Oppo says its new “hidden” selfie camera is better because the notch is gone

Oppo says its new “hidden” selfie camera is better because the notch is gone
Oppo under-display 2021 prototypeOppo
  • Oppo has shown off its next-gen under-display selfie camera that is virtually invisible.
  • This new iteration will allow you to take clear selfies without any major colour distortions, which is a major improvement over the 2019 solution.
  • Oppo says it is coming to a commercial phone in the near future, but it’s not clear when exactly this will see the light of the day.

Smartphone maker Oppo has today taken the wraps off its next-generation selfie camera that is hidden under the phone’s display. The company says it doesn’t disrupt your viewing experience, since there would be no need for a notch to house the selfie camera.

While under-display cameras have been shown off as concepts, they faced issues with respect to the quality of photos taken with the selfie camera, and the readability in the area where the selfie camera is housed.

This time around, though, Oppo says it is using smaller pixels to maintain the pixel density above 400 pixels per inch (PPI) to retain the sharpness of the display. The approach, used in the first iteration, reduced the pixel density above the camera surface to allow the camera to capture selfies.
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As a result, Oppo says that users should notice “almost no visual difference between the [under-screen camera] area and the rest of the screen during everyday use, creating a much more immersive visual experience.”

To illustrate this, the company showed off an image of a prototype with an e-reader app open. The exhibit doesn’t show any noticeable difference between the text in the area above the camera, and the rest of the display. The e-reader test is also one of the more difficult scenarios in this case, since there’s text on white background, which would make any display abnormalities easily visible.

Oppo says its new “hidden” selfie camera is better because the notch is gone
Oppo's prototype with the e-reader app openOppo

To prove its point further, Oppo also showed off a selfie clicked with the under-display camera. While the selfie looks decent overall, it is worth noting that it has been clicked under good light, and even then, there are some colour artifacts visible.

This is not Oppo’s first under-display camera demo. The Chinese smartphone maker showed off its first prototype solution in 2019, and has been working on it since then. Given the decent results with the current iteration, we could see this technology being launched commercially in a smartphone this year.

However, factors like scaling up production will also be key in determining whether we see truly under-display selfie cameras in smartphones this year. Either way, it does seem like a more durable solution than the pop-up selfie cameras that we’ve seen in several smartphones in 2019 and 2020 – primarily because there are no moving parts in this case.


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