Oppo sidesteps smartphone notch with under-screen camera

Posted:
in General Discussion
On Wednesday, major Chinese phone maker Oppo revealed an alternative to the smartphone display notches popularized by the iPhone X -- what it's calling the Under-Screen Camera, or USC.

Oppo USC


The company demonstrated the technology at the Shanghai edition of Mobile World Congress, which began today. The USC requires one section of the display to be ultra-transparent, and uses a custom pixel architecture that likewise allows light to pass through. The camera itself sports a wide-aperture lens to maximize input.

Even then there can be issues like glare and color tint, but these are being corrected via software, Oppo said.

The company has yet to announced any real-world products with a USC, but the concept is likely to catch on with other smartphone makers if it doesn't prove too difficult or costly to produce.

2017's iPhone X wasn't the first device with a display notch, having been beaten to market with the concept by the likes of the Essential Phone. Apple's market status however ensured that notches would become a widespread answer to how to build edge-to-edge displays and still include a front-facing camera. Alternatives have been tried, such as pop-up cameras.

The iPhone X.
The iPhone X.


2019's iPhones are expected to retain notches, needed not just for conventional cameras but the TrueDepth sensors used for Face ID and animoji. Two OLED models are expected to upgrade to triple-lens rear cameras however, and even the iPhone XR's replacement is poised to bump from one lens to two.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 978member
    Yeah Apple has patents on this for iPhone dating back to 2017 for iPhone and 2004 for Mac. In fact they use it on macs to conceal the camera light when not in use. Since Apple’s front camera is a security feature as well as the worlds most popular camera, they will surely not release a feature that degrades either point. 

    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,020member
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    StrangeDayspscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 27
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,142member
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    edited June 26 jbdragonStrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 27
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 234member
    Oppo's approach is more of a work around than solution. Why even bother?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    It's interesting what they are doing, but need real world examples, so they really haven't beaten anyone to the market. I don't think it's a solution for FaceID and all of it's sensors. Something I'm using all the time, not just to unlock the phone but to unlock apps.

    Personally, the Notch really doesn't bother me. It's not like pictures or video is going into the notch area unless you blow them up larger. Would no notch be even better? Sure! But really, it's not a big deal to me at all. You get used to it and then it becomes a non factor.
    edited June 26 StrangeDaysroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,871member
    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.
    Carnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 27
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 742member
    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.
    Carnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 535member
    Apple is working on similar things:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/05/09/apple-could-make-iphones-truedepth-camera-cheaper-using-liquid-crystal-tech

    Just not for camera but for other sensors to reduce notch or maybe remove as is in article:

    The sensor has the ability to pick up visible and infrared light, with the key development being how it can be configured to ignore OLED-produced light, allowing it to be placed invisibly behind the display panel.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 143member
    I predict once every lens, light, sensor and emitter has been buried within the screen, there will be no more new phones.   I mean, once the Holy Grail of 100% screen coverage has been accomplished, what's left?  Everyone seems SO focused on this.  I could care less if there is a notch or punch out or dot or what-have-you.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 201member
     I would much rather have a notch and use the camera to its full potential. No matter how good the software corrections, the picture will just never be as good if the original image is corrupted by a screen. 
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    It really surprises me that several phone manufacturers have gone the notch route. It supports the fakeout that the design made possible a truly edge to edge display - except it isn’t.

    It’s great that so much of the iPhone’s face is useable real estate but I think minimal bezels that afford space for sensors/cameras/laser canons are perfectly acceptable and avoid the downsides the notch has brought to the scene.

    i wonder if the display panel is transparent (enough) when not illuminated to allow for things like the camera and true-depth sensor to work.  I’d be all for having the screen dynamically shrink when the camera needed to be active and then expand back to the edges when the camera was disengaged. Apps written today could deal with that no problem. (being savvy for size-classes and traits)

    Would also give give users a bit more peace of mind of knowing when the camera (at least front facing) is active though I think most people are satisfied with the current level of security the iPhone offers and don’t particularly worry about it.
    edited June 26 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    lojacklojack Posts: 17member
    deminsd said:
    I predict once every lens, light, sensor and emitter has been buried within the screen, there will be no more new phones.   I mean, once the Holy Grail of 100% screen coverage has been accomplished, what's left?  Everyone seems SO focused on this.  I could care less if there is a notch or punch out or dot or what-have-you.
    Obviously, you've not had Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries ® :) It won't end until the screen is the entirety of all the surfaces!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,538unconfirmed, member
    This is dumb.

