Oppo first showed off its under-screen camera technology in 2019, and to be honest, it looked like crap. But the company is now showing off a next-gen prototype of its under-display tech that seems to improve on both display and photo quality. How does it work?
In collaboration with Chinese display manufacturer BOE, Oppo found a way to fit more pixels above its under-display camera using a new pixel geometry. It claims that the display area above its selfie camera now has a 400ppi pixel density, which is in line with the average pixel density of modern phone screens.
Interestingly, Oppo replaced traditional screen wiring with a new transparent wiring material, allowing more light to reach the selfie camera. This should improve camera quality, at least in well-lit environments. An example photo provided by Oppo (shown below) shows that the under-display camera can take sharp photos with outdoor lighting, though there’s still a lot of splotchy, ghostly discolorations from light that passes through the screen.
Those who keep up with phones may be experiencing some déjà vu. That’s because ZTE just announced the Axon 30 5G, a new phone with under-display camera tech that sounds almost identical to what Oppo is showing off—400ppi and everything.
If you’re interested in under-display cameras, then there are a few things you should keep in mind right now. For one, we won’t know what this next-generation under-display camera tech really looks like until we see it in person. Oppo’s PR images look good, but they come from a controlled environment (to be fair, prototype images posted to Weibo look a lot less controlled).
The second thing to think about is … well, the lack of a real product. It’s odd to see Oppo announce this technology now, given that it’s nearly identical to the under-screen camera tech in ZTE’s new Axon 30 5G (which launched in China on August 3rd). Is Oppo gearing up to announce a new phone, or is it just trying to stay on the cutting-edge? I guess we’ll find out in the next few months.