Manufacturers are always finding ways to break through standard design, and Huawei is at it again with a new patent for a circular camera touch display with multiple functions.
Huawei patents circular camera touch display with multiple functions
The new display is first, a touch display. That is, the display is a touchscreen. It's no different than the front display of smartphones. It is, however, smaller than most phone displays. It's in the shape of a circle (thus, circular), and comes with a much smaller area than normal phone screens.
The circular display features multiple functions for phones, such as alarm clock, message notifications, calls, and a general clock displaying the time. These functions are what one sees on the front display. And yet, when the user's phone is down on a countertop, table, or flat surface, the camera touch display will display those notifications on the back cover. When the phone is lying face-down, the back camera display serves an important purpose.
The purpose of a rear touch display
What purpose does a rear camera display serve? First, it serves an aesthetic purpose in terms of design. Huawei is thinking properly about a circular ring around its rear camera. Design matters to customers nowadays, and buyers don't want to purchase a phone with hideous design simply because something "serves a purpose." Design and functionality can work well together, and a rear camera display is a step in the right direction.
There is the fact that users can turn their phone face-down and still access notifications. One doesn't have to keep their phone face-up to access them. Turning the phone face-down on a flat surface does much to maintain user privacy. In this privacy age, any convenience to aid privacy is welcome.
Huawei's new back cover touchscreen would also make it easier to take photos with the rear camera. Selfie cameras have been the go-to for front-facing photos. The new back cover display just might change that. With something of a small display on the back of the device, users could start taking photos with the back cover camera instead of turning the phone to its front.
Finally, a rear touch display brings a second display to current smartphone design. When OEMs think of second or dual displays, they think of a large device with two same-size screens. If not a device of that sort, they think of foldable devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X.
Huawei's approach brings a smaller, yet functional second display without adding bulk or heft to the device. The design is only for the most important of notifications, so it isn't a full screen. And a rumor going around is that Samsung's second-gen. Galaxy Fold will have a pill-shaped secondary display. Perhaps the "pill" display will replace the bar notch of its predecessor. Huawei's circular display is certainly a nice take on the same concept.
It isn't a full screen just yet, anyway. But maybe that's the direction Huawei intends to go in a future patent. Whether Huawei brings this circular display to the P40, P40 Pro, or P40 Pro Plus is a matter of waiting things out.