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Google Pixel patent hints at under-display selfie camera future

You shouldn't hold your breath for the Pixel 7 getting this tech, but what about the Pixel 8?
By
January 3, 2022
The Google Pixel 6 front facing camera punch hole close up
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A Google filing has hinted at a future Pixel phone with under-display selfie camera tech.
  • This patent doesn’t mean a Pixel device is coming with the tech any time soon though.

2020 saw the first major smartphone with an under-display selfie camera debut in the ZTE Axon 20 5G, with the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi following up in 2021. It looks like Google is also thinking about this feature thanks to a newly spotted patent.

Let’s Go Digital discovered a Google Pixel patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), showing a smartphone with a pair of under-display selfie cameras as well as a couple of other sensors under the screen. Check out the image below for a better idea of what to expect.

This wouldn’t be the first time Google filed a patent for under-display selfie camera tech on smartphones. The firm’s previous patent imagined a prism-based under-display selfie camera, with the prism pointing to the camera when you need to take a selfie, or pointing to a tiny secondary screen otherwise. So the latest filing clearly seems to be a more conventional take on the tech.

It’s worth stressing that this patent isn’t indicative of a future Google Pixel phone, such as the Pixel 7. Companies file patents all the time that don’t become a commercial reality, so you shouldn’t hold your breath for a Pixel with an under-display selfie camera coming this year.

Do you want to see more phones with under-display cameras?

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But it’s clear that many manufacturers (including Google) are researching this tech and it seems like a matter of time until image quality from these cameras can compare favorably to traditional selfie snappers. So we wouldn’t rule out a Pixel phone arriving with an under-display selfie camera in the future, but we’re guessing that 2022 might be a little too soon.

Another hurdle for manufacturers (aside from image quality) is simply ensuring that the display area above the selfie camera blends in well with the rest of the display. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 had a very noticeable “haze” in the area above the under-display camera, so we hope manufacturers tackle this issue as well in 2022.

Do you want to see more phones with under-display selfie cameras in 2022? Let us know via the poll above.