Most current Samsung phones have a punch-hole selfie camera, but an upcoming handset might have a very different design, instead sporting a selfie camera that both rotates and pops up.
That idea comes from a Samsung patent spotted by LetsGoDigital, which was published in mid-January. The patent details a triple-lens rear camera, which in normal use appears on the back of the handset as you’d expect. But when you want to take a selfie it would rise upwards so that the top lens sticks out of the phone, then it rotates to face the user.
In this way you’d be able to use one of the three rear cameras (likely the primary one) for selfies, allowing Samsung to avoid notches, cut-outs, and bezels on the front, while also potentially delivering a better selfie camera (since rear snappers tend to be more capable than the ones stuck on the front of a phone).
- These are the best Samsung phones
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 review
- See what we think of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
We’ve seen a few pop-up selfie cameras before and the occasional rotating rear camera, but it’s very rare to see the two ideas combined.
So is this really destined for a future Samsung phone? While we’d always take patents with a pinch of salt (as they simply mean a company is exploring an idea), this one is certainly possible, as Samsung actually has already launched a phone with a rotating pop-up camera that served both the front and back of the phone.
That handset was the Samsung Galaxy A80, and its camera design was rather different, with a section the width of the top edge of the phone rising and every lens rotating. Still, the core idea is similar, just this patent shows a potentially more elegant take on it.
So what Samsung phone might we see this in? Well, it’s rumored that a successor to the A80 – possibly called the Samsung Galaxy A82 – is on the way.
However, there’s no news on what kind of camera design that handset will have, so while we certainly can’t rule this rotating pop-up camera out, there’s also no indication that the Galaxy A82 will come with this. But even if not the Galaxy A82, some future Samsung phone might.
Though the ultimate goal is likely an in-screen camera, and with the ZTE Axon 20 5G already sporting one of those, we might not be far off a Samsung phone doing the same.
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
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 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.