Tipster Ice Universe has targeted the second half of 2021 for a breakthrough of smartphones with under-display cameras (UDCs). Devices expected to feature the technology include the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold range, Xiaomi MIX 4, an Oppo foldable, VIVO and ZTE.
The launch of the Apple iPhone X in 2017 gave smartphone makers permission to cut notches and holes in their displays in an attempt to create all-screen devices. While the iPhone is finally rumored to shrink its notch for the first time later this year, Android makers have been able to shrink the size of their cut outs considerably — some even tried eliminating it with pop-up cameras. The current dream, however, is to have true all-screens capable of taking high-quality selfies while hiding the camera beneath the display like under-display fingerprint readers.
The first smartphone to hit the market with an under-display selfie camera was the ZTE Axon 20 5G, which while a remarkable achievement, didn’t quite hit the mark with the quality of its shots. New-generation tech from ZTE and others, however, is expected to launch in the second half of this year in what leaker Ice Universe is expecting to be a breakthrough period for the technology. In addition to ZTE, devices he lists as coming later this year with UDC tech including foldables from Samsung and Oppo as well as the Xiaomi MIX 4 and VIVO.
UDC technology works by introducing a transparent cathode layer and transparent anode layer allowing a camera to sit beneath the display and capture images. Apple is now also rumored to be moving to a similar arrangement but for its more advanced Face ID True Depth Camera system in 2023. It looks like it won’t be too long before UDC starts to become mainstream technology and the days of notches and camera cut outs in displays will be finally coming to an end.
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2021-04-19 (Update: 2021-04-19)