Oppo Isn’t Giving Up on Under-Display Selfie Cameras

A demonstration of Oppo's newest under display camera tech.

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.

Oppo's new under display camera on a phone, plus a photo shot with the camera.

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.

Source: Oppo via The Verge, Weibo

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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