In its quest to banish bezels without resorting to something like popup cameras, Samsung has long been rumored to do be working on various technologies. Some of those already came to pass, like the belated under-display fingerprint sensor. One, however, still remains unrealized but we might not see Samsung’s first implementation of an under-display imaging sensor until the latter half of 2021 in what could be it most expensive smartphone yet.
Unlike the fingerprint scanner, it hasn’t been trivial to move the camera beneath the display in order to free the space it takes up. Samsung’s compromise so far has been the notorious but now common punch-hole cutout, which is practical but hardly ideal, much less pretty to look at. According to a Korean news site, Samsung has decided to put its UDC or under-display camera not on the Galaxy S21 but on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 which could launch no earlier than August or September next year.
That gives Samsung enough time to solve the puzzles presented by an under-display sensor. On the one hand, it has to let enough light through the screen and into the imaging sensor to even be an effective camera. On the other hand, that region of the screen should also look and function like a normal screen, display light and color without affecting the camera’s image quality, particularly when it comes to color bleeding.
Samsung’s decision to skip the Galaxy S21 might also be strategic. What better way to flaunt the glory of a UDC than on a device that has a large screen? With an under-display camera, the next Samsung foldable phone’s unbroken display will definitely stand out and deliver a wow factor to a captive audience.
That said, it will most likely drive the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s price even higher than this year’s model. Presuming all the rumors come to pass, the foldable phone will also have a new stylus technology that will cement its place as the Galaxy Note’s successor. And as the Galaxy Note itself proved, that doesn’t come without a cost.