When it comes to smartphone design, the ultimate goal of minimalists seems to lie with a slab containing no protrusions, no ports, just a constant surface with a large, fascia-filling display. ZTE has done some grunt work in bringing a few user-facing features beneath the surface and is showing off some of it at the in-person MWC in Shanghai.
The Chinese manufacturer, which the U.S. considers to be a national security threat, is demonstrating it second-generation under-display camera technology that allows users to take selfies without a big honking lens taking up room on the display.
Some of the compromises inherent with such a product have been improved upon with the immediate display area above the camera now boasting 400 pixels per inch, double the density of ZTE's first-gen design which is on the commercially-available Axon 20 Pro. That makes it a slightly less-noticeable sore spot with those extra bulbs in place. The panel also gets a refresh rate improvement from 90Hz to 120Hz.
The company hasn't posted samples from the camera, so much is left to our imagination at the moment. You can read more about how OEMs are approaching under-display cameras in our write-up here.
ZTE is also boasting about its first under-display 3D light-mapping sensor — time-of-flight sensors make features like advanced facial recognition and mobile augmented reality applications possible. The sensor is proclaimed to measure infrared, approximate near-surface temperature, and composite point clouds.