ZTE Axon 20 5G has an under-display camera: Buh-bye, notches and hole punches

The Chinese tech company says it used a mix of five technologies to get the camera to work.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
Axon 20 5G Purple

The ZTE Axon 20 5G.


ZTE has announced the Axon 20 5G, which it says is the world's first phone to feature an under-display camera. It means no more need for notches or hole punches -- the front-facing camera simply sits as part of the 6.9-inch FHD+ OLED display. The phone, unveiled on Tuesday, will be available for preorder soon in China.

ZTE says it used a mix of five technologies to get the camera to work, including a special material using "organic and inorganic film," which improves light input for the lens; a dual-control chip and driver circuit that synchronize color and the phone's display to prevent the camera and the display from interfering with each other; and what it calls a "special matrix" for more natural pixel transitions.

The fifth technology used to make the under-display camera work is a new shooting algorithm that ZTE created that "automatically optimizes for various scenarios under several lighting conditions and improves image contrast to produce more natural and attractive photos," ZTE said.

Read more: The best 5G phones of 2020 

Besides the camera, ZTE's Axon 20 5G comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and a "super antenna 2.0" to improve 5G connection stability and download speeds. On the rear of the phone is a 64MP camera with 4K video.

Some other specs of the Axon 20 5G: 

  • 4,220maH battery with 30W fast charge
  • 5G power-saving mode
  • Nine temperature sensors
  • Available in black, blue, orange and purple

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