ZTE will launch a new 5G smartphone on 1 September which will be the world’s first 5G handset to sport an under-display camera.
The company said the smartphone will be called the ZTE Axon 20 5G and will initially only be available in China.
“The device will be the world’s first mass-produced 5G smartphone featuring an under-display camera, marking another milestone in ZTE’s exploration of the true full display smartphone,” ZTE said.
ZTE said that all major manufacturers have been working on an under-display camera smartphone in an effort to remove the front-facing camera notches present on modern flagship devices.
“Consumers have also witnessed the evolution of smartphone display forms from notch display, water-drop notch display, pop-up selfie camera smartphone, to hole-punch display,” the company said.
“By launching the world’s first 5G smartphone with an under-display camera, ZTE will further promote the development of display technologies in the smartphone industry, thereby bringing revolutionized experiences to all consumers.”
Modern flagship smartphones have accommodated front-facing cameras using innovative notch and punch-hole designs which maximise screen real estate, but an under-display camera sensor would allow manufacturers to increase the screen-to-body ratio of their devices even more than they have before.
This type of front-facing camera works similarly to an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and would, therefore, require that the ZTE Axon 20 5G be equipped with an OLED panel as this does not use a backlight behind the screen.
Non-5G smartphones with under-screen cameras have been launched previously, with Oppo and Xiaomi being among the most notable smartphone brands experimenting with the technology.
The under-display camera used by Oppo comprises a customised camera module that captures as much light as possible paired with a highly-transparent material used for the display.
It is unclear how the quality of ZTE’s under-display camera will compare with that offered by punch-hole or traditional selfie cameras.
The ZTE Axon 20 5G is expected to launch on 1 September 2020 in China, and there is currently no international release date for the device.