A new patent, allegedly found on the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) Design Database, has led to speculation that Xiaomi is working on a phone with an array of solar-conversion cells on its rear panel. However, its apparent design suggests other uses for this component.
Solar panels are common nowadays but have you ever imagined a smartphone that has a solar panel which can charge it? Let’s be honest, most of us didn’t. But, according to BGR, a new patent from Xiaomi suggests that in the future company might launch a smartphone with an integrated solar panel.
The smartphone might come with a full-view display and an under-screen fingerprint scanner. The back shows us a vertical dual camera sensor setup and the integrated solar panel which is assumed to produce 5-10 watts of energy per-hour. A smartphone with a solar panel is a welcoming addition from Xiaomi.
This innovative design, should it turn out to be genuine, may be a response to the ever-present demand for bigger, longer-lasting batteries in every new generation of smartphones. This stems from increasingly power-hungry features such as 6-inch-plus 4K screens or reverse wireless charging.
An interesting sign of this trend’s prevalence has recently surfaced on Kickstarter in the form of the Unihertz Titan. It is a cost-effective, ultra-rugged QWERTY phone, one of the best features of which is its massive 6000mAh battery.
In fact, it is surprising that Unihertz did not emulate Xiaomi in its apparent new design twist. This alleged patent does not specify whether its apparent solar panel is intended to power the phone in the long term, or is more of a useful feature in an emergency.