Xiaomi Mi 7 To Boast Structured Light-Based 3D Camera: Rumor

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Xiaomi's Mi 7 will boast a front-facing 3D camera setup aking to Apple's iPhone X which will be capable of leveraging a structured light-based technique in order to create depth maps of images, according to a new rumor out of China. The company's second Android flagship of the year has already been mentioned in the context of 3D cameras in late December but no new information on the matter emerged ever since. While the device is already widely expected to support a facial recognition solution similar to the one offered by the newly released Mi MIX 2S, a phablet boasting such a service supported by specialized 3D imaging hardware would mark a major milestone for Xiaomi and an industry first for the Android segment in general.

Android original equipment manufacturers remain skeptical about implementing depth-sensing technologies into their products as the cost of such solutions remains relatively high, according to recent reports. Industry insiders estimate a single 3D camera module comparable to the one found inside the iPhone X could cost up to $50 per unit. Given the fact that the prices of memory chips and many other smartphone components presently aren't declining and are even going up, any OEM interested in delivering a smartphone with depth-sensing hardware would either have to sacrifice a significant portion of its already thin profit margins or pass the cost of integrating such a technology on to its customers, thus hurting its overall competitiveness.

Regardless, should the Mi 7 truly feature a 3D camera setup, the existence of that feature would explain previous rumors suggesting the device will ship with a display notch. According to recent reports, Xiaomi's next high-end mobile offering will also boast an OLED display panel and support wireless charging, with the former rumor hinting at another possible first for the company, whereas the OEM already embraced wireless charging with the Mi MIX 2S. The Mi 7 is likely to be announced in June, approximately 14 months after Xiaomi unveiled its direct predecessor, industry insiders claimed in previous weeks.

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