Punch-hole displays are the latest answers to our never-ending quest of eliminating bezels from smartphone displays. Japanese phone maker Sharp now appears to be all set to join the trend. According to a patent filed with the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Sharp is already working on a smartphone with a punch-hole display.
Sharp has included a number of detailed color renders of the device in the patent document, revealing a lot about the upcoming smartphone. The device features minimalist bezels on the three sides and a relatively wider chin. One of the schematics, meanwhile, shows an edge-to-edge display.
The smartphone has a curved display with a tiny hole set centrally in the upper part, similar to the recently introduced Samsung Galaxy Note 10. The cutout, however, appears to be positioned unusually lower.
Display type is not known yet, but Sharp has a choice between various materials, as it manufactures its own LED, OLED, and flexible displays.
The rear camera setup includes two sensors positioned vertically in the middle, and an LED flash placed under them. The right edge of the phone houses volume and power keys, while the top edge has cutouts for a microphone and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The bottom edge offers space for dual speakers and a USB Type-C port for charging.
The schematics included in the patent document doesn't reveal the position of the fingerprint scanner. Sharp's recently announced dual-notched smartphone, the Aquos R3, has the fingerprint scanner incorporated into the physical home button in its second notch at the bottom of the display.
Whether Sharp would once again place a physical fingerprint scanner on the thick chin of the upcoming smartphone remains to be seen. Alternatively, Sharp could incorporate the fingerprint scanner into the power button, or opt for an in-display fingerprint scanner.
No launch date in sight
Sharp filed this patent with the JPO back in 2017. This somewhat explains the existence of dual rear cameras and headphone jack, as well as that thick chin. Expect the end product to look a bit different, if and when it comes. It is also pertinent to mention here that not every patent turns into a reality.
However, Sharp is long due a smartphone with a punch-hole display. Almost every big phone maker has released a smartphone with a punch-hole display over the course of this year. Sharp has all the technologies needed to develop a smartphone as it has patented. So it should only be a matter of time before the company launches one.