OPPO unveils its under-screen camera, coming to phones 'in the near future'

What you need to know

  • OPPO demonstrated its under-screen camera tech at MWC Shanghai 2019.
  • The technology uses a custom display with a transparent area and a larger image sensor with bigger pixels and a wider aperture to capture more light.
  • There is no word on when we can expect to see the under-screen camera in one of OPPO's phones besides "in the near future."

Things have kicked off at MWC Shanghai, and as promised, OPPO was there to show off its under-screen camera technology. OPPO had already teased us a couple of times with this new breakthrough, but this is the first time it has put it on display for the public.

Not only were journalists able to get a look at the new tech, but OPPO also revealed some more of the technical details behind its under-screen camera.

It uses a custom display, which includes a transparent area over the camera with a specially designed pixel structure to allow more light to reach the camera sensor. While this provides you with a seamless display that also works with touch, the camera is still visible under the screen in certain situations.

When you're putting more obstacles in front of the camera, you need to do everything possible to get as much light as necessary to image sensor. That's OPPO has used a sensor larger than typical front-facing cameras, including bigger pixels and a wider aperture to try to absorb as much light as possible.

Even though OPPO was able to engineer a camera that works under a fully functional touchscreen, it admits there are still many challenges to overcome in regards to image quality. In order to solve these problems, the company has developed algorithms to combat issues specific to placing a camera under the screen, such as haze, glare, and color cast.

OPPO claims this helps put the camera "on par with mainstream devices," however, Engadget reports there is still "room for improvement in terms of clarity and color accuracy."

At this time, OPPO hasn't announced when this technology will make it into its phones beyond, "in the near future." However, OPPO might not want to wait too long, considering its competitor Xiaomi has demonstrated it is working on an under-screen camera as well.

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Jason England