For some time now, Chinese smartphone companies have taken the lead from the American and European smartphone manufacturers when it comes to innovation.
Earlier this month Oppo and Xiaomi both teased under-screen selfie cameras. Taking a ahead of its competitor, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo unveiled its new under-screen camera. This full screen display-enabling technology was demonstrated to the public at Shanghai’s Mobile World Congress MWC 2019. Thus, becoming the first to demonstrate a working under-screen camera to the public this week.
The Chinese smartphone company says that its Under-Screen Camera technology is a “brand new solution” to achieve smartphones with a full-screen display. A smartphone with an under-display camera will have the selfie camera in the center half of the display at the top, though it won’t be visible to the naked eye.
Rather than use a notch cut out from the display for a camera, reducing the available screen real estate, Oppo’s new camera is found behind the display itself, allowing 100% of the front surface to be used for the screen.
Although, putting a screen in front of a camera will affect the quality of the images, however, Oppo claims with enough experience in camera software technology to be able to overcome this.
— OPPO India (@oppomobileindia) June 26, 2019
OPPO says they use three different algorithms to help remove the haze inherent in capturing images through a display. The first is white balance, to eliminate any colour pollution from what’s being displayed on the screen – although the portion of the screen where the camera resides does turn black when using the front camera.
There’s also an HDR algorithm to reduce overexposed highlights and boost the shadow detail. Finally, a Haze Removal algorithm helps to counter the reduction in contrast and sharpness by having a solid material, like a screen, on top of the lens. Hence, the quality is “on par with mainstream devices“.
The algorithms behind our USC technology showcased at #MWC19 include haze removal, HDR and white balance resulting in a bezel-less phone, yet with a selfie camera that rivals current smartphones in the market today. #MoreThanTheSeen pic.twitter.com/yTpWgIMLmA
— OPPO (@oppo) June 26, 2019
According to Oppo, its new display technology uses a custom transparent display that has been made possible due to the redesigned pixel structure. The camera sensor is also larger than what is typically seen on other phones and has a wide aperture. The area of the screen that has the camera buried below it still responds to the basic touch gestures and the quality of the display doesn’t take a hit.
To make users know the position of the camera when taking selfie pictures, Oppo claims when the camera is activated, the top portion of the display goes dark, allowing the camera to do its job.
Oppo hasn’t given an exact launch date for the smartphone with the under-screen camera display. But the company says it’ll arrive “in the near future.”
The Chinese major is known to show-off prototypes before launching the devices.
This isn’t the first time Oppo has tried to innovate in the mobile camera space. The company in February introduced Oppo Reno a 10x optical zoom camera system for smartphones, and just last month unveiled its latest flagship OnePlus 7 Pro phone, which features a bezel-free display and pop-up selfie camera.