ZTE Axon 20 5G will be the first phone with an in-screen camera, and it's almost here

(Image credit: Future)

From folding phones to LiDAR scanners, smartphone makers are aiming to stand out by offering new and ever more futuristic features, and it looks like ZTE will be the first to a big one: it has announced that it will be unveiling the world’s first mass-produced smartphone with an under-display camera next month.

The upcoming device from ZTE will be called the ZTE Axon 20 5G and the launch is slated for September 1 in China.

That 'mass-produced' distinction above is key: we have seen concept devices from companies featuring under-display cameras, but there's yet to be one available to buy. So unless another company sneaks in very fast, ZTE's Axon 20 5G will be the first.

(Image credit: prnewswire)

Of course, you still might not easily be able to buy a phone with this feature, as it's not clear how widely the ZTE Axon 20 5G will launch - the event takes place in China, and the phone's predecessor (the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G) was only available in China, the Middle East, and Nordic countries.

Still, there should soon be other options, as Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi are also known to be working on under-display camera technology. It's yet to be seen how an under-display camera will affect the quality of images, so this may not be a feature that's worth having immediately anyway.

While ZTE hasn’t revealed any other details about the Axon 20 5G yet, it was recently spotted on TENAA (a Chinese certification agency).

The listing states that it will come with a 6.92-inch 1080 x 2460 OLED screen, a Snapdragon 765G chipset, and a quad-lens camera, including a 64MP primary one along with an 8MP (likely ultra-wide) shooter, and a pair of 2MP snappers likely for macro shots and depth sensing. Then on the front there's a 32MP camera listed.

Based on this listing, the ZTE Axon 20 5G is likely to come in three configurations - 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage respectively. The device will apparently run on Android 10 and have a 4,120mAh battery. 

So if that's all accurate then it sounds like a mid-range handset with a very high-end feature. Still, that should mean it's reasonably affordable. We'll know for sure on September 1.

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 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.