New Xiaomi smartphone has an extra screen in… uh, the camera bump?


Xiaomi is gearing up to launch the Mi 11 Ultra as its next flagship smartphone, and one of the more interesting design touches is a tiny, postage-stamp-sized display in… uh, the camera bump? Filipino YouTuber Tech Buff brings us an exclusive leak of the device, which has some pixels where there are not normally pixels. If you’re sitting there asking “why?” the answer is “attention.” The answer is always “attention.” We’re writing about it right now, so it’s totally working!

Tech Buff ended up taking the video down, but XDA Developers has a mirror of the video up on YouTube.

We don’t have official specs, a launch date, or marketing info yet, but the phone seems to be a pretty standard 2021 flagship with a Snapdragon 888 SoC. The back features what has to be the world’s biggest camera bump, with two big lenses, a “120x” periscope camera (that’s not the actual optical zoom rating), and an LED flash. Next to all that normal camera stuff is a tiny little display, which seems to be the same aspect ratio as the front display and appears to simply mirror the front display at all times. The video shows the back screen keeping up with the front screen as the user navigates around in a few apps. Hopefully, you can turn it off, too, for privacy’s sake.

Again, with no marketing materials to consult, it’s hard to know exactly what the point of the extra screen is. It could work as a viewfinder when taking a selfie with the rear camera, but it’s hard to imagine using it for much more than that—it’s just so ridiculously small. The phone has a front camera, so you can still take selfies the old-fashioned way, too.

Squeezing a display into the camera bump means the Mi 11 Ultra has one of the biggest camera bumps ever. The camera bump is clearly super tall, and it stretches across the entire width of the phone. One benefit of this is that it means the phone will actually be steady on a table. Phones with tall camera bumps often rock back and forth when you try to use them on a desk, but this looks like it will be rock-solid.

The white version of the Mi 11 Ultra with a full-width black camera bump is a dead ringer for the Nokia 808. That phone, from 2012, used its giant camera bump for giant camera hardware, and as a result can still stand up to modern flagship smartphone cameras. If we’re going to go with these giant camera bumps, I wish someone would copy the 808 strategy instead of… whatever this is.



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