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(Pocket-lint) - Huawei is thought to be working on a system that will put the front camera under the display of a forthcoming smartphones. New patents add weight to this rumour, although it's not clear what device this might appear on.

We first got a glimpse of an under-display front camera in late 2019, with companies like Oppo and Xiaomi showing off the concept tech. So far that hasn't found its way into a commercial device, but it has sparked many rumours that this is the next big thing.

Huawei was added to the list of possible enablers for this technology, with a leaker on Weibo suggesting this would be the case in May 2020. But the reveal of a couple of patents relating to this technology adds some substance to the rumours that Huawei is serious about it. 

The patents have been uncovered by LetsGoDigital and provide images of two phones. These have a completely clear display, free from bezel or notches. They have an extreme waterfall display and the two phones presented only differ when it comes to the layout of the cameras on the rear.

One could easily speculate that they show the Huawei P50 Pro and the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, based on the layout of the designs.

The important thing to note is that these are design patents only: there's no mention of the hardware, or any discussion of the cameras in the patents themselves, so there's some degree of speculation here.

Certainly, Huawei has pushed technologies hard over the past few years and has an aggressive outlook on pushing its phones forward. Rumours also suggest that Nokia is looking at under-display cameras for the Nokia 9.3 PureView scheduled to launch later in 2020. That might also mean that it's the Huawei Mate 40 Pro where we get the first glimpse of this technology: we'd expect the Mate 40 series to launch some time around September 2020. 

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Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 2 June 2020.