In the world of smartphones, the notch is a very divisive subject that continues to draw admiration and ire from all quarters. Various smartphone makers have attempted to ignore the notch and outright kill it by introducing hole-punch cameras, sliding mechanisms and pop-up cameras.
But it looks like Xiaomi and Oppo are in a race to deliver a phone with an under-display camera – meaning to say the front facing selfie camera is hidden underneath the glass without sacrificing any screen real-estate.
To recap a bit, this all started when Oppo showed off a working prototype of its first smartphone with an under-display camera via its official Twitter account as shown below.
According to Engadget which broke the story, the video was posted to Weibo via Oppo’s Vice President Brian Shen who stated, “At this stage, it’s difficult for under-display cameras to match the same results as normal cameras, there’s bound to be some loss in optical quality. But, no new technology jumps to perfection right away.”
Xiaomi, not wanting Oppo to hog the limelight, announced a few hours later that it too was working on an under-display camera, demonstrating it had the capability to do so with a Xiaomi Mi 9.
It is evident in the video Xiaomi posted on its Twitter account, as shown below, that the model is in working order. In fact, if you look closely in the thumbnail of the video you can make out a tiny camera sitting underneath the glass within the phone on the left.
While details are scant on how Oppo and Xiaomi are utilising the technology on their displays, this could very well signal a dramatic shift away from notches in the future.
The bigger question is whether this is another blow to Apple? With so many Android smartphone makers running circles around them in terms of innovation, can they truly call themselves innovators in the first place?