Smartphone selfie cameras
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
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Oppo and Xiaomi have shown off their early  innovations to make the front-facing camera invisible. With ‘under-display’ smartphone selfie cameras, there’s nothing to see.

Smartphones could soon hide the front-facing selfie camera underneath the display, as tech giants race to find new ways to avoid notch and pin-hole designs to provide more screen space.

Chinese handset makers Oppo and Xiaomi have launched into an early battle over the technology, revealing a taste of the so-called “under-display” selfie camera on social media.

Oppo was first to show off its take on the invisible concept, before Xiaomi swiftly followed suit, though it is not entirely clear how either of the innovations work.

Writing on Chinese social network Weibo, Oppo vice president Brian Shen said there would be some loss of optical quality compared with normal cameras at this early stage.

“For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed,” the company wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi tweeted: “Do you want a sneak peek at the future? Here you go…”

There was no indication when the companies intend to make the invisible smartphone selfie cameras available to the public.

Smartphone manufacturers have long been exploring alternative front-facing camera ideas in a bid to increase the amount of space users have on their display.

Apple kicked off the notch trend when it launched the iPhone X 2017, leading to a spread of similar designs, before pinhole cut-outs started to appear and more recently pop-up front-facing cameras that slide out of the top of the handset.

Other attempts to increase smartphone display space include the foldable smartphone, of which Samsung and Huawei have both unveiled devices, though the former has delayed the release of its Galaxy Fold after some early reviewers reported issues with the phone’s screen.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Think you’ll find LG kicked off the notch trend (or a screen with a bit missing) with the V10 in 2015. They never sold it here (which was a mistake), and the top element of the screen was treated as a separate area so it didn’t impact watching videos, etc., unlike the notch phones – even the curved screen edges can cause some issues with what you miss out on seeing and touch control in some apps.

    All apple did was make it (a) more common to annoy people, and (b) not try to engineer a better solution.

    I don’t get it – if a screen had dead pixels people would complain, but a chunk missing is OK…..

    Meanwhile xiaomi pushed on with the MI mix range which doesn’t have such screen blemishes.

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