See the first under-display smartphone camera in action!

See the first under-display smartphone camera in action!
Over the past year, smartphone makers have been getting creative with different ways to hide front-facing cameras. As bezels slim to the point that there was simply no room for a selfie snapper, companies resorted to out-there solutions such as pop-up and swivel modules, sliding screens, and display punch-holes (to name a few). But the perfect solution would no-doubt be to just embed the camera under the display and have no moving parts or blemishes on the screen, right? Well, yes, but that's easier said than done.

Prior to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10, we theorized what a truly all-screen phone could look like, and how it could work. The idea of an under-display camera isn't exactly new—patents for various solutions have existed for over a decade now—but technological limitations have prevented all of them from appearing in consumer products. This is about to change, however, as Oppo and Xiaomi have both showcased working prototypes of an under-display selfie camera.

Without any fanfare or much explanation, Oppo posted the following video on its official Twitter account:


What you're looking at, is the first-ever under-display selfie camera in a smartphone. As you can see from the video, this Oppo prototype phone has no notch or display hole-punch, but instead has its front-facing camera positioned beneath the display. Details on how this implementation works are yet to be unveiled, but we know that its possible by using OLED technology.

Since they don't require a backlight, OLED displays can be transparent, yet still show images visible to our eyes. This is because OLED panels can emit visible light on their own, without the need for a separate light source behind them. We've already seen low-level implementations of under-display cameras with optical in-display fingerprint sensors, which are basically camera sensors, but getting an actual selfie camera in there, that takes high-resolution images of complicated scenes, is a different story entirely.

Determined not to be left behind, Xiaomi also shared a preview of its proprietary under-display camera solution. The company took to Twitter to post a short clip, showcasing an all-screen device with a hidden front-facing camera. Xiaomi's video is filmed from farther away, so it's harder to tell what's going on, but by the looks of it, it's a similar implementation to Oppo's.

There's no word on when we'll see this technology in mass-produced smartphones, but judging by the progress Oppo and Xiaomi have made, "soon" would be a relatively safe bet. We wouldn't be surprised if either company comes out with a phone with an under-display camera by the end of this year.

FEATURED VIDEO

55 Comments

1. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

And the Chinese do it again. I really don’t know how can anyone compete with China anymore ( unless you are the US where you just ban them so you don’t have to compete with them)

6. Mikele

Posts: 186; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Aww kudos to OPPO! I'm sure OPPO would be next to get ban by the forces who doesn't appreciates innovation as Huawei came with a bang on photography and slapped with unnecessary ban

17. Plutonium239

Posts: 1246; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

What an assumption on your part, they probably stole this tech ftom Samsung or some other company. That's what they do with nearly all of their technology.

18. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

"What an assumption on your part" The irony

30. Guaire

Posts: 893; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

This is most probably a Samsung display, developed by Samsung display division, yet Samsung's own smartphone division must be afraid of trying it first. Despite myth, they pay for what they are using. They are just bolder.

52. oldskool50 unregistered

You must have missed it. Samsung already has patents for an under display camera. https://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-under-display-camera-patent_id110705

35. vikk2232153

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

Ok then, why samsung has not done this by themselves till now? and if they really have "stole" as u are saying..there must have been a lawsuit slapped on them till now. Accept what is in front of you, hiding behind a wall does not save the truth.

36. eausa

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 28, 2019

Exactly. The chinese are real good at stealing tech. It's probably some half assed hodgepodge. Either way, no china phones from a communist country for me.

31. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 711; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Just because other companies don’t post videos about their under display camera solution doesn’t mean that other companies haven’t made the same progress in developing this feature yet. It is highly possible that Oppo and Xiaomi have bought their displays from Samsung as Samsung is the leading display supplier.

34. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

All smartphones are a combination of parts from different suppliers as Huawei's current predicament clearly shows. It's how they're put together in terms of hardware and software that makes the difference. So Samsung supplies the screen, so what?

