Samsung has generally kept out of recent smartphone design controversies. Its flagship Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 handsets still retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, and there’s no notch in sight thanks to their bookended bezels.
But Samsung appears to be in an experimental mood. Not only is the Galaxy A8S experimenting with a pinhole camera built into the screen, but the upcoming Galaxy A90 is rumoured to pack a pop-up camera, like we’ve seen before on phones like the Vivo Nex.
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The rumour comes courtesy of the usually very dependable Ice Universe tipster, who tweeted that “the Galaxy A90 will be Samsung’s first pop-up front camera phone, so its screen is perfect, there is no Notch, no Hole.”
Between this and the A8S’ pinhole, it feels like Samsung is testing a number of ways of minimising the bezel and seeing what sticks. That could very well be a pop-up camera, but we’ve yet to be convinced by other implementations, which look a little on the flimsy side.
One big alternative design comes courtesy of the Oppo Find X, where the whole phones slides out to extend the top and present a camera when required. It’s technically very impressive, but it’s a weighty handset, and the slide-out camera is something of a dust trap as you might imagine.
There are also questions of reliability for the mechanism in the long run because, as we wrote in our review, all the testing has been done in lab, rather than real-world, conditions.
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Still, if Samsung is considering the technology, there must be something in it. Though it’s perhaps telling that the company isn’t reserving this opinion-splitting technology for its flagship S and Note devices.
What’s your preferred solution for losing the smartphone notch? Let us know what you think on Twitter @TrustedReviews.