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Leaker tips under-display smartphone cameras will make a breakthrough in second half of the year

The latest under-display camera (UDC) tech is should arrive in the second half of 2021. (Image: Xiaomi)
The latest under-display camera (UDC) tech is should arrive in the second half of 2021. (Image: Xiaomi)
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.

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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.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1231 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 04 > Leaker tips under-display smartphone cameras will make a breakthrough in second half of the year
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2021-04-19 (Update: 2021-04-19)