Oppo claims that while the screen is on, the camera lens underneath is invisible, but Engadget Chinese managed to get some close-up shots of the prototype, and the area that covers the camera does appear to stand out from the rest of the display, under close scrutiny.
You can tell yourself whatever you need to feel better about having to stare at your smartphone’s ugly notch all day, but it’s an awkward design decision that serves as a placeholder until a more elegant solution to hiding a front facing camera (and other tech) comes along.
Apple seems to be in no rush to get rid of it, but Oppo is now showing off a smartphone prototype that manages to hide a selfie camera behind its screen.
But features like fingerprint readers, selfie cameras, and the infra-red projector that allows Apple’s Face ID to work, have demanded ugly compromises like notches or holes punched in the corner of the screen.
This will be an issue across the board, but we’ve already seen AI-assisted algorithms flawlessly remove obtrusive watermarks from photos, so it seems like a combination of clever software and hardware could make under-screen selfie cams a viable solution—eventually.
In a tweet, the company revealed that special image processing algorithms are needed to remove haze, adjust white balance, and fix other issues caused by the extra layers of glass and electronics over the camera’s lens.
When taking a selfie, the portion of the screen hiding the front-facing camera turns black to improve image quality.
The industry is making some important inroads to eliminating these eyesores, however, with under-screen fingerprint readers, and pivoting cameras that can shoot either forwards or back. (Although more moving parts means more ways for your phone to break.