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(Pocket-lint) - We're coming to the end of the year so, for mobile phone manufacturers, it's all eyes on Mobile World Congress in early 2020.

MWC traditionally plays host to several smartphone launches, not least Sony's flagship devices. The Xperia range is often bolstered greatly each February and it looks like the same will be true early next year.

A new flagship Sony Xperia handset (which some have dubbed Xperia 2) is expected at the show running from 24 February 2020, and a filed patent discovery suggests the company will break from tradition and finally ditch the camera strap at the top of the display.

Instead, Sony will go with the flow and adopt a punch-hole camera. The display will be 21:9 again, much like the one on the current Xperia 1, but it will range to the top edge, with a small front-facing cam in the centre.

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LetsGoDigitalNext Sony Xperia Flagship To Have Punch-hole Camera According To Patent Find image 3

The patent, originally filed in Japan in March and found by LetsGoDigital, is for a new graphical interface. However, the illustrations clearly show a punch-hole camera as part of the screen.

The Dutch website also created a couple of illustrative images of its own, to give an idea of how the phone will look based on the patent diagrams. It also proposes that the UI detailed in document could allow for a separate button screen, such as a menu when playing games via the PlayStation Remote app.

LetsGoDigitalNext Sony Xperia Flagship To Have Punch-hole Camera According To Patent Find image 2

This would make good use of the 21:9 display, even if the video is being played in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

We'll no doubt find out more in the coming weeks and months, but we certainly wouldn't be surprised by Sony following the pack and switching to a punch-hole camera. It's all about that screen real estate these days.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 23 December 2019.