Samsung might borrow a page from Chinese OEM Vivo and employ a pop-up selfie camera for the upcoming Galaxy A90, according to a recent tweet from known leakster Ice Universe. This would translate into a clean design with thin bezels all around and no display notches or “punch holes”.
The Samsung Galaxy A90 is expected to be part of the OEM’s new A-series said to abandon the single digit naming scheme, so in essence it will succeed devices like the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) and its Galaxy A9 Pro sibling, the latter of which was launched earlier in January in South Korea featuring an Infinity-O display, i.e. the OEM’s only display to ditch the idea of a display notch in favor of a punch hole for the front-facing camera - for better or worse.
Up until now the Korean OEM successfully avoided the rectangular-shaped notch trend but if the latest tip proves to be correct then it might not be long before Samsung abandons the Infinity-O, Infinity-V, and Infinity-U panels as well. At the least, Samsung seems to be considering other solutions for a full-screen display beside display cutouts, and the earlier implementations of a truly full-screen design might be based on a pop-up selfie camera.
The first OEM to adopt this unusual design was Vivo with the unveiling of the APEX in the spring of 2018, later to be evolved into the Vivo NEX. Arguably this has been one of the most elegant solutions to the display notch problem so far, although other OEMs like OPPO have done something similar by devising a different slide-out mechanism concealing both the front and rear-facing cameras.
By the sound of it, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy A90 could have a pop-up mechanism similar to Vivo’s solution, but as yet it’s unclear whether other smartphones in its series will also adopt this design or if the OEM will experiment with the technology solely through the launch of the Galaxy A90. So far a number of devices from this upcoming lineup have been rumored to be in the works, including the Galaxy A10, Galaxy A40, and Galaxy A50, but details are scarce and their design unknown.
A slide-out or pop-up camera mechanism is likely out of the question for Samsung’s first big release this year, i.e., the Galaxy S10 flagship series, at least judging by the various images that leaked so far. Instead, based on preliminary renders the Samsung Galaxy S10 will have a circular punch hole in the upper-right corner of the screen, while its larger sibling, the Galaxy S10+ could feature a display cutout shaped more like a rounded rectangle, fit for a dual front-facing camera module. Assuming that the OEM will launch a device with a pop-out camera and the design proves to be successful, it could be implemented on other future devices as well.
The Samsung Galaxy A90 doesn’t have an official launch date just yet, and it remains to be seen what camera configuration it will feature, with or without a pop-up camera. The Galaxy A9 (2018) launched in November boasts a 24-megapixel front-facing unit along with four rear-facing cameras aligned vertically, including a 24-megapixel wide-angle and 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensors, as well as a 10-megapixel telephoto shooter with 2X optical zoom.