid lens would be able to shift from a wide angle to a telephoto to an ultra wide angle with ease. One of the big benefits of this technology is that it enables manufacturers to use just one camera to cover all focal lengths, rather than having to use multiple lenses. This theoretically means that camera phone manufacturers should be able to produce smaller 'camera bumps' on the rear of the handset, which have long been a bone of contention for some consumers.

In its Weibo blog post, Xiaomi stated (opens in new tab) that the company has developed this technology itself, with the liquid lens having "the characteristics of high light transmittance, ultra-low dispersion and resistance to extreme environments". 

The Xiaomi Mi Mix camera phone is expected to be announced on 29 March, along with (opens in new tab) the debut of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Super Cup GN2. We'll certainly be excited to see this new liquid lens in more detail…

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With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab) and  Digital Photographer (opens in new tab). Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.