Xiaomi's under-display camera tech ready for prime time, first phones coming next year

Xiaomi's under-display camera tech ready for prime time, first phones coming next year
Ever since smartphone displays took over the whole front panel and front-facing cameras became notches, then holes, we’ve been looking forward towards the day manufacturers will be able to hide them under the display. And it seems at least one phone maker is ready to deliver.

Xiaomi announced that the third generation of its under-display camera technology has solved most of the issues that come from having the camera behind the display and the company is preparing for mass production. In a presentation that reached us via ThePhoneTalks, the company explains how it perfected the technology to reach image-quality results that will satisfy its users.

The main advancement is a new, in-house developed arrangement of the pixels of the display. Previous technologies would either omit pixels in front of the camera altogether or have most of the pixels dim while the camera is used, allowing for more light to get through. Both solutions made the camera noticeable. With the new arrangement, Xiaomi is using smaller pixels and light is allowed to pass through the gap between them. To compensate for the reduced size, Xiaomi has increased the pixel density.

As a result, Xiaomi says the new display will have uniform brightness and color reproduction, making the spot where the camera is completely invisible, without sacrificing image quality.

Another change coming with this third generation is a redesign of the circuit that’s driving the pixels, making it less obstructive, which allows even more light to reach the camera sensor.

With all that combined, Xiaomi states the quality of the photos made with an under-display camera is now on par with that of regular front-facing cameras.

It almost sounds too good to be true, so we’re keeping our excitement in check for now. According to Xiaomi, mass production of the new displays will start in 2021. Hopefully, the company’s first 2021 flagship will come with that tech and we’ll finally be able to test it ourselves.

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