This is not something you see every day… well, we haven't seen it yet. This Xiaomi phone is not only foldable, but it sports five motorized pop-up cameras, which is not something we've seen thus far. Well, we haven't seen nearly as many pop-up cameras on a single device.
This patent has been submitted with CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration), and as part of it, several sketches have been shared.
Sketches that Xiaomi submitted show this foldable phone and its pop-up cameras
These sketches give us a good look at this device from all sides, except its back (when it is unfolded). The device folds outwards, like the Huawei Mate X, which means that when folded, its display is on both the front and back sides.
Interestingly enough, when unfolded, its left and right sides are not even. On the left side, the phone will remain a lot thicker than on the right. Only the display, and its back cover, unfold to the right.
This foldable smartphone from Xiaomi has five pop-up cameras that are centered up top. They are also pictured in the provided sketches, so you can take a closer look.
Those cameras will, of course, be used as the phone's front-facing and rear-facing cameras. So, if you intend to use them as rear-facing cameras, the phone will need to be folded. Well, it needs to be folded if you want to see the display, in order to see what you're taking a picture of.
These sketches also suggest that the device will have really thin bezels, and no display notch. The patent seems to have been submitted on August 20, and it has been approved and published today.
This is not the first foldable design patent that the company registered
This is not the first patent for a foldable smartphone Xiaomi submitted, but it's the weirdest one. That penta pop-up camera setup makes this one of the oddest patents for a foldable phone we've seen thus far.
Xiaomi is expected to introduce its first foldable smartphone in the near future, though it probably won't look like this. This phone may become a reality at some point, but it's not realistic to expect the company's first foldable to sport five pop-up cameras.
Xiaomi already demoed its foldable smartphone a while back, and chances are that it will look similar to that when it becomes official. Xiaomi will probably alter its design a bit, but not that much.
Rumors have been suggesting that the company will announce its first foldable by the end of 2019. That is still possible, though we may have to wait for Q1 2020 in order to see that. We'll see what will happen, as Xiaomi is also expected to announce the Mi MIX 4 by the end of 2019.