Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi has filed a patent for a mobile phone design with an integrated solar panel for on-the-go charging.
While this is not exactly an original idea and other companies have made similar attempts in the past, it has been a while since a major brand has released a solar-powered handset. If successful, this Xiaomi phone could pave the way for easier charging and more eco-friendly and energy-efficient options in the market.
Xiaomi's Design For A Solar-Powered Phone
Xiaomi filed the patent with the World Intellectual Property Office on July 27, 2018 with WIPO publishing it on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.
Few details are known about Xiaomi's solar-powered mobile that's in development, but the patent reveals that the front of the phone consists entirely of the screen and the back has the built-in solar panel. Phone Arena noted that the edge-to-edge screen leaves no space for a selfie camera, which could mean that the phone will feature the under-display selfie camera that Xiaomi divulged in June. The fingerprint scanner could also be located under the display.
It is not the first time this has been done, but there have been minimal attempts at solar-powered phones in recent years. With technology advancing significantly every year, it could be interesting to see if Xiaomi comes up with something ground-breaking.
Not The First Time
About a decade ago, both Samsung and LG respectively released mobile phones that came equipped with solar panels. Samsung's Guru E1107 and Blue Earth S7550 feature solar panels that could turn an hour's worth of sunshine into enough power to fuel a 10-minute call. Meanwhile, LG's Pop GD510 allowed users to gain an extra three minutes of call time by exposing their phones to sunlight for 11 minutes.
If the Xiaomi phone in the works is ever released, it will be the first smartphone to sport the feature. With mobile phone technology becoming increasingly powerful and feature-packed in recent years, there's no doubt that the solar technology behind a phone also has to be more powerful than the previous attempts.
While there may be few companies venturing into powering phones with built-in solar panels, there are a couple of brands that are already producing solar power banks. In fact, recent market research predicts that the market for solar power banks — which includes brands such as Xiaomi, Anker, Aukey, Sony, and more — will rise exponentially by the year 2025.