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HUAWEI has a clever way of making big camera modules more useful

A new patent filing indicates that a future Mate series phone could get a touch display surrounding the rear cameras.

Published onMarch 24, 2020

HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro Macro rear camera housing

HUAWEI has filed a new design patent which shows an unspecified Mate series phone with a quad rear camera setup. What’s unusual about this patent is a new touch display surrounding the four rear cameras.

If you recall, the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro featured a circular “halo” ring around its camera setup. The new patent (h/t LetsGoDigital) shows that HUAWEI will convert this ring into a display that’ll respond to touches, clicks, and sliding gestures.

The patent was reportedly filed in mid-2019 in HUAWEI’s home country China. It was approved on March 20, 2020 and since then, has been included in the Global Design Database of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office).

The patent includes 15 product drawings, including color images of how this new round touch display would work. You can view those images below.

HUAWEI Mate Series Camera Patent
HUAWEI Mate Series Camera touch display

As per the patent, the small round rear display is capable of showing a user interface. It’ll allow users to control things like calls, notifications, volume, alarms, and clock.

Interestingly, it’ll also allow users to control zoom levels while taking a picture or recording a video. We’re not sure how well that’ll function since the display side of a phone is what you usually see when using the rear camera.

HUAWEI possibly wants users to operate this display ring with their index finger, as shown in the image above. This could make it easier to use the phone with one hand, especially while capturing zoomed in images and videos. It could also be helpful in getting notification alerts when the phone is placed upside down.

Extra considerations for this design

On the other hand, a display at the back of the phone would require extra damage protection. People usually put their phones down with the main display facing up. So in this case, the rear display could be more prone to scratches during regular usage.

In addition, such a phone will also need special covers and cases that let users operate the circular touchscreen at the back.

What to expect after my blind date with the HUAWEI P40
Mystery Box

Given the timing of the patent, it’s possible that this new rear display will appear on the Mate 40 series. We haven’t really heard much about it but traditionally, HUAWEI launches its Mate series around September/October. Leaks about the new phones should start appearing in just a few months so let’s wait and watch what HUAWEI has in store.

It’s also entirely possible that this is just a design patent for now. Companies file them all the time and it doesn’t mean they’ll result in a commercial product.

What do you think of HUAWEI’s new circular touchscreen design? Does it really sound useful or does it look like a gimmick? Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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