What you need to know
- A new patent may have revealed the design of Xiaomi's first smartphone with an in-display selfie camera.
- Xiaomi and OPPO had shown off their in-display camera tech last year.
- Xiaomi doesn't expect phones with in-display selfie cameras to become a reality this year.
In June last year, popular Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi showcased a Mi 9 prototype featuring an in-display selfie camera. While Xiaomi isn't likely to launch its first phone with an in-display selfie camera anytime soon, a new patent discovered by Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has revealed two designs that the company could be working on.
As can be seen in the image above, the two designs are nearly identical, with the only difference being the location of the in-display selfie camera. The design sketches reveal a phone with a flat display, instead of the curved screens seen in Xiaomi's Mi 10 series phones. As described in the patent filing, the screen area above the selfie camera becomes transparent when it is in use. When it is not activated, the area is displayed normally like the other parts of the screen.
While it is certainly possible that Xiaomi's first phone with an in-display camera could feature a very similar design to the sketch above, it isn't guaranteed. Even though Xiaomi has been working on in-display cameras for a long time now, the company's Vice President said in March this year that it might take a long time for the first phone with the technology to become available. Thanks to the high pixel density of displays on modern phones, in-display cameras do not receive enough light to deliver acceptable image quality.
Xiaomi isn't the only smartphone maker currently working on in-display cameras. OPPO and Samsung are also working on the technology, although neither of them has confirmed any plans of commercializing it yet.