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HONOR to launch mystery smartphone with display hole camera on January 22

HONOR has sent out invites for a new product launch next month. The unnamed handset will also set to come with a Kirin 980 chipset.

Published onDecember 5, 2018

  • HONOR has sent out invites to a new smartphone launch on January 22, 2019 in Paris.
  • HONOR says the phone is coming with a Kirin 980 chip and “in-screen camera display.”
  • The smartphone’s name wasn’t announced.

Honor will launch its first smartphone with a display hole camera in Paris on Jan. 22, 2019. The manufacturer sent out invites to the event earlier today, though it stopped short of naming the handset.

The display hole camera approach puts a phone’s front camera (or cameras) in a floating island within the screen, rather than within the bezel or notch like on previous smartphones. It’s the evolution of the much-maligned notch, before under-display solutions arrive, though it may prove similarly divisive.

The front camera will be located at the top-left of the smartphone, as can be seen in the image below (where the moon is).

An HONOR press invite to a smartphone launch showing a night-time Paris scene inside a smartphone.

Other Android manufacturers are expected to use this type of display design on their smartphones throughout 2019, including Samsung with its Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. However, HUAWEI — which owns the HONOR brand — will have a smartphone with such a display arriving within the next two weeks with the Nova 4.

Little else is known about HONOR’s mystery phone, though the company said it would launch with a Kirin 980 chipset — HUAWEI’s latest flagship SoC. You can find out more details on the chipset at the previous link but it suggests the new HONOR will be a premium device.

Top 5 HONOR 10 features
honor 10 logo rear

HONOR may be launching this new handset in Europe but it’s calling the event a “global” product launch. Presumably, the phone will be available in India and China around the same time.

As a final note, HONOR actually referred to the phone’s panel as an “in-screen camera display,” which might sound like another way of saying under-display camera. Given where this technology seems to be at currently at, though, I strongly doubt HONOR is going to be first to launch this on January 22; it’s almost certainly referring to an Infinity-O-like display hole as described.