Samsung Galaxy S21 won't get an under-screen camera – but THIS Galaxy phone will

Sources say Samsung's first under-screen camera will skip the S21

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and S-Pen
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Over a number of years Samsung has been trying to reduce its bezels to nothing. The problem remains the front-facing camera which, while no longer part of the bezel, now sits awkwardly within the screen itself. 

And while the company has always avoided an iPhone-style notch or weighty pop-up camera mechanisms, the pin-hole cutout isn’t exactly a perfect solution either, proving a touch distracting for those that like to enjoy small-screen video.

But it seems that Samsung is now ready to make the selfie camera invisible. According to Korea IT News, the company is set to roll out technology that pushes the camera underneath the screen, meaning it will still function as normal, but won’t be visible to the user. 

Unfortunately, this fancy new technology isn’t coming to Samsung’s next Galaxy S flagship. While leaks point to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra getting significant upgrades, including two telephoto lenses and S Pen support, renders show the pin-hole camera still squarely in place. Instead, Korea IT News says, the under-the-screen camera will debut on the big screen of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, which it says is set to emerge in the third quarter of 2021.

The move to under-screen cameras presents an even bigger challenge than building fingerprint scanners into display panels. The difficulty is letting enough light on to the imaging sensor for pictures to be of a decent quality, without making the area around the lens look visibly different to the rest of the screen. If the camera area is a slightly different shade, for example, it’s barely an improvement on the pin-hole camera.

But Samsung will be keenly aware of this, and you can’t imagine the company would release the new hardware unless it was a visual improvement on what it has now. And by debuting the tech with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the company can charge a premium for the new look, too. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 currently sells for $1,999, and while the next model could come in slightly cheaper as flexible display prices come down, it would be a surprise if it weren’t still a whole lot more expensive than the S21.

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