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(Pocket-lint) - Huawei is tipped to be the first manufacturer to bring a phone to market with a front camera hidden under the display.

Multiple phone makers have been linked with under-display camera technology in the last year or so, including Samsung, Xiaomi and the Vivo group, but Huawei is closest to full consumer use, it is said.

Indeed, it could even appear on the Huawei Mate 40 expected for late 2020.

Gizmochina cites a Chinese tipster as posting comment that the company is likely to lead the race in getting the camera tech into users' hands.

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GizmochinaHuawei Mate 40 Could Be First With Under-display Camera image 2

The site also claims that, thanks to previous speculation, under-display camera devices are likely to start to appear in the second half of this year. Put those rumours together and it points to the Mate 40 and/or Mate 40 Pro being first.

An under-display camera is somewhat the Holy Grail for phone manufacturers, which want to produce an almost 100 per cent display phone, without the compromise of a notch or pop-up camera unit.

The lens sits underneath the glass and LED/OLED structure, which becomes transparent when an front-facing picture is about to be taken.

There are serious challenges to this (and a few reservations) as putting extra glass or any other kind of substrate in front of a lens can negatively affect its properties - image quality, focus, etc. But we'll no doubt find out soon enough if that's caveat we need to be aware of.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 26 May 2020.