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.
For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed. ?
You are taking a very first look at our under-display selfie camera technology. RT! ? pic.twitter.com/FrqB6RiJaY
— OPPO (@oppo) June 3, 2019
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.