Smartphone cameras have come a long way since the early days of mobile phones, but cramming them into such small devices has always been a design and engineering challenge. Modern camera bumps are unsightly, forcing phone makers to think of creative ways to hide or minimize their clutter. Xiaomi, however, could go in the opposite direction with its upcoming Xiaomi 12 Ultra. Recently released renderings that allegedly showcase the design of the device include a camera bump that takes things to the next level.

Image: LetsGoDigital

It’s unclear if this latest design leak is an improvement on previous rumors, which claimed the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will sport a second screen on its back. The latest leakage ditches this second display claims in favor of an extremely large circular camera bump similar to the one found on the Nokia Lumia 1020 PureView – though, arguably, it’s worse.

Xiaomi 12 Ultra’s big design leak comes from the tipster RODNESS950; it was then rendered by LetsGoDigital. Xiaomi’s next flagship will supposedly have a very large circular camera bump in the middle of the phone’s back panel, although it is said to be above a more subtle raised rectangle. It may add a bit of visual gradation, but it also makes the phone thicker.

LetsGoDigital

The messy sensor cutouts are even more peculiar, but keep in mind that this is just the rendering of a leak, not the official design. Assuming the leak is accurate, the shapes suggest the phone will have at least four cameras and a plethora of other sensors, including 3D time-of-flight (ToF) and, possibly, a color temperature sensor. It is certainly a complicated matter, but I hope it will not be too obvious from a distance.

The front of the Xiaomi 12 Ultra is less spectacular in comparison. The device is rumored to have a 6.8-inch curved AMOLED display with a traditional single-hole camera in the middle of its front. Under the hood, meanwhile, the model is expected to use the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, possibly with up to 12GB of RAM, depending on configuration.

The Xiaomi 12 Ultra definitely takes a unique approach to the arrangement of the cameras on its back, but it’s also an approach that could be overdone, if not extreme. We’ll have to determine in person if the camera design has an impact on usability and ergonomics when the Xiaomi 12 series (presumably) launches later this month.



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