Huawei
Huawei Honor View20 lunch in Hong Kong/Huawei

Two popular names in smartphone manufacturing have unveiled handsets featuring a “hole-punch” selfie camera.

The screens of the Samsung A8s and Huawei Honor View20 both feature a small circular space for the component.

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The design is intended to be less obtrusive than a “notch” – as popularised by Apple and later by many Android smartphone manufacturers.

Both Samsung and Huawei claimed to be first to launch the notchless camera design.

The Chinese company may have slightly edged out its rival by unveiling its device at an event in Hong Kong a few hours before Samsung’s launch.

But the South Korean company had previously hinted at the screen-engineering feat by showing off a line drawing of the feature in November.

Neither handset features the kind of facial identification sensors that spurred Apple to introduce a notch in the first place.

Samsung was the world’s most successful smartphone brand in the July-to-September quarter, when it shipped 72.2 million units, according to research company IDC.

Huawei came second, according to the same report, with 52 million devices shipped over the same period.

But both companies face challenges.

Samsung has lost substantial market share in the mid- and lower-tiers to Chinese rivals over the past year, while Huawei faces claims it broke US sanctions on Iran and poses a wider security threat to the West.