Smartphone cameras are growing again at an almost ridiculous rate and their size is also increasing. While there is indeed a huge market for smartphones with great cameras, not everyone might be equally interested in these, especially if they are paying for an expensive branding in the market. process. Consumers don’t have much of a choice as to which cameras they get due to the way phones are made, but Xiaomi is once again looking at modular phones to potentially offer more options, assuming that they become reality.
The idea of the modular phone is not new and a few companies have tried to make these ideas a reality. The closest we got was the LG G5’s failed attempt at some modular parts, but the Fairphone pushes modularity for durability as well. It seems that Xiaomi has other modular ideas as well, those that revolve around smartphone cameras instead.
According to the patent spotted by LetsGoDigital, Xiaomi thought of a system where only specific parts of a phone can be deleted. While the basic components of the phone, including the battery, display, and logic boards, remain intact, the camera modules and lower ports can be swapped out. It can be a bit difficult to visualize what Xiaomi means but luckily LetsGoDigital shares a few renderings of what this modular phone could look like.
Based on Xiaomi’s own patent filing, the modular phone can switch between a module with a square camera bump and one with cameras in a single column. The renderings, however, also envision a module with a second screen on the back, perfect for using the cameras for selfies.
The patent also shows that the bottom of the phone is slipping, although it doesn’t show what can be done with it. This edge of the phone could also be a bit of a problem due to the presence of the speakers and charging ports. Of course, these are just patents and may not even become real products, especially since modular phones haven’t sold well despite being popular ideas.