xiaomi smartphone

A person walks past the logo of Xiaomi while looking at a smartphone in Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. Photo AFP/CHINA OUT

Xiaomi files patent for smartphone with removable display

Smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi filed a patent for an innovative phone design in which the display can be detached from the housing and functions independently. Here’s what we know.

xiaomi smartphone

A person walks past the logo of Xiaomi while looking at a smartphone in Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. Photo AFP/CHINA OUT

Manufacturing giant Xiaomi is all about innovation smartphones, such as the Mi Mix Alpha was “surround display” or the Mi-Series’ transparent phones.

Xiaomi is now taking it one step further with its latest project: A smartphone with a removable display. Based on the patent design, the phone has a top-notch to make detaching the screen from the housing so much easier.

Xiaomi patent: Here’s what we know

Patent published in August

Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software filed a design patent with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) back in March 2020; simply describing it as a “tow-component phone”. The document can be viewed here.

The patent was published on 4 August 2020 and consists of more than 20 product images. Based on the description (after it’s been run through Google Translate) we learned that the smartphone would consist of a main part, a housing and “split part”.

xiaomi smartphone
Image via Let’s Go Digital.

As reported by Let’s Go Digital, the main part “is more than twice as thick as the screen part”. When linked together, you’d have a regular Xiaomi smartphone with a full screen and a three-camera setup on the back.

Three separate parts

As a complete device, the Xiaomi phone also has a USB-C connection with speakers mounted in the bottom; as part of the main section. However, the notch at the top will allow for the screen to be removed and used independently.

The “spit part” will serve as a touch screen which will be operational without the housing once disconnected. However, while disconnected, the “main part” will act as a receiver.

The screen will be equipped with what appears to be a double under-screen selfie camera and flash. In other words, the dual camera and the flash would be able to shine through the removable screen to take photos and videos.

Practical uses

The Xiaomi smartphone’s screen will be powered via two connectors when mounted to the main housing of the device. Rumour has it that the screen could also be charged wirelessly via a connection the main housing.

xiaomi smartphone
Image via Let’s Go Digital.

It’s still unclear at this stage if such a phone would be practical at all. Although Let’s Go Digital suggests that one advantage would be the ability to take photos remotely by using the screen as a viewfinder.

“You can use the screen as a viewfinder, while the housing functions as a camera system. There may also be some advantages to be gained in the field of gaming. The screen without housing is of course considerably lighter in use. This can be an advantage if you make long phone calls and do not want such a heavy device against your ear.”

We assume that it would also be easier to replace a broken screen if it’s removable from the main part of the phone. Simply detach it and send it in for repairs or replace it with a new screen altogether.

We’ll have to wait and see if any of this materialises. It’s not uncommon for mobile manufacturers to file innovative patents, only to can the entire project later down the line.

Also read — Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha: Innovative smartphone with wraparound display