Essential Phone 2 May Have Pop-Up Selfie Camera


May 13, 2013
Androidcenteral is reporting that the Essential Phone 2 may come with a front facing camera that can pop out from the top of the frame, then get stored when not in use. The news comes after a tweet from Essential's Andy Rubin showed a patent for the design from May of 2016. The reason for this design is to allow for more screen coverage on the phone, without restoring to a notch like the first Essential Phone, or the iPhone X has.

Maybe I'm getting old, but wouldn't you still need a space for the handset speaker, or is using a phone for making phone calls too "last year?" While I think this is a fine idea, as I don't think I've ever used the front facing camera on any phone I've owned, I'm more surprised that there is going to be an Essential Phone 2, based on how well the first one did.

Similar to the Vivo Apex, this patent shows a smartphone with a front-facing camera that can pop out from the top of the frame and then go back down into hiding when it's not in use. In addition to looking cool, this also allows for virtually no bezels without sacrificing parts of your precious screen.
I like my essential phone just fine. The notch is only an issue on a select few apps that don't understand how to use that space or to just form a traditional black bar over that portion. Definitely not wise to have any moving parts in a phone. Also the essential phone puts the speaker somehow along the edge of the top of the screen. It's a tiny super fine grill right on the bezel.
My thought is that the water resistance rating will be zilch with a feature like that. Moving parts that will get used 0-100 times per day, depending on the user and their selfie issues, will have failures rather quickly. I'm sure that feature will add at least another $100 to the release price of the first phone. Pass
If the camera popped out AND swiveled, you'd only need one good camera AND you keep it retracted if you're worried about it taking pictures without permission. Free money for those that have the ability to make it happen.
Blah... I'll get the Pixel 3 XL or just stick with my 2 XL.
I don't understand what "problem" this feature solves.

And yes, the name "Phone" for these things we keep in our pockets is highly misleading at this point. For most people significantly less than 1% of their use is for actually making phone calls. We should come up with a new name. I mean, they are essentially pocket computers.
I liked the pop-up front cam when I saw it on the Vivo Apex concept phone that was shown off a few weeks ago.

Better a pop-up cam I only see .001% of the time, than a notch I have to look at 100% of the time.
Grandparents use the front facing camera to video chat with their grandkids regularly. Doing away with this removes the entire market segment that likes to videochat. I know my parents used this as a buying decision last month when they decided to get new iphones.

There's a reason Apple stuck the hideous notch on their phone, trying to at least make do with the little bit of left over space on the sides of it that would otherwise be dead real estate.

Not sure how this will work functionally with cases, or waterproofing (read: it won't end well). Eventually we might get to a point where they can shrink the camera small enough that it would be almost unnoticeable on the top bezel, but that's probably 10 years away. If anything, I'd just put a MUCH lower resolution tiny camera on the top bezel and call it a day.