Most people aren’t fans of smartphone notches, and that’s led to several companies coming up with innovative designs that do away with cutouts. But a new patent from Xiaomi shows something we’ve never seen before: a twistable phone.
As reported by LetsGoDigital, the patent shows a phone with no notches, cutouts, or punch-holes. When users want to take a selfie, they twist the very top portion of the handset, including the screen, horizontally so that the rear cameras face the user.
Xiaomi filed the patent with the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) in the middle of last year, and it was approved on April 24, 2020. There appears to be an extra button on the side, which could be used to rotate the camera module.
The design brings a few questions. The patent shows how the screen contents and interface alter to match the new screen size when the camera is flipped, but it’s likely that there would be a line or noticeable crease running through the display. Xiaomi will probably hope that by the time the phone becomes a reality, assuming it ever does, technology will have advanced to the point where this won’t be an issue.
We’ve already seen companies use pop-up, flipping camera designs to keep screens notch-free, including Samsung’s Galaxy A80.
As with all patents, there’s no guarantee that the twisting design will ever appear on a consumer smartphone. If it does, the handset could find itself competing with under-display cameras, which look like a better way of avoiding notches. If rumors are true, we might see the in-screen tech appear in next year’s Galaxy S handset.