Oppo shows off first under-screen front camera at MWC Shanghai

  • TECH
  • Friday, 28 Jun 2019

Oppo demonstrates their under-screen camera technology at MWC Shanghai. — AFP Relaxnews

Oppo showed off a device at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, June 26 that proves to the mobile phone industry that under-screen front cameras are no longer a technology reserved for the future. 

As smartphone displays continue to grow and manufacturers try to utilize every square millimetre of their screens, notches have become necessary obstructions required to house front cameras. 

Over the years, several companies including OnePlus, Vivo, and Samsung have experimented with phone designs that move the selfie camera from its conventional location on the display to a pop-up mechanism completely separate from the screen. Though this allows for a display to be notchless and the bezels to be slimmed down, the mechanical component is viewed as impractical. 

In response to the unpopularity of these solutions, Chinese tech firm Oppo on Wednesday unveiled a smartphone with a full-screen display whose front camera has been placed beneath the screen. 

While Oppo teased this technology earlier this month, it was only demonstrated in a crude, 20-second video. At this week’s Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, the device was demonstrated live. 

The section of the screen where the camera is located beneath has been modified to improve the transmission of light. When the display is in use without the camera enabled, this small section is a little darker than the rest of the screen, but it still offers users an unobstructed image. 

Oppo has a long history of trying to eliminate notches from their smartphones before finally arriving at this point: The Find X’s front camera is positioned on a device-wide slide-up mechanism, the Reno 10X Zoom Edition’s front camera has been placed on a component that slides up from behind the camera asymmetrically, and the F11 Pro simply features a small, lens-wide mechanism that pops up from the centre of the top edge of the phone. 

Xiaomi also published a video recently showing off their own under-screen camera, though the company did not reveal when the technology would be demonstrated live to the public. 

At the MWC, Oppo did not say when this technology would be integrated into a commercial device, but they did note that it will hit the market in the "near future". – AFP Relaxnews

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