46. AxelFoley unregistered

This may surprise you, but you won't find a country on Earth 1 that has banned more companies than China. Well, DPRK may be close. And since all tech and auto companies are required to turnover their IP to the Chinese government in order to reach their 1.5 billion consumers, you are right about it being hard to compete with them since they have all of your tech.

49. baldilocks

Posts: 1545; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Pretty sure it's not Chinese technology.

2. terhesg

Posts: 15; Member since: Dec 09, 2016

They are spending a fortune on research, innovations and implementation while keep prices below $800. Others just using their technology and selling the phones at $1000. Apple is doing a lot stuff like research and using new technology like Face ID, but still not a reason to sell their products on a ridiculous high range. Maybe in the US there's not much difference between an S10+ and an iPhone Xs, but in Europe the S10+ 128GB is 900-950 Euros while the Xs Max 64 GB (!!!) 1200-1250 Euros... The difference is 300 euros which is $335. Apple should stop this kind of stupid pricing or they'll face a sales drop continuously, like they have been facing with it in the last 1.5 year. Especially now, when Xiaomi, Nubia and other Chinese companies just opened to Europe and they are selling flagships with SD 855, 8GB RAM, AMOLED screen, stereo speakers for $400-500/350-450 euros...

3. AnTuTu

Posts: 1621; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Great job OPPO.

4. Cat97

Posts: 1979; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Pretty much how it should be done. Hopefully they will also get rid of the freakin' chin...looks so much easier compared to how much work has been done to hide the front camera !

5. AlienKiss

Posts: 271; Member since: May 21, 2019

So this means that I won't be able to put stickers on the silly selfie camera? NO THANKS! As someone that hates selfie cameras, this is a nightmare! I hope this doesn't spread to Samsung or Sony!

8. Be_Mine unregistered

If you are that paranoid. You can still put a sticker on the screen around where the camera is located. You can even put it all over the screen and cover everything. No one is stopping you.

9. rsiders

Posts: 2015; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Get the OnePlus 7 Pro. No stickers at all my friend.

13. QuantumRazer

Posts: 171; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

Do you seriously think the selfie camera can be enabled when the contents are being displayed right on top of the camera lens? Why are you overreacting so much?

24. cmdacos

Posts: 4330; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Samsung filed a patent last year for this and confirmed they were working on it in media reports a month ago. As for Sony, don't worry. Their monster bezels and out of date design will carry forward for years.

32. kplayon

Posts: 64; Member since: Mar 02, 2018

Someone this paranoid should not even be using a phone.

48. AlienKiss

Posts: 271; Member since: May 21, 2019

Mark Zuckerberg does it. Even the Pope has stickers on the selfie camera! I know I'm overreacting, but I'd rather not have my face on who knows what database. They'll have to catch me if they want my face :)) PS Phones are made for surveillance. You're not even using your SMARTphone in administrator mode, instead you're using it in guest mode!

53. shonasof

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 18, 2019

They're also huge public figures that draw the attention of trolls and hackers.

7. legar123

Posts: 64; Member since: Mar 26, 2019

Fake news!! Oppo stole this technology from Samsung. Only Samsung is innovative enough to come out with this revolutionary technologies!

10. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Yes, Samsung is the only innovative. See what happen with FOLD, amazing!

43. TBomb

Posts: 1668; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Just because it failed the first time doesn't mean they aren't innovative. So the Fold had an issue. Big deal. The Wright Brothers had lots of issues with their first attempts at flying. No one is being sarcastic with them.

51. Kloak

Posts: 82; Member since: May 27, 2018

But no one did it before them, better and without fails, isn't?

16. QuantumRazer

Posts: 171; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

Those displays are manufactured by Samsung so in this case it is more accurate to say that Samsung GAVE AWAY this technology to other companies by letting them use transparent OLED panels.

20. Kloak

Posts: 82; Member since: May 27, 2018

But you understand that manufacturing a product doesn't mean you invented it right? Oled screens materials have always been transparent and oled screens was not invented by Samsung.

11. pogba

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 13, 2018

legar123...Have you any proof to back up your allegations?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless