Samsung Galaxy Note 20 could have a status indicator around its selfie camera

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The Galaxy Note 20 could make more of its punch-hole than the Note 10 Plus, above (Image credit: Future)

While there is some evidence that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will have an in-screen selfie camera, there are also reports that the tech won’t be ready in time – and if it's not then Samsung might at least make the most of having a punch-hole camera.

No less than five design patents filed with CNIPA (the China National Intellectual Property Administration) and spotted by LetsGoDigital show a selfie camera design with a status indicator around or next to it.

This indicator is a narrow strip, which in some instances encircles the whole camera lens, while in others can be seen under it or to the right of it.

(Image credit: Samsung / LetsGoDigital)

Being so narrow it can't display much information, but it could be used (for example) to show the progress of a download, or as a timer on a time-lapse recording. Think of it as a handy way to see the progress of things on your phone without interacting with the handset, or even turning the screen on.

The patents show both single and dual-lens snappers in left, central and right positions on the screen, so they don't give any real indication as to the design of the camera this system would be paired with, as all the options are shown.

As ever with patents, it's worth noting that they often don't get used in commercial products, so there's no guarantee this idea will ever see the light of day – even with five patents showing it. If it does, there's also no guarantee the system will make its debut on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20: it could land on the Samsung Galaxy S30 or any number of other phones.

But with Samsung seemingly working to remove the punch-hole camera altogether, only a limited number of future phones really have the potential to make use of this – and as Samsung's next major smartphone, the Galaxy Note 20 is a prime candidate.

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.