Xiaomi is preparing to launch the Mi 11 Ultra as its next flagship smartphone, and one of the more interesting design features is a small postage stamp screen in … uh, the camera bump? Philippine YouTuber Tech Buff gives us an exclusive leak of the device, which has some pixels where there are normally no pixels. If you sit there and ask “why?” the answer is “attention”. The answer is always “attention”. We’re writing about it right now, so it works perfectly!
Tech Buff ended up taking down the video, but XDA Developers has a mirror of the video up on YouTube.
We do not have official specifications, launch date or marketing information yet, but the phone appears to be a fairly standard 2021 flagship with Snapdragon 888 SoC. The back has what must be the world’s largest camera bump, with two large lenses, a “120x” periscope camera (that’s not the actual optical zoom value) and an LED flash. Next to all the usual camera is one small small screen, which appears to be the same aspect ratio as the front display and appears to mirror the front display at all times. The video shows that the rear screen keeps up with the front screen while the user navigates around in a few apps. Hopefully you can turn it off for privacy as well.
Again, without marketing materials to consult, it is difficult to know exactly what the point of the extra screen is. It may 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 screen into the camera bump means the Mi 11 Ultra has one of the biggest camera bumps ever. The camera bump is clearly super high, and it extends across the entire width of the phone. An advantage of this is that it means that the phone will actually be steady on a table. Phones with high camera skins often tilt back and forth when you try to use them on a desk, but this seems to be rock solid.
The white version of the Mi 11 Ultra with a full-width black camera bump is a dead ringtone for the Nokia 808. That phone, from 2012, used its giant camera bump for the giant camera hardware, and as a result can still withstand 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 that is.