As smartphone makers have been moving toward nearly bezel-free smartphones, they have to figure out what to do with the components that you’d normally squeeze into a bezel, like cameras.

So far the most popular solution has been to put a notch in the display. More recently, some phone makers have removed the bezels and put camera holes in the screen instead. Others have developed pop-up cameras or phones with screens that slide down to reveal cameras.

Two new designs from ZTE show rather unusual approaches. It’s unclear if either will ever see the light of day, but ZTE submitted the new concepts to the IF World Design Guide.

The ZTE Axon V is a phone with slim bezels… and a set of front-facing cameras that extend from the top right side of the phone. According to the description, the phone would have a 6.8 inch, 21: aspect ratio OLED display, while the cameras along the side wold enable 3D image capture for things like face recognition.

ZTE says one side effect of moving the cameras to the side of the phone is that there’s more room inside the main body of the Axon V for a large battery.

The ZTE Axon S, meanwhile features a slider-style design. But instead of a screen that slides down to reveal the camera system in portrait mode, it slides down in landscape orientation.

Both the front and rear cameras are normally hidden until you pull out the slider. With the addition of an in-display fingerprint sensor, that means you see nothing but a solid surface on the back of the phone, and nothing but the LCD screen (well almost nothing, there’s a 95 percent screen-to-body ratio).

Slide out the camera section and you get dual front-facing cameras, and there are three cameras on the back with support for 48MP image capture and up to 5x optical zoom.

Again, it’s unclear if or when the company will actually release these phones. But it’s always nice to see some outside-of-the-box thinking… even if it’s not clear how practical (or attractive) some of these solutions may be in the real world.

via Notebook Italia

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4 replies on “ZTE Axon V and Axon S Slider have unusual solutions to the smartphone not problem”

  1. I think they had it right three years ago with the Axon 7. Instead of trying to kill the bezel, dress it up and call attention to it. I still love the stylized grilles and the front-firing speakers behind them.

    1. Too bad these renders look great, in real life the product probably looks much more chunky, dull, and less sleek.

      I agree with the front-firing stereo loudspeakers sentiment. Though I’m not explicitly against notches, or rounded corners. What kills it for me are these really long aspect ratios, the curved displays, and the poor speaker performance.

      A compromise between the two philosophies could probably be achieved, by using rounded display corners but flat/non-curved glass. And using 17:9 aspect ratio instead of 19.5:9. And using dual-notches to include dual front cameras (think FaceID/Bokeh/3D Photo/AR/360′ video capture) and also using front-firing stereo loudspeakers. It’s not just the construction, but the materials need to be high quality as well.

      It’s probably a good idea to make the phone’s front material as Sapphire, the sides out of Titanium Alloy (instead of Stainless Steel), and the rear out of Military Kevlar… it’s affordable at the US $700 level. For cheaper devices, a Gorilla Glass front, scratch-resistant 7000-series Aluminium for the side and rear is a good idea. And the cheapest devices, can make-do with Tempered Glass front, affordable Aluminium side/reinforcement, and a back made from Aerospace Polycarbonate.

  2. What if the pop-up camera also twisted to the back? That would mean not having BOTH front AND rear facing cameras.

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