Oppo unveiled a new under-display camera tech on Thursday set to make its way to the company's upcoming flagships. Yes, that'd mean a phone equipped with this camera tech can hide a selfie camera under its display. The third-gen imaging tech, which the company claims is the "best under-screen camera solution," apparently does a a better job at delivering image quality that is much closer to that of a regular front-facing camera.
Simply put, Oppo attributes this to better software and a better display. The company said it souped-up its AI, training it with "tens of thousands of images" and also used an upgraded screen (from Samsung maybe?) that keeps the 400ppi pixel density uniformed across the entire display. Earlier iterations had a lower pixel density in the area above the camera, which means users get an unwelcome patch above the camera, especially noticeable when reading or watching video.
Under-screen cameras are by no means a brand new addition to phones -- the feature has emerged as a possible answer to the long-standing problem of producing a smartphone that has a notch-free display as well as a selfie camera. But installing a camera underneath a display so that it doesn't interfere with the display is challenging endeavour since the camera has to function as normal even though its sitting beneath a bunch of pixels.
ZTE was up for the challenge, equipping 2020's Axon 20 5G with an under-screen camera, but the device struggled to capture detail in low-light situations, often outputting blurry images as if the photograph had been taken with a shaky hand. This month, Samsung equipped its Z Fold 3 with an under-screen camera, catapulting the idea of concealing a selfie camera under the display into the mainstream. But in the real world, the tech has still got its work cut out for it. CNET's Patrick Holland, who's currently conducting an ongoing review of the device, says the Z Fold 3's under-screen camera isn't going to win any photography awards.
Oppo debuted its under-screen camera tech back in 2019, but despite all R&D efforts, it has yet to put one into an actual commercial device. Till CNET gets hands-on time with it, it's hard to say whether Oppo's iteration of the under-screen tech will improve the problems of years past.