Galaxy Note 20 punch-hole camera could have a status indicator around it

The urge to banish all bezels around the screen has resulted in a few casualties while manufacturers try to figure out how to best put back what they have kicked out. We're still waiting for the day that under-display cameras finally become a thing but, until then, we'll have to settle for notches and cutouts. The latter, unfortunately, has led to even less hardware, like LED indicators. Samsung may have a solution for the latter and it's something that third-party apps have already tried implementing quite a while back.

The presence of the punch-hole cutouts, what Samsung calls "Infinity-O" design, has ironically led to some creative ways to utilize that space. First came the wallpapers that either hid or even used that hole as part of the design. Some have also created user interfaces that went around those holes, mostly using a ring to indicate the phone's battery level.

Samsung's latest patent builds upon that idea but takes a more generic route. The status indicator it describes could be used for anything from a camera countdown timer to an always visible download progress indicator. Basically, any kind of status that shows the passage of time or percentage of completion could be displayed there.

What makes Samsung's idea slightly different is that it doesn't always take the form of a ring around the hole. Where dual cameras like the Galaxy S10 Ultra's are concerned, the indicator can just be a small strip beneath or beside the cameras. Other designs include a square surrounding a circular hole while another has a larger, oblong area smack in the middle.

Although the patent doesn't immediately mean Samsung will adopt such a feature, it at least shows it is thinking of iterating over a design trend that it created. That does, however, leave open the question of whether the Galaxy Note 20 will keep its small hole in the center or move on to larger holes with more cameras and sensors.