2018 was undoubtedly the year of the notches in the smartphone industry, and now as we prepare to step into 2019, a new design trend has started to rear its head – the in-display hole.
A handful of smartphones featuring a small hollow into the screen have already been announced, but more are expected to follow in 2019.
Below we’re going to take a quick look at the first phones featuring this quirk that will most likely go mainstream in the upcoming months. We’re also going to list some of the upcoming models that are rumored or have been confirmed to launch with a with an in-display hole soon.
Samsung Galaxy A8s
Quite surprisingly Samsung is the first Android OEM to launch a phone with an in-display hole. The Korean tech giant has been slow to adopt certain trends (think dual cameras) and quite reticent in the face of others (we’re talking about the notch). But with the Galaxy A8s, Samsung marked a worldwide premiere.
The upper middle-ranger comes as the first phone to feature a hole in the front of the display. The device boasts a 6.4-inch Infinity-O LCD display and a Snapdragon 710 processor. Despite the mid-range chip inside, Samsung lets users pair the device with a pretty hefty 6GB or 8GB of RAM.
The camera on the front, which is accommodated in the hole we talked above, it of 24MP variety. On the back, Samsung has included a tri-camera setup consisting of 24MP+15MP+5MP sensors.
The Galaxy A8s launched in China where it will go on sale on December 21. Until then, customers can place a pre-order for the device. Pricing info is still unknown.
Huawei Nova 4
Hot on the heels of Samsung’s announcement, Huawei too announced a phone with an in-display hole. It’s called the Nova 4 and it will be offered in two configurations.
The high-end model will feature 48MP+16MP+2MP camera arrangement on the back, plus a 25MP hole aka the selfie-camera. The standard version will get a less-impressive 20MP+16MP+2MP setup instead. The selfie snapper remains the same, though.
Other specs include a 6.4-inch IPS LCD display with 2310 x 1080 resolution, a Kirin 970 processor and up to 8GB of RAM.
Obviously, the Huawei Nova 4 will go on sale in China first. The standard model will be offered for CYN 3,100 (or $449 / INR 32,179), while the high-end model will be offered for CYN 3,400 (or $493 / INR 35,293). The phone will probably make its way to India and Europe, later, although we can’t say exactly when at this point.
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Honor View 20
Huawei’s sub-brand Honor half-revealed the View 20 model last week through a series of slides. The phone is expected to launch in China on December 26 and is set to arrive with a hole in the display.
The View 20 bears an uncanny resemble to Huawei’s new Nova 4, both physically and internally. Although, the View 20 will take advantage of Huawei’s most recent Kirin 980, rather than last year’s Kirin 970.
But the main 48MP sensor will also be found on board of the upcoming View 20. On top of that, the phone will take advantage of a new AI-powered feature called Link Turbo which will allow for simultaneous downloads over Wi-Fi and 4G.
While Honor will unveil the View 20 in China on December 26, it will also host a spate event in Paris on January 22 to launch the phone globally.
Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung’s upcoming anniversary flagship, the S10 will also come with a hole in the display. Actually, all three models will benefit from this design twist.
And according to a recent case renders leak, the high-end Galaxy S10+ will feature an elongated display hole to house not one but two selfie sensors within the display. The Galaxy S10 Lite and standard Galaxy S10 will just have one sensor on the front, and hence a smaller display hole.
Like always, the Galaxy S10 will feature the best of specs including a Snapdragon 855, an AMOLED QHD+ display and a pretty advanced camera. According to some rumors, the Galaxy S10+ might feature a tri-camera setup on the back.
The phones are expected to be released sometime around the MWC tradeshow, which usually takes place towards the end of February.
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Oppo R19/OnePlus 7
Back in October, a render showcasing the upcoming Oppo R19 revealed a phone boasting a full-screen display with no notch and a cutout hole in the middle.
The phone has yet to go official, but when it does it will probably feature the new and trendy in-display hole. But what does this have to do with the OnePlus 7 (aka OnePlus’ next-gen flagship) you might be asking?
Well, Oppo and OnePlus are owned by the same parent company, China’s BBK Electronics. Given that OnePlus’ recent smartphones have all followed the design of Oppo devices quite closely, it’s reasonable to assume that the OnePlus 7 will indeed look very much like the Oppo R19. Which means it will have a selfie-camera embedded directly into the display.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In the following months, we expect a lot of Android OEMs including LG, ASUS, Xiaomi and quite possibly even Google to jump on board with this design trend. What do you think? Would you be interested in buying a phone with a hole in the display?