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(Pocket-lint) - Now here's something off the wall: Vivo has patented a smartphone design that includes a little camera drone stowed inside its body.

The patent, spotted by LetsGoDigital, is unlike anything else we've ever seen before. But it's not unusual for Vivo to be exploring and experimenting with ideas - as we've seen in its port-free Apex concept phone back in 2019.

The drone concept is a whole different idea, of course, one that's less about tackling traditional handset 'issues', and more visualising a wild and whacky future where the phone in your pocket can handle everything - including aerial selfies.

We like how the drone is stowed out of sight unless called upon, when, presumably, its quad propellers would kick into action to set it into flight. There are two cameras on the unit to offer different angles once up in the air.

The idea is fun, but it's unlikely to have legs in much of the world. The restrictions on drone use are increasingly firm and differ significantly around the globe.

Not all of Vivo's recent devices have been so out of this world, of course, with the X60 Pro - which we've just reviewed - showing off the company's potential when it comes to standout devices, here with a mighty impressive gimbal camera stabilisation system that stands it apart from any other phone-maker to date.

Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 2 July 2021.