According to a set of leaked images making the rounds, the upcoming Nubia Z18S has a full screen display on the front, and a smaller secondary display on the back, below the rear camera.
Since you can use that second screen to view yourself while snapping selfies or view the person to you’re talking to when making a video call, it alleviates the need for a front-facing camera.
While Nubia hasn’t officially confirmed that it’s working on a dual-screen phone, the concept makes sense in some ways. While most modern phones do have a front-facing camera, it’s usually inferior to the camera on the back of the phone. So why not use the rear camera for everything?
On the other hand, adding a second screen seems like an expensive solution to something most people probably don’t really see as a problem.
Still, the secondary screen could be used as more than just a viewfinder for your photography. It could also display a clock or other widgets when the phone’s placed face down on a table. Or you could use the smaller screen to view notifications or other content without flipping the phone around.
The move could also lead to a slimmer bottom bezel. There are a lot of phones with slim top bezels, but most Android phones have a bit of a “chin” at the bottom because that’s where the electronics necessary for connecting the display to the rest of the phone hide. Apple’s iPhone X doesn’t have much of a chin, because Apple uses a flexible display that actually folds around to connect at the back of the phone.
If Nubia opted for one big flexible display instead of two smaller screens, it’s possible that the rear screen could help the company create a phone with a slim top bezel (with no selfie camera) and a slim bottom bezel (with no need to stuff electronics behind a black bar).
There’s still no word on whether the Nubia Z18S is real, let alone when it will launch, how much it will cost, or what countries you’ll be able to buy it in. While most Nubia phones are not sold in the US, the company’s Nubia Red Magic gaming smartphone is sold in Europe, the UK, Australia, and other countries outside of China, and Nubia may eventually bring it to the United States. So it’s certainly possible that Nubia’s dual-screen phone could come to North America one day… if it exists.