The latest in the endless rumour train on the upcoming Galaxy S10 is the news that the selfie camera – which we're expecting to be underneath a hole in the screen – may actually have a secondary, tiny display over the top to prevent interruption.
Here's one of Samsung's other punch-hole phones (or as we prefer to call them, doughnut phones, 'cause they've got a hole), the A8. As you can see, the image on the screen stops where the camera is (although they've tried to disguise it by making the image darker in that corner):
If a Samsung patent spotted by LetsGoDigital is anything to go by, Samsung has an ingenious plan up its sleeve to fix this problem.
The patent discusses a "full screen smartphone with second display area," and specifically details a tiny transparent second screen to go over the top of the camera.
That means you'll be able to take photos through the screen, but it can also display images over the top of the camera lens.
LetsGoDigital mocked up some ideas for how it could be used – a shutter when you take a selfie, a heart when you're taking your pulse, and so on:
The patent also includes the possibility to show a coloured ring around the camera lens to use as an indicator. For instance, it could show when the camera's ready to shoot, or light up when the phone's on charge.
However, since the secondary display would have to have a lower resolution than the rest, it may not be able to handle moving images, so it might not be much use for filling in the lens gap when you're watching a video. For now, anyway.
Whether we'll see this brilliant new idea on the almost-launched S10 is less clear than the screen itself, but we're leaning towards no, given the timings. Still, the patent does specifically mention a pill-shaped camera cutout, which we're expecting the S10 Plus to have, so it could happen.
Main image: LetsGoDigital