Xiaomi Working on an Eye-Popping Phone With Seven Pop-Up Cameras
Pop-up cameras are a result of the smartphone industry's never-ending quest to squeeze out more screen real estate. It is aesthetically and practically better than a notched solution but has its own set of disadvantages. Barring the ASUS ZenFone 6, most OEMs have stuck to the same design philosophy surrounding a pop-up camera. We've seen the likes of Oppo trying to do something new with it, but it is yet to see the light of day. Now, Xiaomi is reportedly working on a smartphone that will feature seven pop-up cameras in total.
Initially, it would seem as if there would be seven different camera modules that popped out of different locations. But in reality, it is quite different and actually makes sense. As you can see in the images above, five cameras will be housed on one end of the part that pops up and two on the other. Xiaomi could even switch things up by moving the sensors around as they deem fit. Barring the Nokia 9 PureView, no smartphone has five rear camera sensors, so a 4+3 configuration makes sense. Three front-facing camera sensors are a tad unnecessary, but that has never stopped Chinese companies now, has it?
The design is reminiscent of the original Oppo Find X, which employed a similar camera mechanism. That was, however, a lot larger and clunkier compared to what Xiaomi has in mind. This isn't the most terrible idea we've seen, and it might actually work if implemented right. It'll still have all the shortcomings of a device that comes with pop-up cameras, though. Moving parts add an extra point of failure to the device. If the module that hosts the camera array is as large as the patent shows, it'll pose a serious threat to the device's structural integrity.
It could be months or even years before a smartphone with such a design sees the light of day. Companies often patent all kinds of weird designs with hopes that they'll use it in a working product someday.