2019 is yet to start but Huawei’s sub-brand Honor and Samsung have already given us a glimpse of what to expect from 2019 smartphones. This week, both companies have unveiled a smartphone with an in-display camera hole. The camera hole is aimed at circumventing the notch which has become a commonplace in smartphones ever since Apple first adopted it with the iPhone X in 2017.
The Honor View 20 and Samsung Galaxy A8s both feature an LCD display with a hole for the camera. Samsung is calling this display technology Infinity-O while Honor is calling it an All-View display. The latter is also claiming it is the first company to unveil a smartphone with an in-screen camera design. The punch-hole camera cutout on the Galaxy A8s is 6.7mm while Honor’s View 20 cutout is only 4.5mm wide.
While unique and less obtrusive, the camera cutout means there’s simply no room for other sensors. Due to this, both devices lack any kind of advanced facial recognition technology as seen on the iPhone X and iPhone XS.
Interestingly, both phones feature an LCD display instead of OLED panels. The Galaxy A8s is also Samsung’s first phone to launch without a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Honor View 20 also has another unique feature: a 48MP primary shooter. The company is using an IMX586 CMOS sensor with 0.8um pixels. In daylight, this will allow the View 20 to capture photos with plenty of details while in low-light, it will fallback to pixel-binning to capture 12MP photos with simulated 1.6um large pixels. There’s also a 48MP AI HDR mode aimed at improving the overall quality of the photos. A higher resolution camera sensor does not automatically translate into better photos but it can come in handy under the right situation.
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As for the Galaxy A8s, it comes with a triple-camera setup at the rear which includes a 24MP primary shooter, a 10MP telephoto sensor, and a 5MP depth sensor.
Samsung is rumored to adopt the same punch-hole camera design for its upcoming flagship, the Galaxy S10. The company has openly mocked Apple for the notch on the iPhone X so it would look a bit stupid if it ends up copying the same design on the Galaxy S10.
What do you think about the punch-hole display design to accommodate the selfie camera? Do you think it is better than a notch? Or do you think Apple’s implementation is better since it allows for a more secure form of facial recognition?