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(Pocket-lint) - The Apple iPhone X refresh for 2018 will have similar TrueDepth facial recognition on its front facing camera but with a smaller notch, claim analysts working for Barclays bank.

Based on reports and meetings they had during CES in January, analysts Andrew Gardiner, Hiral Patel, Joseph Wolf and Blayne Curtis believe this year's iPhone X upgrade, plus a possible, larger iPhone X Plus, will come with a second-generation TrueDepth camera system.

It might also be added to an all-new 6.1-inch LCD iPhone and the forthcoming 2018 version of the iPad Pro.

"Based on several data points within the 4Q17 reporting period and our supply chain meetings at CES, we remain confident that Apple is set to deploy its TrueDepth 3D sensor across the iPhone range in 2018 and to also add it to the pending iPad Pro refresh as well," they wrote in a research note published by the bank.

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"[We] expect the sensor to evolve slightly, potentially reducing in size (ie., smaller notch) and improving in specificity."

The current notch on the iPhone X has been criticised by some for its size, although several Android manufacturers are tipped to introduce handsets with their own screen cut-out design this year.

One thing we should expect in 2018 though is rear-facing TrueDepth technology. But the Barclays analysts, along with other industry experts, do not think it will be ready until at least 2019 due to complexities associated with the "greater range and field of view" and "potential safety implications for the human eye".

Writing by Rik Henderson.