Xiaomi considers hardware cost-cutting as patent reveals modular smartphone concept that would make a great entry into the progressive Mi Mix line
Once again, LetsGoDigital has found another patent registered by Xiaomi, with the line drawings given life by the expert work of the designer Concept Creator (Jermaine Smit). The patent shows an “electronic device” that takes advantage of a built-in rail system to allow a user to swap out the modules. Three distinct modules make up this particular Xiaomi phone: A camera and motherboard module, a battery module, and a connectivity/port module. Using modules would help cut hardware costs as only a part rather than the whole of a phone would need to be replaced or updated.
The patent depicts the camera module being exchanged in this Xiaomi concept device, with a main triple-camera system in a vertical arrangement housed on the left-hand side swapped out for a centrally located setup inside a square housing. This indicates the ability for a user to utilize different camera sensor types and setups when required, and the same can be applied to the other two modules. So battery modules could be offered in a range of different capacities, while connectivity modules could feature stereo speakers and come with multiple port layout options.
The Xiaomi modular smartphone, which certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the Mi Mix lineup, seemingly offers under-display camera technology to offer an almost blemish-free full-screen panel. An additional camera module showing the Mi 11 Ultra’s secondary screen has been rendered by Concept Creator to show what Xiaomi could do with such a device. The Chinese OEM would not be the first tech company to implement a modular system with its phones: Motorola had a good crack at the idea with the Moto Z and both Fairphone and Purism have adopted the modular concept with smartphone releases.