In a design twist, the anticipated Xiaomi Mi 6 smartphone may come with a front-facing camera that retracts when not in use to capture your selfies, according to the latest leaks. If accurate, the camera module would be placed near the top edge of the phone to allow it to pop up and retract. A retractable module allows the camera to be stowed and concealed when not in use, which could help alleviate privacy concerns. PC-maker HP recently employed a similar retractable webcam design on its HP Envy Curved 34 All-in-One desktop.
The drawback with a movable camera module design on a mobile device is that it could get stuck or inadvertently pop out while in your pocket, which could lead to the camera module breaking off when you're trying to pull the phone out. With movable parts, there is a higher risk of damage. On paper, however, the front and rear-facing cameras look impressive. There have been some discrepancies about the specifics of the cameras, with some reports suggesting that the phone will utilize a dual-lens camera setup. Other reports suggest that the Xiaomi Mi 6 will come with a 7-megapixel front-facing selfie camera and a 24-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The camera isn't the only area where the Xiaomi Mi 6 is expected to excel. The phone is rumored to come with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor -- the same chipset that's expected to debut on Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship -- for fast performance, but the phone was also rumored to come with a Snapdragon 821 SoC in earlier reports. There is some dispute in battery capacity, with a range of between 2450 mAh and 3000 mAh. Other rumored specs include up to 6 GB of RAM for fast multitasking, 256 GB of storage and MIUI 8 as its operating system based on Google's Android 7.0 Nougat. Recently leaked photos of the phone show a design with a large edge-to-edge screen, similar to the LG G6.
With Xiaomi expected to unveil its latest smartphone in mid-April, we won't have to wait too much longer to learn more about the phone's potentially innovative camera design and its flagship specs. At this point, it's unclear if the Xiaomi Mi 6 will find a broader release outside of China.