OPPO Unveils World’s First Under-Screen Camera Technology in a Smartphone, but It’s Far From Perfect


By unveiling its under screen selfie camera, OPPO has become the first smartphone brand to showcase such a technology. The Chinese OEM demoed the technology at this year’s MWC Shanghai trade show, revealing a new way to eliminate notches and pop-up cameras. However, there is still some development necessary in order to perfect the technology, but OPPO was able to take a risk and showcase it to the public.

OPPO Calls Its New Technology Is Called Under-Screen Camera (USC) and Says That a Brand New Sensor Was Required to Achieve This Feat

To get the camera under the screen, OPPO required two variables that would allow the company to achieve this feat. Firstly, the company states that the display uses a custom transparent material that works in such a manner that it is able to let light enter the camera. However, that’s not going to be sufficient as OPPO claims that a new sensor was needed to be embedded beneath the display. The sensor itself is said to be larger than other selfie cameras, and in order to take in more light to process the image better, a wide aperture lens was used.

OPPO to Debut Custom Smartphone Chipset in 2023, Will Be Based on TSMC’s 6nm Architecture Instead of Next-Gen Node

Since a small portion of light could be blocked by the display, we believe that it was the right decision from OPPO to use a lens with a wider aperture as well as a larger sensor. The space occupied by the camera will still be responsive to touches, and the display quality in terms of color reproduction, maximum brightness, accuracy, and other variables will not be compromised.

We think that now, it will be up to the manufacturer to select if they want to compromise on the display quality to cut down costs, but in doing so, the camera’s imaging quality might also be compromised. The Chinese manufacturer has admitted that putting a screen in front of a camera reduces image quality, and this hurdle was earlier spoken about by the company’s Vice President.

To minimize the effects of downgraded image quality as a result of a full display covering the camera, OPPO says that it needed to develop algorithms that tune the hardware in order to address, or at the very least, mitigate these problems. According to The Verge, OPPO says that image quality from its under display camera is “on par with mainstream devices,” but users will need to see it firsthand in order to draw up a first impression.

As for a potential launch date? OPPO states that the first crop of handsets bearing the under screen camera technology will be ready in the near future. An exact timetable wasn’t provided so your guess will be as good as ours. Regardless, even if the technology isn’t perfect, we’re happy that a company was willing to take a gamble and experiment with it, even if the first batch of devices isn’t necessarily going to be impressive when it comes to snapping vivid selfies.