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As the comments under yesterday’s iPhone 12 articles can attest to, there are still consumers who don’t appreciate seeing a notch at the top of their mobile devices. To rid the world of large notches, some companies have shrunk the front-facing to the size of a ‘hole punch’ design; others have managed to hide it almost entirely beneath the display. But electronics manufacturer Vivo is determined to take an entirely different approach, if its new Red Dot Award-winning IFEA concept smartphone is anything to go by.
Based on the renderings provided by Vivo, this concept smartphone would feature not only a pop-up camera — something other manufacturers have already done — but one that can be removed and used independently of the phone. Again, this is a concept phone, so it’s very possible we’ll never see a real-world device with this camera setup, but even at the concept stage, it doesn’t take much to see how poorly such a design could turn out, despite the obvious benefits.
Such a design would not only clear the main screen from any notches or holes, but also make it possible to hold or mount the camera array in any direction. This would mean you could always use the higher-res camera modules within the array and also open up the possibility of using your phone’s screen as a live view display when taking photos. There’s also the possibility you could attach the camera array to additional accessories, such as flash modules, battery packs or even wearable accessories, not unlike the dozens of GoPro mounts you can purchase.
Of course, all of that becomes irrelevant and incredibly expensive if you manage to lose the detachable camera array — something that seems all too likely given the size of of the array shown in the mockups.
The renderings also show off a triple-camera array on the back of the smartphone, with specs suggesting there could be a 64MP camera module with a 15mm-26mm focal length range.
Only time will tell whether or not we see an actual device from Vivo that uses this technology, but for now it’s a concept and little more.