Now that we're a little over a fortnight away from the start of the new year, it's safe to say that smartphones launched in 2018 were characterised by the display notch – the small cut-out in the top of the display of flagship phones to house the front-facing cameras, speaker grill, and a slew of crucial sensors.
However, that looks set to end in 2019. A slew of upcoming devices look set to adopt a new style of display, nicknamed the "hole-punch". This embeds the front-facing camera lens in a small, circular cut-out one of the corners of the screen to allow the display to bleed to the very edge of the smartphone.
Everything else that would typically housed in the bezel or notch is embedded behind the screen itself, or relocated to another part of the device, like the border. Samsung is widely-rumoured to be bringing this design – branded Infinity-O by the company – to its next-generation flagship, the Galaxy S10.
The latest handset to adopt this new display design is the Honor View 20 – a powerhouse new device with an “All-View” screen design, a flagship Kirin 980 processor, and a monumentally pixel-laden 48 megapixel rear-mounted camera.
The latter is powered by the Sony IMX586 CMOS sensor unveiled earlier this summer. The IMX586 is designed to boost image quality in tough, low-light conditions. To do this, Sony makes use of the 0.8 μm pixel size to combine four pixels into one to extract additional quality from gloomy conditions.
The frankly obscene number of megapixels available in the rear-mounted camera also means the Sony IMX586 sensor is capable of some serious zooming while still managing to maintain a respectable resolution.
This technique was also used on the Nokia Lumia 1020, which leveraged its 41-megapixel sensor to enable users to crop into their image without sacrificing quality.
Besides the whopping 48MP rear-mounted camera, the biggest new feature on the Honor View 20 is the so-called “All-View” display with the "hole-punch" cut-out that measures only 4.5mm across. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on the final display size for the Honor View 20 – but we expect the screen to be large comparative to the physical footprint of the handset.
Elsewhere, Honor View 20 will also bundle a new AI-baed feature called “Link Turbo” which enables simultaneous downloads over Wi-Fi and 4G connections. Samsung has previously shipped similar features on its smartphones.
Link Turbo also promises to enable intelligent switching between Wi-Fi and 4G depending on your signal strength, so you will always be using the fastest possible connection available at any given time.
Honor View 20 will be powered by the Kirin 980 – the lightning-fast chipset that powers the £699 Huawei Mate 20 – coupled with 6GB of RAM. Unfortunately, we don't know much else about the forthcoming handset.
Honor View 20 will be unveiled on December 26 for the Chinese market. However, the customer will hold an announcement on January 22, 2019 in Paris ahead of an international launch, which will see the handset become available to UK customers.
In our Honor View 10 review last year, T3 branded the smartphone a "worthy new challenger" to the flagship OnePlus handset at the time, the OnePlus 5T. With a vastly higher resolution camera than the OnePlus 6T, it will be interesting to see whether the Honor View 20 can edge out the latest OnePlus this time around.
Lead Image Credit: Honor Poster on Weibo