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ZTE’s next phone could slide sideways to reveal its cameras

The Verge logo The Verge 18/3/2019 Jon Porter
screen of a cell phone © Image: Notebook Italia

Renders claiming to show an unannounced phone from ZTE called the Axon S have appeared online, showing a slider that moves horizontally to conceal its cameras. According to the images posted by Notebook Italia, the phone’s screen slides sideways to reveal both its front-facing cameras as well as its triple rear camera array.

In the last year, sliding mechanisms have emerged alongside hole-punch displays as a means to maximise a phone’s screen-to-body ratio. However, this is the first time we’ve seen the possibility of them operating sideways. While the advantages of hiding a phone’s front-facing cameras are obvious (less bezel), hiding its rear cameras benefits the phone’s design more than its functionality.

a close up of a cell phone

© Image: Notebook Italia

Notebook Italia claims that the three rear cameras will include a main 48-megapixel camera alongside a secondary 19-megapixel sensor and a third lens that will offer 5x optical zoom. The renders also suggest one of the cameras will have an adjustable aperture of f/1.7-2.4, and another will have an aperture of f/3.8. A shot of the device’s display (which is reportedly an OLED panel) suggests that the Axon S will be a 5G handset — the company’s second after the Axon 10 Pro 5G it announced last month.

There’s currently no word on what the ZTE Axon S might cost, when it could be released, or what countries we should expect it to be available in. Indeed, there’s no guarantee it exists at all; this could be little more than one of the numerous speculative phone renders that are released online every year. Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting concept and it adds to the growing diversity of mechanical solutions to the eternal bezel problem.

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