Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has officially applied for a patent for an extra advanced model in which the screen also extends completely in the four corners.
Earlier this year, a Xiaomi quad-curved concept phone was demonstrated with an 88˚ rounded screen and no ports and physical buttons. Xiaomi has been granted a patent for that device and a similar model.
Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software filed the design patent with the China National Intellectual Property Administration in early 2021. The futuristic phone was designed by designer Zhao Ming. The documentation was published on July 6, 2021, and contains 8 product sketches, showing the patented mobile phone from all sides.
Below, the extra advanced design is visible, with the screen also extending into the corners. Although the design looks stylish, it will be technically much more difficult to create such a quad-curved design.
Xiaomi is not the only manufacturer exploring these possibilities, Samsung has also in the past applied for a patent for a smartphone with a 3D screen that was rounded on four sides. However, this patent shows that Xiaomi really wants to try to use such a smartphone screen.
The entire front of the smartphone consists of a screen surface. It is a so-called waterfall display, with strongly rounded corners. There are no edges or notches visible - not even in front of the camera. The rounded screen extends to a large part of the side of the device. Thus, the side display surface can be used to display general information, such as battery status, network information, etc. Side touch functionality may also be added.
The front camera will be placed under the screen. Xiaomi is one of the manufacturers that has been developing this new camera technology for some time. The company has now arrived at version 3.0. Xiaomi is expected to introduce its first under-display camera later this year. Also expected next month, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will most likely have an under panel camera - as the world's first foldable smartphone with a selfie camera under the screen.
Also, the smartphone does not have any physical buttons. There are also no ports and connections visible. Smartphone manufacturers have been experimenting for a long time with the idea of making future smartphones buttonless and portless. Introduced in 2019, Meizu Zero's was the world's first button and portless smartphone. Vivo also presented the Apex 2019 concept phone at the time without ports and buttons.
Just as telling as the front is the back. We've seen a specially designed camera system as we've never seen before. Unfortunately, the summary document does not make it clear what kind of camera system it is. During the presentation of the smartphone concept, Xiaomi did not provide any further details about the rear camera.
The upper camera is large in design and will probably include a high-resolution camera sensor. It was recently announced that Xiaomi will be the first manufacturer to use the new 192MP and 200MP Samsung ISOcell image sensors. Xiaomi was also the first to integrate a 108MP camera into a smartphone. This sensor is currently used in various phone models of the brand and will most likely also be used for this model.
Directly below the main camera is a rounded square, with a small circle inside. It remains unclear whether this is an additional camera, or whether it is something else. In any case, it does not seem to be a second display - as we know from the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
Incidentally, it is unlikely that Xiaomi will release this smartphone. Draft phones must show what a manufacturer is capable of. Responses to this are used as feedback to determine whether there could be sufficient demand and where the interest of consumers lies.
In recent years, competitor Samsung has stepped further and further away from the curved display. A flat-screen is cheaper and is considered by many to be finer to use. Chinese manufacturers, on the other hand, still regularly introduce smartphone models with a (super) curved display.