The war on smartphone bezels has led smartphone makers to release phones with pop-up selfie cameras, cut holes in the display, or stick with old-fashioned notches.

But a few companies are trying something different: hiding the camera under the display. Now the first phone with an under-display camera is ready to go on sale.

The ZTE Axon 20 5G is a smartphone with a 6.92 inch OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, and a virtually invisible front-facing camera which is hidden behind the screen and designed to snap photos by capturing light that shines through the display.

It goes on sale in China this month for $322 and up.

It’s interesting that ZTE’s first phone with an under-glass camera is selling for a mid-range price. Does that mean ZTE isn’t particularly confident that the phone’s unusual camera is a good solution? Or is the company just trying to price its phones to move. We’ll probably find out when customers in China get their hands on the phone.

While the 32MP front camera is the phone’s most unusual feature, the other specs look pretty solid for a mid-range phone:

  • 6.92 inch 2460 x 1080 pixel OLED display
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • Under-display speaker
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor
  • Adreno 620 graphics
  • 4,220 mAh battery
  • 30W Quick Charge support

The phone four rear cameras:

  • 64MP primary
  • 8MP ultra-wide
  • 2MP depth
  • 2MP macro

ZTE will offer three configurations in China:

  • 6GB/64GB for CNY 2,198 (~$320)
  • 8GB/128GB for CNY 2,498 (~$365)
  • 12GB/256GB for CNY 2,798 (~$410)

ZTE hasn’t announced any plans for an international release yet, but the phone will probably cost more if and when it goes on sale in other countries.

While ZTE may be the first company to release a phone with an under-display camera, it’s not the only company working on this sort of design. Rival Chinese phone maker Xiaomi recently showed off its latest under-display camera technology which the company promises will allow the camera to blend almost perfectly with the display.

press release (English) and ZTE blog post (Chinese)

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13 Comments

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  1. @Brad, I’m not about anonymity but about that I’m happy to create an account to have an avatar and whatnot as long I a short and cool username such as “next,” but that is simply not the case with a WordPress.com account in 2020. Otherwise, I’m fine remaining anonymous. B)

  2. “Are you logged in, or commenting anonymously?”

    I’m not sure how usernames work here but it seems I need to use a unique WordPress.com username if I want to be registered and have my avatar shown and whatnot but I’ve found it quite unlikely that “next” is available on WordPress.com at this point so I just remain anonymous I guess. I’m sorry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. No worries. I’ll also keep investigating possible fixes that may allow threaded comments to work for users that are not logged in via WordPress. Until then, feel free to use an @ or any other method to let us know when you’re responding to another comment!

      1. Seems like the easiest fix is to disable Jetpack comments. We lose support for social logins, but I guess I’ll try that for a week or two and see if that gets more complaints than the lack of proper support for replies had gotten in the past few months 🙂

  3. “It’s interesting that ZTE’s first phone with an under-glass camera is selling for a mid-range price. Does that mean ZTE isn’t particularly confident that the phone’s unusual camera is a good solution?”

    1. Are you logged in, or commenting anonymously? This seems to be an issue sometimes and I’m trying to figure out what the common denominator is — so far my best guess is that it’s related to login status.

      1. To confirm in response to @Brad’s question: The non-threading if my reply in another thread happened with me responding anonymously.

        —————————
        Brad Linder says:
        09/01/2020 at 2:18 PM
        Are you logged in, or commenting anonymously? This seems to be an issue sometimes and I’m trying to figure out what the common denominator is — so far my best guess is that it’s related to login status.

        1. Actually, this one was also an ‘anonymous’/guest post, i.e. not logged in. Looks like you may have got it fixed? :thumbsup:

          1. Yep, I had to kill the social login feature to do it, but I’m honestly not sure how many people were using it.

            Let’s see if anyone complains in the near future 🙂

  4. As much as I dislike the trend of bezel-less screens, I dislike notch and hole-punch cameras even more. I like bezels, it makes it easier to hold the phone securely. Here is my order of preference:

    Go back to the Galaxy S7 era of design
    Get rid of front-facing cameras, and keep this silly trend of small bezels
    Under screen cameras

  5. As someone who has never used my phone’s front camera, I’m just happy to see a phone that’s all-screen, no notch or hole punch.

    Have any device manufacturers outside China released (or leaked) plans for phones with under-display cameras?