The most unique (and controversial) thing about the OnePlus 8 Pro 5G is temporarily disabled

The most unique (and controversial) thing about the OnePlus 8 Pro 5G is temporarily disabled
UPDATE: As promised, an unusually hefty software update is rolling out to the OnePlus 8 Pro 5G with a single important change in tow. Namely, OxygenOS 10.5.9 "temporarily removes" the controversial photochrome filter, essentially rendering the handset's fourth rear-facing camera unusable, until its functionality can be adjusted to quell everyone's privacy concerns.


The changelog confirms the imaging sensor will be enabled again relatively soon. Specifically, sometime "around June", although the "exact time is subject to the latest official announcement." Interestingly, the software update appears to be making its way over-the-air around the world as we speak, despite initial speculation of a China-only HydrogenOS release. 

Of course, you can always choose not to apply the OS tweak if you find the "X-ray" feature cool rather than creepy. Our original story follows below.

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Between a gorgeous 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a blazing fast Snapdragon 865 processor coupled with up to 12 gigs of memory, solid battery life, and exceptional camera performance, there's certainly a lot to love about the 5G-enabled OnePlus 8 Pro that's also expensive but not quite prohibitively priced.

At first glance, of course, there were a few things that failed to impress too, starting with a decidedly gimmicky 5MP "color filter" camera completing a quad rear-facing shooter system that also includes an excellent 48MP primary imaging sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 48MP ultra-wide-angle snapper.

After a little investigating, however, some early adopters and eagle-eyed reviewers discovered the seemingly harmless and fairly rudimentary fourth camera on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro 5G could do something no other high-end smartphone is currently capable of. Labeled by many as a secret "X-ray" feature, the unusual capability is not as exciting or as incredibly advanced as that description would suggest, simply allowing the state-of-the-art handset to see through (certain kinds of) plastic and fabric.


Still, that was more than enough to send many hardcore OnePlus fans into a frenzy... while raising some serious concerns for many others. To its credit, the company didn't take long to address those concerns, although some people might not be happy with the "solution" found and detailed on Weibo.

Basically, the "Autumn Concept" filter camera (blame that on the machine translation) will be disabled with a software update set to be delivered "within one week" to allow the company to "eliminate" its impact on "user privacy under possible extreme circumstances." 

In other words, OnePlus will try to find a way to retain the general X-ray functionality of the camera while blocking it from penetrating clothing items, which yielded the aforementioned privacy concerns for pretty obvious (and icky) reasons.

That sounds like the perfect compromise between (gimmicky) technology and user privacy, but until the company manages to tweak the feature, your OnePlus 8 Pro 5G will essentially go from rocking four rear-facing cameras to settling for three functional imaging sensors, which might (rightfully) irritate some people. Then again, see-through capabilities aside, the color filter camera really can't do much, changing the colors in your pics to turn "ordinary scenes into surreal landscapes", which unsurprisingly looks far less dramatic than it sounds.

Related phones

8 Pro
  • Display 6.8 inches
    3168 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 48 MP (Quad camera)
    16 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 4510 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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