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Xiaomi patents camera phone with under display camera

Xiaomi patents camera phone with under display camera
(Image credit: LetGoDigital)

For many camera phone fans, the selfie camera has continually been a bone of contention. Whether it's housed in a notch or a punch-hole, the front-facing camera can't help but disrupt the display. However, in June 2019 Chinese camera phone manufacturers Xiaomi and Oppo displayed a prototype phone with a selfie camera incorporated under the screen, a development in technology that would swiftly solve the selfie camera problem.

However, this camera phone prototype was far from being able to be put into production. Oppo and Xiaomi both announced afterwards that the image quality of the under display camera just wasn't quite up to scratch. This is apparently because the camera wasn't able to receive enough light through the display, so the photos come out looking too dark. 

• Read more: Best camera phone (opens in new tab)

However, the concept of an under display camera captured the imagination of camera phone users, who are eager to see this technology hit the market. 

LetsGoDigital has created a render of what the phone in Xiaomi's patent might look like

LetsGoDigital has created a render of what the phone in Xiaomi's patent might look like (Image credit: LetGoDigital)

Luckily, tech website LetsGoDigital has discovered (opens in new tab) that Xiaomi filed a patent for a camera phone with an under display camera on 29 April 2019. However, the patent was only approved on 24 April 2020, after which it was published in the WIPO Global Design database. LetsGoDigital has also produced a series of renders using the patent images to show what a camera phone with an under display camera might look like.

While a patent doesn't necessarily mean that the technology will definitely come to market, it's certainly exciting to see that camera phone manufacturers are continuing to explore this new technology.  

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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.