Xiaomi is planning to integrate solar panel at the back of its smartphones. We recently told you about Lightyear One, an electric vehicle wearing a solar panel overall. Now, the Chinese smartphone maker wants to make a smartphone with solar panel overall. The design patent shows a smartphone that looks identical to other devices. It does not have a notch and sports a truly full-screen display design. The render suggests that it is not thicker despite integrating a solar panel on the back.
Xiaomi patents a smartphone with solar cell
The design patent first spotted by LetsGoDigital was filed on July 27, 2018. It was filed with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) explaining a smartphone with a solar cell module. The sketches of the device enclosed with the patent do not confirm whether the selfie camera is placed. This could mean that the device might use Xiaomi‘s under-display camera solution. There is dual rear camera setup placed vertically that mimics the design of Mi 8 and other current models.
There is no fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, which could mean there is an in-display fingerprint sensor as well. The highlight of the device is the solar panel integrated on the back. It takes more than 75 percent of the back of the smartphone. This will allow Xiaomi’s smartphone to charge using solar energy but its immediate benefits are unclear. Xiaomi has not revealed details of the solar cell or its capacity in its patent.
Xiaomi’s upcoming device won’t be the first to launch with an integrated solar panel. Samsung launched the Guru E1107 in 2008 as a feature phone integrating solar panel. Last year, Russian firm Caviar released the iPhone X Tesla with a built-in solar cell. LG has also released a battery cover with a solar cell as an accessory for its smartphones. However, the challenge for these companies has been the efficiency of the solar panel. We won’t count on it to add a lot of juice to the device but it would be cool and green at the same time.―BGR