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Think punch holes are annoying? How about four of them?

This smartphone patent by vivo suggests more is more when it comes to punch-hole cutouts.

Published onDecember 30, 2019

vivo thinks there might be a need for more than one punch-hole cutout in the future.

We saw the first phones equipped with a punch-hole cutout a year ago, allowing manufacturers to ditch a thick top bezel. We’ve since seen pill-shaped punch-hole cutouts on the likes of the Galaxy S10, and now Chinese brand Vivo is thinking about upping the ante.

The smartphone manufacturer filed a patent with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), according to Tiger Mobiles. And the filing shows up to four individual punch-hole cutouts on a single smartphone display.

Images attached to the filing show either a single punch-hole in each corner of the screen, a pill-shaped cutout in both the top left and top right corners (with each “pill” hosting two sensors), or a separate pair of punch holes in both the top left and right corners. Check out the image below for a better idea:

It’s certainly an interesting take on the full-screen display, but it makes you wonder why you’d need more than two selfie cameras in the first place. Heck, I’d say three sensors at a push would be the maximum, accounting for a primary camera, an ultra-wide lens, and a 3D ToF sensor for more accurate depth and AR effects (as well as face unlock).

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This is just a patent, so it isn’t necessarily indicative of a future product. We’ve previously seen other smartphone manufacturers file patents for similarly weird ideas too. Then again, what’s weird today might be a major part of the mobile experience tomorrow.

A punch-hole cutout in each corner seems like the least desirable option from a usability point of view though. This solution could potentially create problems with selfie angles (which camera are you supposed to look at?) and holding the phone without obscuring the relevant sensor.

Would you buy a vivo phone or a device in general with four punch holes? Let us know in the comments!

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