Oppo has a history of introducing innovative photography tools through its devices. And the most recent to to join that line-up, is an under-screen camera (USC), to support the ever crazy demand for full screen displays. The company finally revealed the camera at Asia’s largest mobile industry event, the MWC Shanghai.
Oppo VP Brian Shen, earlier this month, had released a small teaser video of a notch-free smartphone camera and demonstrated its under-screen camera. Later the same was confirmed through Oppo’s official Twitter post. And soon after that, Xiaomi too showed off its own USC technology included in its Mi 9 smartphone.
Oppo said that early research of the USC technology kicked off in 2017 and it officially began developing it in May 2018.
— OPPO (@oppo) June 26, 2019
The smartphone required a customized display panel for which it employed a highly-transparent material for improved light transmittance. The area right above the camera is more pixelated than the rest of the display. This is due to the redesigned pixel structure in the display, which is needed in order for the under screen camera to take visiblly sound photographs.
The USC uses a customized camera module which offers a larger sensor, a wider aperture, and bigger pixels. These modifications do affect the camera resolution. To deal with this problem there are algorithms working behind the scene. Some of these are tweaked HDR, haze removal, and white balance algorithms. The company has ensured that the USC delivers same outcomes like its standard selfie cameras.
The company also said, that there are a few hurdles like glare, diffraction, color cast, haze, and dark background noise to overcome when placing a camera under the screen. Unlike normal cameras, where the light needs to enter only the camera lens, the USC aims to capture as much light as possible to produce better results. This is a reason why the camera module has a wider aperture.
Despite all this, the touch screen above the camera works just fine. Surprisingly, it also supports face unlock, portrait mode, a smart beauty mode, filters, and other popular Oppo selfie features.
As of now, the company hasn’t given any official date when the USC technology will be available in its devices. The company is still working on refining the pixelated screen as well as improving the customized camera module.