Ever since Apple introduced a front-facing camera on the iPhone back in 2010, selfie became a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, selfie cameras have revolutionized tremendously over the year. Pop-up camera, shark rising camera, flip camera, and now comes a camera under the screen display. ZTE, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo compete to launch the first smartphone with the under-screen camera setup. However, it is a Chinese manufacturer ZTE that leads the race.
ZTE has announced the launch of Axon 20 5G, the world’s first commercially available smartphone with an under-screen camera. According to the twitter announcement, the smartphone will be launched on September 1. The image in the tweet reveals the top half of the phone with no notch for the selfie camera. The bezels seem quite slim as well. An under-screen camera will allow the smartphone to have a completely uninterrupted full-screen display.
The smartphone is said to come with a quad rear camera setup that will include a 64-megapixel primary sensor, accompanied by an 8-megapixel sensor, and two 2-megapixel sensors. The front camera that will be hidden under the display is said to be a 32-megapixel sensor. There may be three RAM options- 6 GB, 8 GB, and 12 GB, as well as three storage options- 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. The phone is expected to carry a 6.92-inch (1,080 x 2,460 pixels) OLED display and an octa-core processor. The phone may be backed by a 4,120 mAh battery that seems a bit small for a flagship device. However, the phone’s availability and pricing are expected to be revealed on the launch date.
Vivo, another company striving for the under-screen camera was supposed to present it’s model at MWC in front of the press in Barcelona before the trade show was canceled due to the Coronavirus scare. However, Vivo has shown off its next-generation Apex 2020 concept phone virtually on February 28.
The under-screen camera phone is jam-packed to the core with technology. There is a gimbal-stabilizing 48-megapixel rear camera that promises to reduce jitter in videos and long-exposure photographs by 200% more than previous efforts. It is essentially a more capable four-axis optical image stabilization system. The company has ditched all ports and buttons for this unibody design. So, instead of a USB port, there is crazy-fast 60W wireless charging support. Although, the company has not revealed the battery capacity.
Aside from this, the Apex 2020 comes with top-of-the-line hardware, like a Snapdragon 865 processor, a 6.45-inch display with a 2330 * 1080 pixel resolution, 12 GB RAM, 256 GB internal storage.
Oppo has done its share of anti-bezel experimentation with display notches and pop-up selfie cameras, and it is the first to exhibit an under-screen camera to the public at MWC Shanghai nearly a year ago. Oppo showcased the prototype, but the technology never came to the market.
According to Brian Shen, the Vice President of Oppo, the primary reason for not rolling out the phone to the market is the image quality. Unlike regular selfie cameras, the under-screen sensors will struggle with high-resolution image quality. The senior executive stated that technology is quite complicated and it will take some time to perfect.
The phone will star a seamless, button-less design with camera bumps. It will not have any ports, as it relies on 30W fast wireless charging.
— OPPO India (@oppomobileindia) June 26, 2019
Xiaomi has also teased it’s under the screen camera last year. According to the company, it has patented a way to make the display transparent without reflecting light in any way when the screen is pitch-black and the diodes are off. The company says it can implement a proper 20 MP selfie shooter with a 5P lens under the panel, and the OLED itself also acts like a plastic layer.
The patent design of the phone reveals that the device could come with flat-screen and thin edges. The device appears to share design elements with the Xiaomi Mi 9 from last year. The patent further reveals that the phone will offer a call receiver at the top, while the selfie camera could be placed on the top left or the middle of the phone. However, since this will be an under-display solution, it will only show up when needed. At other times, this transparent area could go back to normal to bring an all-screen experience.
— Xiaomi (@Xiaomi) June 3, 2019