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Xiaomi designs camera phone with a secret hidden display

Xiaomi
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital/ Xiaomi)

Just when you think you’ve seen every possible design from Xiaomi, the Chinese camera phone manufacturer pulls another fascinating idea out of the bag. A new Xiaomi patent was recently published showing an innovative camera phone design where both the front and rear cameras and an additional display are hidden in a vertical side-slide system.

This interesting patent was filed on 13 January 2021, and was published on 14 May, 2021. It contains 56 product images of three different camera phone variants that all include different slider designs. 

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As reported by LetsGoDigital, one design features a front and back that are completely devoid of cameras, giving it a slick and futuristic look. However, Xiaomi has designed a clever vertical slider mechanism that conceals the front and rear cameras. To operate it, users would simply have to move the rear of the handset to the right. 

Meanwhile, the second phone design also has a slide mechanism. However, this design is operated by being slid to the left and features a narrow, elongated display that could be used as a keyboard or for extra support when gaming. Interestingly, this design doesn’t feature a rear camera unit. 

The third patented design combines the best features of both previous designs. If a user slid the rear of the device to the left, the second display would appear. Meanwhile. If the user slid the rear to the right, then the front and rear camera systems would become visible. 

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It’s not clear whether Xiaomi will ever bring one of these designs to the market. As LetsGoDigital mentions, this is a particularly new patent (usually there is at least a year between the application date and the publication date of a design patent, but it’s only been a matter of months in this case). However, if Xiaomi decided to take one of these designs into production, it seems likely that the third design with both the hidden screen and camera units would be the lucky chosen one.

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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.