In the quest to make a smartphone that is little more than a solid rectangle of screen, many companies have recently started copying Apple’s approach, which is to cut out a notch at the top of the phone for cameras and sensors. But some have tried more radical approaches.
First, there was the Vivo Nex smartphone, promoted heavily at this year’s World Cup, which managed to have a massive full screen by having a retractable, motorized camera that popped up like a submarine’s periscope upon command.
But now there’s an even more over-engineered solution. Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia has released a new phone, called the Nubia X (link in Chinese). It features a 6.1-inch main display that is unencumbered by a camera—in fact, the phone only has rear-facing cameras. But if you want to take a selfie, don’t worry—the phone, rather bizarrely, features a second screen embedded into the back of the device. This means you can flip the phone over, turn on the second screen, and use that to take your selfies, or hold the phone normally to take regular photos.
When you’re not using the second screen, it can either be off, or show a small graphic, like a clock. As Gizmodo points out, it seems like this phone, which will be released in China next week, won’t be available in the US anytime soon. But hopefully companies will continue to come up with ridiculous solutions to a not very big problem.