Smartphone manufacturers are facing a dilemma these days. Consumers want a display that covers as much of the front of the device and has bezels that are as thin as possible. On the other hand some components, for example the front camera, proximity and light sensors or the earpiece have to be placed onto the front of the device as well to work efficiently, taking away some of the available real estate from the display.

This has resulted in the much-dreaded display-"notch" as it was first popularized by the iPhone X and since then has appeared on most other high-end phones as well.

Apple iPhone XR with display notch

Samsung and Huawei are now going down a different route, however, with their new A8s and Honor View20 models, respectively. Both new smartphones feature a so-called 'hole-punch' front camera which is designed to be less obtrusive than a 'notch.'

In this design the camera is hidden behind the display which comes with a small circular hole for the lens to peek through. It's worth noting however, that unlike many current high-end models neither the A8s nor the View20 come with any face recognition features that would require additional sensors at the front. Both new devices are placed in the mid-range bracket of the market which makes them more suitable for the new design.

Samsung Galaxy A8s with "hole-punch" front camera

The View20's main camera also comes with a promising specification. The camera features the same 1/2" Sony sensor with 48MP resolution that we are also expecting to see in an upcoming Xiaomi device. The sensor's high pixel count is used for high-quality digital zooming and computational frame-stacking methods, though, so don't expect any medium-format resolution out of your smartphone any time soon.