In the ongoing quest to offer a truly full-front display on a smartphone, Oppo
just unveiled the first-ever selfie camera that sits underneath
the screen of a handset. The design means not having to contend with a bezel or notch, or any of the existing alternatives, such as a motorized pop-up camera or punch-hole cutout.
We have seen those latter implementations on phones like the Vivo V15
(pop-up camera) and Samsung's Galaxy S10
series (punch-hole implementation). And of course Apple
has fully embraced the notch with its iPhone X family
. Having a camera sit underneath the display, however, is the ultimate goal, or at least a giant step toward display utopia.
Teased at Mobile World Congress Shanghai this week, Oppo explains that it is using a customized camera module that sits behind a translucent panel material. This under-screen camera (USC) assembly is combined with "advanced processing algorithms to take vivid pictures without a notch or motorized camera," Oppo explains.
Those fancy algorithms include haze removal, HDR support, and white balance. According to Oppo, the quality of the photos taken with its under-display camera rivals current smartphones on the market today.
That said, there is still room for improvement. We have reached the point of picking nits when it comes to front-facing cameras and full-front displays, but in a series of photos of the phone taken by Engadget China
, the under-display camera assembly is lightly visible in some instances. It's definitely not as noticeable as a notch or punch-hole, though.
This is a solid step forward for smartphone design. As for when Oppo's USC technology will show up in shipping devices, the company says it will arrive "in the near future."