Oppo and Xiaomi tease under-display selfie camera for the first time

Hiding externally exposed smartphone hardware underneath display has always been a herculean task for the companies. We’ve seen how long it took to hide fingerprint sensor behind the screen, and now smartphone makers have undertaken an even more daunting task. This time it’s the front-facing camera that is being hidden underneath the display. The companies have already started efforts in that direction, and today we got the first glimpse of those efforts as both Oppo and Xiaomi shared two videos of working under-display camera on their respective Twitter handles.


Oppo and Xiaomi Tweets about the under-display camera

And now, let’s have a look at Xiaomi’s tweet:

As you can see, the top part of the display housing camera lens becomes completely blank as soon as the camera app is loaded. In Oppo’s video, a circular animation also greets the host of the video, which we can assume to be playing around the camera lens. The host of the Oppo video also points his finger in front of the camera lens for a brief period to prove that the image is indeed being captured by a lens located there. Xiaomi’s video also shows the top part of the screen going blank in a similar fashion, but there’s no animation around it yet.

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In addition to both these videos, we talked about the possibility of Samsung is working on under-display camera technology. However, the first working prototypes of this technology never made it to the public until today. In fact, Xiaomi SVP Wang Xiang also provided an explanation of how technology will work in their devices. The top part of the screen becomes transparent to allow passage of light as soon as the camera app is launched, he explained. This reveals why the top part of the screen goes blank in both videos after the opening of the camera. Wang also said that this should help people in capturing better photos and videos, as more light will pass into the camera lens.

All this looks very cool in action, but whether these features will enter mass-production anytime soon or not will depend on the quality of photos that they deliver. I don’t think that any company will launch a smartphone with mediocre front-camera only for the sake of providing a cool full-screen display. So, there should perhaps be some time before these displays enter mass production. Until then, let’s enjoy those popup selfie cameras or a notch.

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