The hidden selfie camera trend: Who’s onboard?

Chris Burns - Nov 7, 2018, 11:51 am CDT
The hidden selfie camera trend: Who’s onboard?

This week we’ve gotten word that LG is also onboard for one of the most exciting trends in smartphones for the year 2019. At least, it would appear so. The trend was revealed by Samsung earlier this year – in a series of images during internal company events and planning sessions for the future of their smartphone business. What we’re talking about here is the hidden camera trend, making it possible to cover the entirety of the front side of a smartphone with a display without leaving room for a notch-full of sensors and camera lenses.

The clues today came from a patent or two filed by LG. The folks at Let’s Go Digital sussed them out. What we’re looking at here is a set of drawings for potential smartphone components from LG. These drawings show a futuristic LG smartphone series with semi-curved edges and rounded corners. These devices have a front-facing camera array that’s ready to be hidden within the device’s display.

The display we’re looking at here might have a fully hidden camera array, or it may just be semi-transparent. According to the patents, LG is aiming to deliver a system with which the camera array can be completely “hidden” without worrying about the performance of the display in that area.

The trend continues! Samsung’s similar patents showed an in-display camera at one point. They also spoke later in the year about bringing the full hidden-camera system to devices potentially by the end of 2019.

This would be a whole lot more interesting for end users than the current return of the slider phone in China. That trend makes more moving hardware and less user-friendly fixability. So we’re not entirely all about that, from an everyday DIY user perspective.

Then there’s Samsung’s solution in the Galaxy S10 arena. According to the events that transpired earlier this year, Samsung’s disappearing in-display camera could come earlier than we might’ve expected. Samsung might already have that sort of display technology available right this minute.

We also recently happened upon the possibility of a move from Samsung for Galaxy S10 which would reduce the frontside camera array to zero. To do this, Samsung would add a display on the back of the device to allow the much better backside camera array to do the work of what’d otherwise be called a selfie camera. That’d solve everyone’s problems, wouldn’t it?

Except it wouldn’t – it’d make things more difficult, once again. If, again, we’re looking at this situation from a repair-person perspective. Is a radical new solution really worth the effort if it renders the smartphone irreparable with a single drop on a concrete street?

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