Huawei Patents Smartphone Design With Earpiece Display Hole

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By Kristijan Lucic November 09, 2018, 3:09am
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It seems like Huawei is planning to join the companies who are planning to make holes in the display in order to trim down bezels even further, as the company has applied for a new patent at the USPTO. As you can see in the provided image, the device has a horizontal cutout in the display, and this is a cutout for an earpiece, not the front-facing camera. A number of other phones are planning to make holes for the front-facing camera(s), but not Huawei, it seems like the company has other plans, at least based on what we’re seeing here. Huawei has submitted its application for this patent back on September 2 back in 2016, and it was published on November 6, 2018, in the USPTO database. The hole in the display, in the case of this phone, is quite thin, as this is an earpiece that we’re looking at, while the front-facing camera is not visible here, at all, so we wonder where it is placed.

Some of you may guess that the camera will rise from the phone, or perhaps flip from the back, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. There is nothing on this design that indicates a slide-out camera, or a flip-up one, at least based on the provided sketches. The phone also does not seem to be thicker than usual, so the sliding camera mechanism, like the one on the OPPO Find X, is probably out of the question as well. There’s always a chance that Huawei found a way to set the front-facing camera under the display, though that’s just a wild possibility. As you can see, the phone’s body is curved, while all of its physical keys are located on the right, power / lock, volume up, and volume down buttons. It seems like the device will have two cameras on the back, and an LED flash below them… though that cutout for an LED flash is quite large, so that may be a third camera, and not an LED flash… as an LED flash may be missing from this sketch altogether.

There seems to be a cutout for the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top of the display, unless that is something else entirely, but it does seem like a 3.5mm headphone jack. A Type-C USB port is included on the bottom of the device, and interestingly enough, cutouts for the phone’s speakers are also not shown in this sketch. It is possible that such details are simply missing from the patent, so we’ll just have to wait until Huawei makes this phone reality in order to see what’s what, if that ever happens, of course.

Background: As most of you already know, Huawei opted to include a display notch on the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, and that’s far from an ideal solution. Display holes seem to be the next step forward when it comes to smartphone designs, and Huawei is looking to join the likes of OPPO, Samsung, and LG, as it’s reported all of those companies are looking to get in on it, and a number of other manufacturers as well. The OPPO R19 leaked with a camera hole in the display, Samsung already teased its Galaxy A8s smartphone with a camera cutout in the display, while LG’s patent revealed that the company is planning to make two holes in the display to accommodate either two cameras, or a camera and an earpiece / sensors. The ASUS ZenFone 6 prototypes leaked with all sorts of display holes for cameras, we’ve seen the ZenFone 6 prototype with camera holes in the top left, top right, and top center parts of the display.

Impact: Implementing holes in displays for various purposes seems to be the next step when it comes to the smartphone design, along with implementing camera sliding systems. Some may see these as great alternatives to notches, but those solutions are not ideal either, as those camera holes may annoy some people quite a bit, while camera sliding systems make phones a bit thicker, not to mention that moving parts are included in the whole deal. It remains to be seen if manufacturers will actually use any of the patents they’ve submitted recently, and that goes for the one Huawei submitted as well, but if there’s any truth to it, the Huawei P30 series may sport display holes.

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November 09, 2018, 3:09am
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