Smartphones with notchless screens are becoming the hottest trend among smartphone companies nowadays. These mobile leaders are innovating such functionality to provide consumers the trending full-screen display. And today, Xiaomi and Oppo are introducing under-display cameras that could potentially deliver full-screen display smartphones.
When Apple released a full-screen iPhone X, people all over the world flocked to get their hands on a phone — who’s screen reaches from end to end. While Android devices had lower buttons for back and options functions, Apple had none; which enabled it to extend its screen to cover the entire surface by introducing movement-sensitive unlocking features and an on-screen fingerprint scanner. However, it wasn’t an utterly notchless design since the device compromised the part of the screen for the front camera.
“While many of these approaches are undoubtedly clever from a design standpoint, all of them can be seen as an engineering compromise – nobody truly wants a notch or pinhole cutout on their beautiful handset, but they’ll take one if they have no other choice,” Tech Radar explains.
Just last month, Oppo released its OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro that paved the way for the genuinely full-screen smartphone experience. Oppo introduced the same navigational functions from Apple that require users to swipe from left to right or vice versa. What was unique is the camera — Oppo launched a pop-up camera feature that removed the nuisance of a small black dot on the screen.
The pop-up feature worked great and held up on its own. However, the idea of a camera at-risk due to falls or other circumstances were of public concern — even though Oppo and other reviews ensured it had safety features such as automatically retracting in the slightest detection of a fall.
Today, Oppo is teasing an end-all solution to the front camera that continues to prove itself as a nuisance in the concept of an entirely full-screen smartphone.
The Chinese manufacturer has previously opted for pop-up selfie cameras in its Oppo Find X, Oppo F11 Pro, and new Oppo Reno 5G. However, it shows that a mechanical compromise is not the final solution for the completely notchless design.
In a tweet, Oppo said that “For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed.” The smartphone manufacturer teased about its latest under-display selfie camera.
In the video posted above by Oppo, we can see a working front-facing camera without a notch, teardrop, hole punch, or pop-up sliding mechanism — to leave that edge-to-edge display uninterrupted.
A white ring appears on the on-screen when the camera feature is opened. The screen seemingly showed a live view of the room’s ceiling, moments before a camera clicked to take a photo. Further, the demonstrator hovered a finger over where the camera is supposedly hidden; the actual camera is undetectable visually when using other applications.
However, Oppo did not give much detail or information regarding the device’s specification.
Engadget reports that the video was first posted to Weibo by Oppo VP Brian Shen. “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,” wrote Shen. “But, no new technology jumps to perfection right away.”
Meanwhile, Xiaomi also tweeted a video introducing its version of a notchless smartphone screen — in light of Oppo posting its 15-second teaser video.
Xiaomi sent out a tweet hours after Oppo saying, “Do you want a sneak peek at the future? Here you go…introducing you to Under-Display Camera technology!”
Along with the tweet was a 15-second video that compared its under-display camera with another model which had an on-screen teardrop for the camera.
“Xiaomi’s handset seems a lot more advanced than Oppo’s, as it’s in a working phone as opposed to just basic tech, but if anything this shows us that this kind of front-facing camera could soon be a highly competitive aspect of phones,” Tech Radar says.
Like Oppo, there are no further details regarding specs or release dates on Xiaomi’s device. However, with both Chinese smartphone manufacturers teasing into this new technology, other companies are expectedly to also be in development—under-display cameras might be the future ground of competition for smartphones.