We’ve seen LG try its hand at implementing additional displays on smartphones with the LG V10 and V20. These have a small, extra screen inserted at the top of the main panel to provide further functionality. It appears that Meizu also wants to pursue this idea, as recent leaks suggest its upcoming phones will also have an additional screen.

…on their back.

The Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus were leaked earlier today in a CAD render from OnLeaks and CompareRaja.in and, well, they certainly look unique. CompareRaja speculates that the rear display would be an E-Ink offering like on the YotaPhone, though previous rumors suggest it’s actually an LCD.

Gizmochina (via GSMArena) got its hands on photos of the phone which show the screen being used to play a Pacman-like game in color. GSMArena suggests that the display may also be used as a viewfinder for rear selfies.

Meanwhile, the CAD render indicates that the devices will launch with USB Type-C, a dual rear camera, front-facing home button (and possibly fingerprint scanner), as well as a bottom-mounted headphone jack and speaker.

Various other specs possibilities have been flying around in rumors too. The Meizu Pro 7 is tipped to arrive with a 5.2-inch, 1080p display, while the Pro 7 Plus would arrive with a 5.5-inch display or larger. They’re said to also house a MediaTek Helio X30 chipset, with 12 MP rear camera sensors (IMX386 and IMX286).

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As for the prices, these are currently tipped to be in the region of CNY 2,799 ($412) for the Pro 7 and between CNY 3,299 ($485) and CNY 3,799 ($559) for various versions of the Meizu Pro 7 Plus.

The rear display idea is, of course, quite outrageous, but I’m not opposed to it: we’re always looking for innovation from smartphones and it’s definitely a fresh approach. What troubles me isn’t the notion of it, but the implementation. I mean, what functional purpose could a small display serve in that position? As it’s combined with the camera sensors, the idea that it may aid the composition of rear-selfies makes sense. But beyond that, I can’t really picture what value that screen is going to add. In what other circumstances would using a small LCD screen on the rear of a phone be better than using the larger (probably higher quality) display on the front? Is Pacman more fun on a 2-inch panel?

Meizu hasn’t confirmed anything at this point so it is still too early to write-off these phones. What are your current thoughts on them, though? Let us know in the comments.

Scott Adam Gordon
Scott Adam Gordon is a European correspondent for Android Authority. Follow him on Twitter and Google+ at the links.