Google might be working on a Pixel phone with an under-display camera
Although the documents do not explicitly mention an under-screen camera, the accompanying images show a phone that's all screen on the front. This implies that Google is experimenting with the idea.
ZTE has already released a smartphone with an under-display front shooter and Xiaomi and OPPO have demoed their prototypes. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which will likely arrive in the second half of 2021, is also expected to feature the tech. Huawei has also confirmed that it plans to release a phone with an under-display camera in the future.
Could Google be planning to join in on the next-gen trend with the Pixel 6? Well, it's hard to say that on the basis of this patent, but it seems highly unlikely.
Under-panel cameras are prone to light transmission issues, and this could affect image quality. Screen glare could be another problem because of the difference between the pixel-per-inch (PPI) of the sensor area and the rest of the screen.
ZTE’s Axon 20 5G is a visual representation of these fears. The performance of its selfie camera is objectively inferior to conventional shooters and the camera area is also quite visible.
For what's it's worth, sketchy images that appeared recently show a Pixel smartphone devoid of any sort of cutout or notch, fueling rumors that a phone with an under-panel selfie snapper is in the works.
What can we expect from the Pixel 6?
It's too early to say that, given that Google releases its flagship phones in the second half of the year. That said, there is a minor possibility that the next flagship will be released in March 2021. Regardless, we don't know anything about Google's next smartphone at the moment, except that it might feature a proprietary chipset.