    All these iKnockoffs are passive aggressively fighting Apple. They're claiming they could potentially hide a camera under the screen.... SO WHAT? If Apple only wanted to hide a camera under the screen they could have done this years ago BUT Apples notch houses not only a camera but a dot projector, flood illuminator, FaceID etc.

    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.

    The knockoffs did it without purpose. Just so consumers could think they had a real iPhone. It was cringey when one of the iKnockoff manufacturers had an Apple-style keynote and bragged about how much smaller their notch was than the real iPhone. Well no sh**, it's only a camera you're offering.

    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.

    This one is also funny because Apple haters will claim the Essential camera hole is a "notch" and Apple copied it to invent the notch/FaceID/Animoji etc. Yet when Samsung releases a camera hole it isn't a "notch" anymore. Even Sammnys ads read "notch-less" lol. A way to jumble words to fit your anti-Apple agenda.

    pscooter63StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,211member
    This is dumb.

    All these iKnockoffs are passive aggressively fighting Apple. They're claiming they could potentially hide a camera under the screen.... SO WHAT? If Apple only wanted to hide a camera under the screen they could have done this years ago BUT Apples notch houses not only a camera but a dot projector, flood illuminator, FaceID etc.

    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.

    The knockoffs did it without purpose. Just so consumers could think they had a real iPhone. It was cringey when one of the iKnockoff manufacturers had an Apple-style keynote and bragged about how much smaller their notch was than the real iPhone. Well no sh**, it's only a camera you're offering.

    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.

    This one is also funny because Apple haters will claim the Essential camera hole is a "notch" and Apple copied it to invent the notch/FaceID/Animoji etc. Yet when Samsung releases a camera hole it isn't a "notch" anymore. Even Sammnys ads read "notch-less" lol. A way to jumble words to fit your anti-Apple agenda.

    There is nothing dumb about it. Look at it as a tech preview. Oppo releases so many phones every year that it can include features and see how they perform and are received by the market. This may or may not end up in a model. Not unlike when patents are filed. You never know if anything will actually reach the market that makes use of them.

    If you have no plans to use a 3D depth sensing setup, none of the elements you mentioned are relevant.

    It isn't 'Face ID etc'. Face ID is the collective term behind the software/hardware involved, not a component in itself.

    There is nothing passive aggressive about anything. Simply competition and marketing.

    I would say 99% of Android phones absolutely didn't include notches 'without purpose'. Can you give many examples?

    The references to notch size are regarding screen to body ratios. If your goal is to minimise the visual impact of the notch, you limit what you put in it. It was Apple's decision to offer only one notch variant.


    bigtdsCarnagechemengin1
  • Reply 15 of 27
    I remember Apple saying it was working on this as far back as ten years ago, “shooting between the pixels.” So they are not behind, it’s just not ready yet to match their standards. But if and when it ever is, you know it will be amazing!
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,538unconfirmed, member
    avon b7 said:
    This is dumb.

    All these iKnockoffs are passive aggressively fighting Apple. They're claiming they could potentially hide a camera under the screen.... SO WHAT? If Apple only wanted to hide a camera under the screen they could have done this years ago BUT Apples notch houses not only a camera but a dot projector, flood illuminator, FaceID etc.

    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.

    The knockoffs did it without purpose. Just so consumers could think they had a real iPhone. It was cringey when one of the iKnockoff manufacturers had an Apple-style keynote and bragged about how much smaller their notch was than the real iPhone. Well no sh**, it's only a camera you're offering.

    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.

    This one is also funny because Apple haters will claim the Essential camera hole is a "notch" and Apple copied it to invent the notch/FaceID/Animoji etc. Yet when Samsung releases a camera hole it isn't a "notch" anymore. Even Sammnys ads read "notch-less" lol. A way to jumble words to fit your anti-Apple agenda.

