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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. 

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

As reported by LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab), 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. 

• The best Xiaomi phone guide

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
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 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.