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Expect 2021's upcoming Android phones to embrace under-display selfie cameras

Samsung Galaxy S21
The notch might not be around much longer. (Image credit: Future)

The next step forward for smartphone displays is to banish notches and punch-holes – and to do that, manufacturers need to find ways of putting a front-facing camera under the screen. According to one tipster, the second half of 2021 is when this will happen in a big way.

The usually reliable @UniverseIce has tweeted that phones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and ZTE are all going to come with under-display selfie cameras in the second half of the year, so there are a lot of innovative new products to look forward to.

No mention of Apple and the iPhone in this particular leak – it's likely that Apple will wait until the technology is refined even further before using it, so the iPhone 13 will most likely still come with a notch (albeit a smaller one).

One of the phones mentioned in the leak, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4, was already rumored to be coming with an under-display camera, so it looks likely that these predictions are accurate – even if we can't say for sure until the products have actually launched.

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It's also worth noting that @UniverseIce is predicting that both the Samsung and Oppo models with cameras under the screen will be folding phones – so straight away that makes us think of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 as a prime candidate.

The ZTE Axon 20 5G was the first phone to reach the consumer market with a camera embedded in the screen, though the photo quality from it wasn't particularly good. Today's leak hints that ZTE's next attempt will be much better.

Of course getting a camera that can take good-quality pictures through a touchscreen is no easy task – it looks as though most manufacturers are exploring the idea of using a second screen built into the main one in order to make this work properly.

The benefit is that the front of the phone can be all display, with super-thin bezels and no notches getting in the way of whatever's on screen. Once all of these phones appear, we'll be sure to test them and their selfie cameras rigorously.