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This might be the most exciting new smartphone design of 2020

Published Dec 30th, 2019 7:31AM EST
Huawei P40 Pro Specs
Image: Huawei

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The display is the most important component of the smartphone, and smartphone display design has reached a peak in recent years. The major players in the industry have all compromised on display designs, as all of them are waiting for a key piece of technology to mature. All those compromises concern the selfie camera, which can’t just disappear from the front side of the phone. Some went for notches of different sizes, others for sliding cameras, secondary rear-facing displays, or hole-punch selfie cams. The ideal solution is placing the front camera under the screen without losing picture quality. Until that happens, however, most smartphone makers out there will continue to release all-screen displays with some sort of camera compromise. But some of them will attempt to further increase the screen-to-body ratio of their flagship devices by reducing bezel thickness. And next year will bring us at least one significant smartphone design trend, with a 2020 handset already confirmed to deliver a brand new design.

Huawei said a few days ago the P40 Pro will have a previously unseen phone design, which leaked shortly after. The display will have four curved edges, that leak said, which would be a first for the industry. By curving the top and bottom bezels, Huawei will be able to get even closer to that perfect all-screen design we all want. The phone, however, will feature a hole-punch camera, just like the Galaxy S11 that’s also supposed to come out soon.

A leaker posted images on Twitter that show the rumored “quad curved display” of the P40 Pro, as well as the penta-lens rear camera:

The renders are based on “rumors, leaks, and CAD” files, the leaker said, without revealing too many details about these P40 Pro renders. However, he did follow up with an image that shows the purported internal layout design of the P40:

What’s clear from these renders is that the P40 phones will have extremely thin bezels, which isn’t something you see on that many Android devices. In fact, plenty of all-screen Android phones had one more annoying compromise for fans in the past few years, a bigger bottom bezel that ruined the overall symmetry of the phone.

On the other hand, while Huawei’s new design might be new, it’s not entirely original. Huawei over the years borrowed designs from its rivals, including Apple and Samsung. If real, this P40 Pro design isn’t possible without Samsung’s edge design that was introduced years ago. Similarly, Samsung was the first company to make flagship handsets with hole-punch displays — Huawei had a hole-punch design out late last year, but that wasn’t a P-series or Mate device.

That said, the P40 Pro might be the world’s first phone to feature a quad curved display and might set a new trend for all-screen phone design.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.