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Essential Phone 2 could have an in-screen camera, judging by new patents

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Essential has never been afraid of innovation, as its recently-teased ultra-narrow handset shows, and one other innovation it is seemingly working on is an in-screen camera.

The company recently patented exactly that, detailing "Optical sensors disposed beneath the display of an electronic device."

The patent, spotted by LetsGoDigital, also includes images, showing a fairly conventional handset shape with the camera positioned in the top center of the screen. However, as the site notes this is a ‘utility patent’ rather than a ‘design patent’, which is to say that the patent is purely for the camera tech, while the smartphone shown is just for illustration purposes.

(Image credit: Essential / LetsGoDigital)

In other words then, although the phone shown looks nothing like Essential’s recently teased handset, it’s still possible that phone could have this camera.

Whatever handset gets it, it’s likely something will, as this isn’t even the first patent for an in-screen camera the company has applied for.

There’s still no guarantee we’ll see an Essential phone with such a system, especially as patents don’t always end up getting used in products. But with numerous companies now exploring the tech it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing phones that hide the camera under the display, and with Essential’s focus on innovation it would seem an ideal fit for this.

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.