Xiaomi patents a weird smartphone with a twisting camera

Over the last few years, we saw smartphone manufacturers adopt various approaches to get rid of the notch, ranging from graceful to practical. Xiaomi has filed for a patent which does that in the most over-the-top way possible — with a display that splits in half and twists backwards.

This weird smartphone design was spotted by 91mobiles at the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). The sketches show a tall phone with no notch or obtrusions throughout. For instances where the selfie camera is needed, the top portion of the phone, including the display, horizontally twists backwards in a way that the primary array of cameras now face the user. 

This means that the same set of cameras can be used for the front and the back. The contents on the display, along with the interface, are expected to adjust to the new screen size. When flipped, the top section of the display could act as a secondary display on the back.

Moving parts on phones are not a wise option, as they hinder long-term usability of the phone. At a time when manufacturers are rushing to move beyond pop-up cameras, an approach where the entire breadth of the phone rotates is a major durability hazard. 

Moreover, how the display splits is also a point of contention, as the current state of technology does not allow for the section to be bezel-less. There will most likely be a crease of some sort. The hinge will also be a hotbed for dust accumulation, so ingress protection and water resistance are also practically out of the picture.

It needs to be noted that a patent in no way guarantees that a phone with this design is on the horizon. In fact, it may never even get launched. These images are also highly representative in nature, and the actual application could be a lot more polished.

Having mentioned that, if this design indeed sees the light of day, it will be the wonkiest route to get rid of the notch. Other intermediate approaches include a hole-punch camera, pop-up cameras, flipping/rotating modules and even secondary displays on the back. 

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