The world's first commercially available smartphone with a self-contained camera hidden behind a display was introduced – under the wings of ZTE. ZTE Axon 20 5G puts upper-mid-range hardware behind the (for now) unique design, an example of which is expected to be followed by products from several manufacturers in the coming months and 2021.
We've seen demos of cameras hidden behind the screen before, these days, Xiaomi has also flashed a similar solution, although its sharp debut is not expected until next year. The advantages of the technology are self-evident, the hidden camera does not consume space on the display from the notification bar as sensors or notches hitting the panel, nor does it require moving parts with a risk of failure like cameras sliding off the top of the devices. Of course, the display area in front of the sensor may be slightly dimmer than the rest of the panel, but this is not a big sacrifice in exchange for the extra pixels.
The biggest question right now is what photos the sensors will produce from behind the screens, and the panel in front of them can easily degrade the photos taken, even when turned off. According to ZTE, its solution uses a unique display structure and a “special pixel matrix”, and on the software side, it also improves the clarity of images shot with a 32-megapixel self-contained camera with self-developed algorithms – of course, this will only be known after sharp tests.  The diagonal of the phone is otherwise large, the 6.92-inch OLED panel also comes with Full HD + resolution. Behind it is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, thanks to which the device is supplemented with 5G support, as well as 6, 8 or 12 gigabytes of RAM on demand, with 64, 128 or 256 gigabytes of internal storage. There are four cameras on the back, in addition to the main 64-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle and a 2-megapixel macro camera, as well as a 2-megapixel depth sensor on the back. The battery capacity is 4220 mAh. For now, it seems ZTE will only make the AXon 20 5G available in China, it is not known whether the model will later expand to other markets.
Gellert is Technology Editor at Counting News Media and contributor at other major tech publications. Her interests includes testing new gadgets and reading.