The Samsung Galaxy Note 21 could have an under-display front camera that's invisible to the naked eye, according to some early hype, but these assertions seem a lot more plausible thanks to a trademark filed by Samsung.
As spotted by GizChina, Samsung has trademarked the term 'UPC' or 'Under-Panel Camera', with the Korea Intellectual Property Office, as a new marketing term for smartphone and TV displays.
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The trademark doesn't go into detail on the UPC - the listing is for the name, not the actual tech - but it's a pretty self-explanatory title. This seems to be a trademark for cameras that sit under smartphone or TV screens.
Sure, there's no confirmation this is for the Samsung Galaxy Note 21, but when you put this news alongside the myriad other leaks and rumors suggesting that Samsung is working on an under-display front camera for a phone, it makes it seem pretty likely - though the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is also a likely candidate.
The under-display camera race
Samsung isn't the only company we've heard is working on an under-display camera, though as far as we can tell it's the only one to have trademarked a marketing name for it.
The real front-runner in this race is ZTE though, as its Axon 20 5G smartphone has an under-display front camera, and it's available to buy in some regions right now.
Perhaps by the end of 2021 we'll have seen several phones with this novel snapper placement, from a few different companies.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.