Dutch technology blog LetsGoDigital has unveiled a new patent for Xiaomi’s hidden underscreen camera, which allows the lens to penetrate the display panel thanks to a transparent screen area. In fact, as early as last June, OPPO and Xiaomi have already shown off the prototype of the hidden front-screen. Compared to the controversial notch, punching screen, and electric pop-up scheme, the hidden front camera makes the selfie camera less eye-catching in stealth mode.
The biggest impact of this technology, however, is that the camera sensor sits below the screen can’t receive enough light, resulting in image quality not enough to be applied to the actual product (which looks relatively dark).
After months of research, the technology may have seen some improvement, but there is still much room for improvement. We don’t expect to see the first model with hidden on-screen front cameras until 2021.
Dutch technology blog LetsGoDigital has reported on patents related to the technology several times, and Xiaomi has explained it in a newly filed patent.
On April 29, 2019, the company filed a patent application for a design with the State Intellectual Property Office, which was approved on April 24, 2020 and published in the WORLD Intellectual Property Organization database.
To make it easier to understand, LetsGoDigital has teamed up with Jermaine Smit, also known as Concept Creator, to create a series of renderings.
The front of this concept model features a full-screen design with an ultra-narrow bezel (which looks like Xiaomi 9), with a handset and sensor on top, but no eye-opening notch gaps or holes.
The patent document depicts a design that hides the front camera in the middle or left, and the screen area becomes transparent when the front camera is enabled. Inactive, this portion of the screen area returns to its normal display state.
The back of the body also looks a lot like the Xiaomi 9, which was launched last year, such as placing the vertical three-camera and flash module in the upper left corner. The side of the body is a commonly used power and volume button, while the bottom frees up space for dual speakers and USB-C ports.
There have been recent rumours that the new Nokia 9.3 5G is expected to be available in q3 2020, complemented by the design of the camera.
If the technology is going well, we may expect to see a hidden front-screen design on next year’s Xiaomi 11 or other phones.