Chinese smartphone makers show off under-display selfie camera

OnePlus7 Pro

Smartphone vendors are all trying to push away the camera notch in new devices, and companies like Asus, OnePlus and Vivo have been attempting this by hiding the front-facing camera using a pop-up motor or flip-up camera. Now, it seems like the notch could finally be going away for good.

In a recent Weibo post on June 2nd, Oppo vice-president Brian Shen shared a short and simple video of what appeared to be a notch-less smartphone that has a working front facing camera. Oppo even tweeted about it shortly after along with a video.

In the Oppo video, the smartphone was lying on the desk. The presenter showed a full-screen wallpaper before opening the camera app. Despite the lack of visible camera cutout, the screen still displayed a live view of the ceiling. To ensure its authenticity, the presenter hovered over the part where the camera is hidden.

Soon enough, Xiaomi president Lin Bin also shared a video clip on Weibo demonstrating an under-display camera on a Mi 9 prototype.

The Xiaomi video featured a quick comparison between their existing Mi 9 smartphone with its notch-less prototype. The presenter took a selfie, which revealed the location of the camera operator, at the end with the notch-less prototype

This is a major breakthrough in smartphone technology. Having a non-mechanical front-facing camera means less fragile parts to worry. Consumers are still skeptical that a pop-up camera could lead to mechanical failure, despite companies like OnePlus that showcased the durability with a 12-hour video.

Both posts by Oppo and Xiaomi revealed no launch date for the devices. Shen mentioned in a follow-up post on Weibo that the technology behind the under-display camera is still in its early days of research and development.

“At this stage, it’s difficult for under-display cameras to match the same results as normal cameras, there’s bound to be some loss in optical quality,” Shen said.

Vivo, Oppo’s sister company, unveiled a notch-less concept phone at APEX2019. It is possible that both companies are working on a similar design.

Source: Weibo Via: Engadget