The race to attain bezelless displays has been taken up a higher notch (pun intended). We have seen trends evolve from the forehead notch that was pioneered by the iPhone X to the waterdrop notch that we’ve seen rocked by various midrange phones and a number of flagships and recently, the punch hole trend that honestly looks better than everything else we’ve seen.
Now, Xiaomi and OPPO have independently shown off under the display selfie cameras that are set to be game changers.
OPPO was first to take to Twitter to show off their latest technology. The company teased that they had a solution for those seeking a perfect, notchless smartphone with their new under the display camera. From the short video posted, the display stretches all the way to the top uninterrupted but once the front camera is opened, there’s an S10-style ring animation that denotes where the camera is and black bars can be seen creating a virtual bezel.
For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed. ?
You are taking a very first look at our under-display selfie camera technology. RT! ? pic.twitter.com/FrqB6RiJaY
— OPPO (@oppo) June 3, 2019
A few minutes after OPPO showed off this technology, Xiaomi stepped in to steal the show with their own under the display camera. Xiaomi claims that their camera uses an “independent intellectual property”, possibly hinting that they are not using the same technology as OPPO. Despite this, Xiaomi’s technology seems to work very similarly to what OPPO showed off:
Check this out from our R&D team! @Xiaomi continues to innovate and we have some exciting tech up our sleeves. RT if you love under display camera! #xiaomi pic.twitter.com/4Rlzt9uRAd
— Alvin Tse (@atytse) June 3, 2019
How it works
Fortunately for us, Xiaomi has briefly explained how the tech works. As you can see from the videos posted, both have black bars mimicking a bezel, these bars are not there just for show but are actually meant to create a transparent layer to allow light to reach the camera lens below.
According to Xiaomi, that particular area of the display has “low reflection and high permeability”. This means that the top area of the screen is not only a display but also a lens for the camera. The two manufacturers have both used AMOLED displays to achieve this, which could limit the technology from reaching budget phones any time soon but we should be expecting it on flagship phones later this year.
Neither OPPO nor Xiaomi actually mentioned when they will launch phones with this tech, OPPO’s demo phone remains unknown but at least we know that Xiaomi used a Mi9 to show off the tech. One thing’s for sure though, the next Xiaomi flagship, as well as the OnePlus 7T Pro, will definitely feature an under the display selfie camera.