A report has uncovered alleged designs for Sony Mobile’s 2020 Android software, revealing that the next Xperia phone might have a central camera cut out. At the end of 2019, no Sony phone has ever used a notch or cut out design for the front facing cameras.

LetsGoDigital has images of a patent for Sony’s upcoming software that shows how it’ll display Sony’s Side Sense part of its software, where a drag on the edges of the display bring up a quick apps menu. We first saw this on the Xperia XZ3 and it exists today still on the Xperia 1 and Xperia 5.

But it’s the far-right image that is most interesting, clearly showing a central camera cut out in the display much like we saw this year on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 phones.

Image: LetsGoDigital

Sony’s latest Xperia 1 and Xperia 5 opted for a bezel to house the front camera, meaning their distinctive 21:9 tall displays were uninterrupted – unlike most other premium phones on the market. But this is the price to be paid for a display to reach the edges of the body of the device.

While we’be all got used to notches and cut outs, if Sony were to push forward with its 21:9 cinema aspect ratio marketing message but put a cut out in the display, it might prove a little counterproductive. But Sony is also struggling to sell phones in a global Android market dominated by Samsung, Huawei, Oppo and OnePlus.

 It’s odd that as we enter 2020 the phones with no notches and headphone jacks are budget and mid-range devices. If this patent is to be believed, Sony will follow other high-end phone makers down the rabbit hole with cut out cameras, having already removed the headphone jack from their top tier phones.

We expect Sony to unveil its next flagship phone at MWC 2020 in February.