Chinese mobile makers Oppo and Xiaomi have both teased plans for phones that pack in–display selfie cameras, negating the need for a notch, hole punch or pop–up mechanism.
Oppo was the first to show off its plans, with its Vice President Brian Shen taking to Chinese social media site Weibo with a handset without a notch or dedicated selfie camera space. Shen’s demonstration shows a front–facing camera being fired up, giving a live view of a ceiling. He covers the camera with his finger to prove that it is giving a live view.
For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed. 📲— OPPO (@oppo) June 3, 2019
You are taking a very first look at our under-display selfie camera technology. RT! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/FrqB6RiJaY
Soon afterwards, Xiaomi revealed a version of its popular Mi 9 smartphone using similar tech, with a caption reading, ‘No hole, no notch, no pop up camera’.
While this development is likely to please those who are not so keen on modern smartphones’ insistence on ditching bezels for divisive alternatives, the tech is still some way from prime time.
After unveiling Oppo’s take, Shen wrote, “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. But, no new technology jumps to perfection right away."
It may be that Oppo waits until 2020 at the earliest to bring the tech to its phones. Its pop–up selfie camera has won plaudits, but because it’s mechanical there’s always the chance it may be subject to damage.
Xiaomi did not say when its in–screen camera would come to the Mi 9, either. With the tech still in its infancy, it’s best not to hold out on upgrading your phone.