Future Essential Phone could have a pop-up selfie camera

We saw a lot of exciting tech at this year's Mobile World Congress, but one phone that stole our hearts the most was Vivo's Apex concept phone. The Apex is Vivo's idea of what our phones could look like in the near future, and one of the most stunning parts of the Apex was its 90%+ screen-to-body ratio. Rather than adopting the infamous notch, Vivo achieved this by hiding the front-facing camera in the top of the phone's body.

This is one of the more original smartphone designs we've seen in quite some time, and shortly after people started raving about it, Andy Rubin revealed on Twitter that Essential filed a patent for a very similar design in May of 2016.

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.

The Essential Phone was the first smartphone to be released with a notch in its screen, and while its take on this particular design trend is one of the least offensive ones we've seen, no notch is always preferable over any sort of notch — no matter how small it is.

It's unclear when Essential will release a phone that takes advantage of this patent, but seeing as how Rubin publically touted it on Twitter, I'd say there's some chance (even if not that great) we see this come to life with the Essential Phone 2.

Essential Phone 2 — How Essential can have a much more successful Year 2

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.