The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 brought sliding-phone flair and practicality to a modern smartphone. It allowed the handset to parade an all-screen facia while still including a dual selfie array. Now, Xiaomi‘s latest patent is putting a new spin on this sliding smartphone concept.
The device is all-screen up front, and that display wraps around the back of the phone too, stopping only just short of the rear camera array. More interestingly, the sled-mounted screen can scroll down to reveal the selfie cameras. Here’s what the Dutch publication thinks this device could look like.
That selfie array showcases two cameras and two additional sensors. As for operation, Xiaomi would let users tap the display or use a voice command to slide the screen down and reveal the front cameras. The screen occupies around two-thirds of the phone’s rear. When using the selfie cameras, the screen is held in place by electromagnets.
If this design isn’t to your taste, there’s a second device described in the patent too. While the screen also slides, it moves horizontally rather than vertically.
Could this be the Mi Mix 4?
It’s unclear if this design is being seriously considered for a Mi Mix follow-up. The patent was published in October 2020 which suggests the company has had time to ponder and perfect this system.
A number of firms are also exploring similar designs, too. LG is working on a rollable phone, but it’s unclear if it will see the light of day. Samsung has considered a smaller device with a flexible screen that slides around its bottom edge. Even Huawei has dipped its toe in the patent pool.
We got confirmation last year from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun that the firm is working on a new Mi Mix — a device generally ambitious in its tech execution and design. But will Xiaomi dare to implement this design on a ready-to-market product? We’ll have to wait and see.