Ever since my last Oppo X 2021 – the world’s first rollable phone video out, people keep asking where is the front camera? What about taking my beautiful selfies? Well, today we might have the answer. A couple of days ago, Cymye and I were invited by Oppo to their office to get a sneak peek of their newest Under Screen Camera technology. In this video I will answer some of the questions you might care about most: Is the under-screen camera on Oppo phone visible?
How’s the image quality? And how’s the general overall user experience? And my overall conclusions. Alright, first things first, the unit we got to demo the Under Screen Camera technology is a prototype and I have no idea when this technology will reach Oppo’s phones. You see, this prototype doesn’t even have rear cameras. So please forget about the screen specs whether it’s 2k or 120Hz refresh rate stuff like that.
We just focused on the front camera. When Oppo handed this phone to me, first I immediately changed the wallpaper to a light color one to see if I could notice the front camera. I viewed from left, right, no problem, and then bottom, ah I finally saw the selfie camera, but then my camera was out of focus, who would see a phone’s front camera from this angle? Even my camera doesn’t want to record from this angle! All jokes aside, if you view this phone from a normal angle, I mean from where you would use your phone in daily life, you would barely notice it, no matter with what wallpaper.
However, you do notice it from a couple of extreme angles . Just to compare I put Oppo’s first generation of under-screen camera phone here. You can notice a huge difference. We even tried many complicated wallpapers, it seems Oppo handles them all pretty decently. You still get an entirely consistent screen. Overall, I would say Oppo did a really good job on how to hide the selfie cameras.
If we take a closer look by using Oppo Find X3 Pro’s microscope camera we can see clearly the geometry of the pixels that’s on the front-facing camera area. Oppo adopts the technology of shrinking the size of each pixel without decreasing the number of pixels, this could ensure a much brighter and more accurate, high-quality display even in the camera area. Of course, Oppo did many other things like optimizing the transparent wiring design and AI imaging algorithms.
Here we don’t want to go too much technicality about it so now let’s jump directly into photo testing. Here are some photos we took in different scenarios. Most of them I would say are usable. They have good clarity and don't look blurry or foggy, which would be normal for such under-screen camera photos. However, I did notice the color registration seemed a bit oversaturated and not accurate.
I took some of the photos head to head with the Oppo Find X3 Pro, you can notice the difference. This I think can be fixed through software tuning, I wouldn’t worry about it since it’s currently at the prototype stage. A good thing about this front-facing camera though is when you taking videos with it, the diffraction is barely noticeable and has the closest performance to a standard selfie camera.
Anyway, I’m not a selfie guy, for obvious reasons. So what I really care about is how’s the overall user experience like page browsing, video watching, or game playing. And I think that’s where Oppo really stands out. Let’s take eBook reading for example. You wouldn’t be able to notice any unsmooth or color difference when swiping text or turning pages over the camera. Actually, you wouldn’t even know where the front camera is in this regard. That’s truly shocking.
I would say it as good as you would want it to be. To be honest, I can finally use the word “immersive” to describe my watching experience. Just to compare, I put different notch displays here, you can view the huge difference. Perfect for OCD users. As for gaming, you may wonder about the touch sensitivity on the front camera area, you don’t need to, because surely your finger is larger than the area and it will respond just like a normal panel.
Alright, that’s my hands-on of Oppo’s newest under-screen display camera. Once again, I was astonished by how far this technology Oppo has taken us too. It’s not perfect but by far is the best I’ve seen, especially the seamless and immersive video watching and e-book reading experience. I would say you would barely notice the front-facing camera if I hadn't mentioned it to you.
It’s that good. BTW, Xiaomi is about to release the Mi Mix 4 which is going to have the under-display camera as well and I just can’t wait to see what Xiaomi has to offer, and that will be a few days later.
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