Essential Phone 2 patent points to an in-screen camera

Image Credit: TechRadar

Despite being the first phone with a notch, the original Essential Phone failed to make much of a splash. But it seems a sequel could be on the way and based on a patent the Essential Phone 2 – or whatever it lands as – could be every bit as innovative as its predecessor.

Submitted to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) and spotted by LetsGoDigital, this Essential patent details a phone with a camera built into the screen, much like some handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 now have fingerprint scanners in their screens.

The result of this is a truly bezel-free look, with no notch or punch-hole and no need for a pop-up selfie camera, the latter being an approach we’re also now seeing on a few phones.

This could be the Essential Phone 2. Image credit: LetsGoDigital / WIPO

This could be the Essential Phone 2. Image credit: LetsGoDigital / WIPO

Oddly though, the patent shows a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device, which seems a weird approach when that too could surely be built into the screen. The main other notable detail is a dual-lens camera on the back, which in a world with the penta-lens Nokia 9 PureView seems rather ordinary if unsurprising.

Still, it’s worth noting that as this is just a patent there’s no guarantee that such a phone will ever be launched. Even if Essential does launch a phone with an in-screen camera, other details may differ from these images, so it may yet have a fingerprint scanner in the screen as well.

We don’t know much else about the Essential Phone 2 yet, but one rumor suggests it could be infused with AI to the point of it being able to respond to text messages and emails and even book appointments without any user interaction.

If the Essential Phone 2 does land with all these features then it could be one of the most interesting handsets of 2019, though it remains to be seen how well such things would work and whether consumers would take to them.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.