Xiaomi Ponders A Return To Bottom-Placed Phone Selfie Cameras

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Two new Xiaomi patents have surfaced at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office), and they show off Xiaomi's new smartphone designs, a rather odd smartphone designs. If you take a look at the provided images, you will see two full-screen smartphones with front-facing cameras on the bottom of its display, somewhat reminiscent of the designs used by the Mi MIX series as late as last year.

The first smartphone design comes with two cameras that are centered on the bottom of the display. These two cameras stand right next to each other, and we can see quite a few issues with this design. First and foremost, the company's navigation gestures would be affected with this placement, as a swipe up from the bottom of the display (middle portion, where those two cameras are) results in a "go home" action. That's not all, though, those two cameras would also affect the company's on-screen navigation buttons, as that is where the home key is usually located.

Xiaomi would have to rearrange its whole navigation system in order to take advantage of such a design, the company would probably have to move that whole navigation area above those two cameras, or perhaps redesign the whole thing and set it on each side of those two cameras. All in all, it seems like a lot of unnecessary work, but we'll see. This is just a design patent, just because it surfaced doesn't mean Xiaomi will ever release a phone like this, of course.

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That brings us to the second smartphone design that surfaced, and the phone shown in sketches also comes with front-facing cameras on the bottom, though in this case, its cameras are located in the bottom-left and bottom-right corners, not in the middle. This design also looks odd as a result of it, but it will obstruct on the smartphone navigation system a lot less than the previous design, that's for sure.

In all honesty, it would make more sense if those two cameras were included in top-left and top-right corners. Imagine just one camera placed in the top-right or top-left corner of a device like this, it would be even less obstructive than a display camera hole as it would be tucked away all the way to the corner.

These two designs actually come with slightly different backsides, the back side of a first phone is curved, while the one on the second phone is not. Both devices include two rear-facing cameras which are vertically-aligned, and those two cameras protrude on the back in both cases.

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Xiaomi is not a stranger to patenting rather odd smartphone designs, and these two designs are actually a great example of that. It remains to be seen if the company will make either of these designs a reality at some point down the road, but that's a bit difficult to believe. Current designs make way more sense than either one of these two, as tiny display notches and display camera holes are way less of an eyesore than these camera bottom camera notches, or whatever you call them, at least they seem to be based on the sketches that Xiaomi has shared as part of these design patent claims.