When the Essential Phone was launched, there was a fair bit of excitement as this was the smartphone by one of Android’s co-founders. It featured a beautiful display that stretched from edge to edge, marred only by a tiny U-shaped notch that housed the front-facing camera. This was a design trend that (unfortunately) caught on.
Now it seems that Essential could be kicking off another design trend: a phone with an in-display camera. According to a recently discovered patent by LetsGoDigital has filed for a patent for a smartphone that has hidden the camera inside of the display itself, without a need for a cutout (like the Samsung Galaxy S10) or notch, thus resulting in a device with an unmarred display.
Essential would not be the first to explore the idea of a camera hidden under the display of a smartphone. Back in October 2018 at a presentation on OLED displays hosted by Samsung, the company took the wraps off several new display technologies that they were working on, one of which included being able to hide the camera and other sensors behind a display.
This design has yet to materialize and as we saw with the Galaxy S10 lineup, Samsung has opted for the hole-in display design for now. That being said, this is only a patent and it is unclear if Essential has plans to make it a reality. Let’s not forget that there were some doubts as to whether an Essential Phone 2 could be in the works given how badly the first one did, so maybe don’t get your hopes up just yet.