In the race to launch the first smartphone with an under-display selfie camera, ZTE is already celebrating victory. The company on Sunday (August 16) announced that it will debut the “world’s first under-display camera smartphone” in the form of the ZTE Axon 20 5G on September 1.
Under-display selfie camera tech has been a hotly contested development for smartphone makers in recent months, with the likes of Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei all teasing their various takes. It’s a technology that could spell the death of the notch, punch-hole, and pop-up selfie camera, too.
This technology isn’t without its challenges, though. Redmi’s general manager Lu Weibing in January remarked that under-screen selfie cameras were “impossible” at the time due to the high-density OLED panels used on modern smartphones. These tightly-packed pixels meant the camera lying beneath them couldn’t receive the light required to produce decent images. While lower resolution panels could be used instead, this could be seen as regression rather than progress.
Nevertheless, it seems that ZTE has found a way to eliminate these issues, or at least feels confident enough that the current technology is adequate. It’s not clear who will supply ZTE with under-screen selfie cameras, but the first solution was recently put into mass production by Chinese firm Visionox.
Beyond the selfie camera, ZTE remained silent on the Axon 20 5G’s actual specifications. Earlier this month, the device’s specifications were seemingly spilled by TENAA (via GSMArena). The phone could feature a 6.92-inch display, a triple rear camera array headlined by a 64MP snapper, and a 4,120mAh battery. As for that selfie camera, users could see a 32MP sensor hidden beneath the display.
ZTE is set to confirm the Axon 20 5G’s specifications, pricing, and availability details on September 1.