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Xiaomi foldable phone patent shows front cameras that bend to the back

Xiaomi foldable phone patent shows front cameras that bend to the back
When unfolded, the device seems longer than other smartphones. (Picture: National Intellectual Property Administration)

More Chinese smartphone makers are proving they have some unique ideas about foldable displays. A new design patent from Xiaomi shows a smartphone that can bend the top of the device to the back. This allows people to use the same hole-punch cameras as the rear shooter and for selfies.

The patent was filed in July last year, but it was just approved this week, according to China’s National Intellectual Property Administration website. But not all patents get to see the light of day. A foldable prototype Xiaomi teased (online) a year ago still hasn’t been turned into a commercial product.

New foldable display technology is still expensive and makes for some chunky phones, so they aren’t widely used yet. But Chinese companies are still hammering out new design ideas. TV maker TCL recently showed off a tri-fold tablet with two hinges that can turn into a phone. It also showed off a “rollable extendable” protype with a display that rolls out from the side. But those prototypes might not become consumer products anytime soon either.

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