October 25, 2020

Xiaomi could be working on waterfall displays that are actually useful

Could this be the future of Xiaomi's smartphone design?

Xiaomi could be working on a phone with a waterfall display. But does it have an under-display or pop-up camera?

At a time when brands like Samsung are moving away from curved displays towards a more flattened out design, Xiaomi might be going in the opposite direction.

A new Xiaomi patent discovered by LetsGoDigital describes the user interface of a phone with a waterfall display. Patent documentation reportedly shows that this mysterious Xiaomi phone will feature excessively rounded edges on both sides, possibly even more than what we’ve seen on the Huawei P40 Pro.

The screen supposedly extends so far to the sides that it can accommodate a control interface for shortcuts and apps. When on the home screen, the standard status icons such as the battery and network indicators are displayed on the side edges.

Xiaomi Waterfall display design patentLetsGoDigital

One mooted example by the outlet is a media player, with buttons such as play and pause potentially being shown on the curved part of the screen.

It’s possible that the company wants to create a cheaper alternative to the Mi Mix Alpha, which features a nearly 360-degree display. However, patents don’t always result in actual products so we can’t be sure of what Xiaomi has in store.

As the patent is focused on UI, we don’t get to see the mystery device from any other angle. However, LetGoDigital notes that the user interface doesn’t reveal any evidence for a notch or punch-hole. This hints at the possibility of the phone having an under-screen selfie camera or a pop-up selfie camera.

Xiaomi under screen camera UI patentLetsGoDigital

Xiaomi previously released phones with pop-up selfie cameras, such as the Redmi K20/Xiaomi Mi 9T series and the Redmi K30 Pro. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise if they’re working on phones with in-display selfie shooters too. We’ve previously seen companies like Oppo detail the technology at length and even Nokia is rumored to implement the same on its next flagship.

Related: RIP pop-up selfie cameras. We hardly knew ye.

However, Redmi General Manager Lu Weibing previously explained in January that current technical limitations make it impossible to adopt in-display selfie camera tech.

What do you think of Xiaomi phones adopting waterfall displays and in-screen cameras? Do you think it’s a good way to increase screen real estate or are you happy with flat screens bearing punch-holes and notches?

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