Oppo announces ‘next-generation’ selfie camera under the screen

Oppo has announced the latest version of its under-display camera technology, claiming it can place a selfie camera under the display “without compromising the integrity of the display”. Unlike previous approaches that reduce pixel density in the portion of the screen that covers the camera to allow more light to pass through, Oppo uses smaller pixels to maintain the same 400 ppi sharpness as the rest of the OLED panel.

The result, Oppo says, is that users have “virtually no visual difference between the” [under-screen camera] area and the rest of the screen during everyday use, creating a much more immersive visual experience.” The company has shown an image of a prototype phone with an e-reader app, which would pretty much be the worst-case scenario for previous under-screen cameras due to the white background and sharp text.

As for the quality of the camera itself, here’s a sample image from Oppo:

It is only one example in good light and there seems to be some color artifacts in certain parts of the image. However, it looks significantly better than what you’d get from the first under-display camera to hit the market, namely on ZTE’s Axon 20 5G.

That said, ZTE has one on Oppo by already shipping a phone, and the latest Axon 30 must have improved the technology as well. ZTE claims the same density of 400 ppi in the camera portion of the display, plus better camera quality than the Axon 20.

Oppo has been working on under-screen cameras for a long time and is showing off the world’s first demo at MWC Shanghai in 2019, but at some point it will have to put one in a real commercial device. For now, it’s hard to say too much about the technical improvements without even seeing a prototype for ourselves.