Android Device Maker Teases First Handset To Copy iPhone's Dynamic Island Feature

realme mini capsule UI hero
A Chinese smartphone maker looks set to copy the chicanery of the Apple iPhone 14 ‘Dynamic Island’. Images have leaked showing that Realme has developed a feature it calls the ‘Mini Capsule’ – a moving UI section which disguises the presence of a selfie punch hole camera on the device. The images are the first evidence of an Android device maker adopting this type of adaptive UI with their factory OS images.

Apple’s playful method of shrugging off the form/function compromise necessitated by its selfie camera and Face ID hardware, arrived as the shapeshifting ‘Dynamic Island’ with the launch of the iPhone 14 last September. Gone was the old huge notch of previous generations, replaced by a lozenge shaped cutout (Pro/Max models) and a flexible bit of UI programming which disguised the unsightly void. It is rumored that the Dynamic Island is coming to all iPhone 15 models.

Apple’s screen cutout has to be significantly bigger than a single circular punch hole that is typically seen in rival designs. It currently fits both a true depth sensing camera plus a Face ID sensor, key to Apple’s modern identity, security and payments systems.

Apple dynamic island example UI changes
Examples of Apple's Dynamic Island in action

Realme’s implementation appears to be even more style over substance than Apple’s. Pondering over Apple’s use cases, the Dynamic Island hides the screen's wide punch hole when displaying info about things like music playing, your timer, an AirDrop connection, and directions from Maps. Its presence looks like an ordinary alert banner, where the screen void due to the cameras/sensors disappears into the black background of the UI element.

From what we see, Realme’s implementation looks limited at the present time. The images and animation we have seen only shows the Mini Capsule appear when the phone is plugged in to charge. When this happens, the black capsule appears, enveloping the punch hole camera area, and provides status info regarding SuperVOOC charging watts and percent charged. In this example, there is also a short looping blue wave animation to show the battery is actively being charged.

Reports suggest that the above animation was initially shared by the VP of Realme, Madhav Sheth, who later thought better of his actions and deleted the Tweet. Smartphone leaking stalwart OnLeaks saved the animation image for posterity. The Mini Capsule feature, which we hope is expanded to become more useful, is expected to be a feature of upcoming Realme C-series smartphones.