    There is nothing dumb about it. Look at it as a tech preview. Oppo releases so many phones every year that it can include features and see how they perform and are received by the market. This may or may not end up in a model. Not unlike when patents are filed. You never know if anything will actually reach the market that makes use of them.

    If you have no plans to use a 3D depth sensing setup, none of the elements you mentioned are relevant.

    It isn't 'Face ID etc'. Face ID is the collective term behind the software/hardware involved, not a component in itself.

    There is nothing passive aggressive about anything. Simply competition and marketing.

    I would say 99% of Android phones absolutely didn't include notches 'without purpose'. Can you give many examples?

    The references to notch size are regarding screen to body ratios. If your goal is to minimise the visual impact of the notch, you limit what you put in it. It was Apple's decision to offer only one notch variant.



    The PR is very dumb. Like comparing a bicycle to a car.

    And YES all these knockoffs have one common enemy: Apple.

    As others have mentioned, the notches these wannabe Apples included were included for inclusions sake. Apple on the other hand had no choice but to invent a place for FaceID to sit.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,211member
    avon b7 said:
    This is dumb.

    All these iKnockoffs are passive aggressively fighting Apple. They're claiming they could potentially hide a camera under the screen.... SO WHAT? If Apple only wanted to hide a camera under the screen they could have done this years ago BUT Apples notch houses not only a camera but a dot projector, flood illuminator, FaceID etc.

    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.

    The knockoffs did it without purpose. Just so consumers could think they had a real iPhone. It was cringey when one of the iKnockoff manufacturers had an Apple-style keynote and bragged about how much smaller their notch was than the real iPhone. Well no sh**, it's only a camera you're offering.

    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.

    This one is also funny because Apple haters will claim the Essential camera hole is a "notch" and Apple copied it to invent the notch/FaceID/Animoji etc. Yet when Samsung releases a camera hole it isn't a "notch" anymore. Even Sammnys ads read "notch-less" lol. A way to jumble words to fit your anti-Apple agenda.

    There is nothing dumb about it. Look at it as a tech preview. Oppo releases so many phones every year that it can include features and see how they perform and are received by the market. This may or may not end up in a model. Not unlike when patents are filed. You never know if anything will actually reach the market that makes use of them.

    If you have no plans to use a 3D depth sensing setup, none of the elements you mentioned are relevant.

    It isn't 'Face ID etc'. Face ID is the collective term behind the software/hardware involved, not a component in itself.

    There is nothing passive aggressive about anything. Simply competition and marketing.

    I would say 99% of Android phones absolutely didn't include notches 'without purpose'. Can you give many examples?

    The references to notch size are regarding screen to body ratios. If your goal is to minimise the visual impact of the notch, you limit what you put in it. It was Apple's decision to offer only one notch variant.



    The PR is very dumb. Like comparing a bicycle to a car.

    And YES all these knockoffs have one common enemy: Apple.

    As others have mentioned, the notches these wannabe Apples included were included for inclusions sake. Apple on the other hand had no choice but to invent a place for FaceID to sit.
    Which phones specifically? I can only remember one case from a major player. You are making a claim (persistent now over more than one thread) so I am requesting some details to see if the claim holds true.

    The common enemy is the competition (be that Apple or any other Android manufacturer).
    chemengin1
  • Reply 18 of 27
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,538unconfirmed, member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    This is dumb.

    All these iKnockoffs are passive aggressively fighting Apple. They're claiming they could potentially hide a camera under the screen.... SO WHAT? If Apple only wanted to hide a camera under the screen they could have done this years ago BUT Apples notch houses not only a camera but a dot projector, flood illuminator, FaceID etc.

    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.

    The knockoffs did it without purpose. Just so consumers could think they had a real iPhone. It was cringey when one of the iKnockoff manufacturers had an Apple-style keynote and bragged about how much smaller their notch was than the real iPhone. Well no sh**, it's only a camera you're offering.

    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.

    This one is also funny because Apple haters will claim the Essential camera hole is a "notch" and Apple copied it to invent the notch/FaceID/Animoji etc. Yet when Samsung releases a camera hole it isn't a "notch" anymore. Even Sammnys ads read "notch-less" lol. A way to jumble words to fit your anti-Apple agenda.

    There is nothing dumb about it. Look at it as a tech preview. Oppo releases so many phones every year that it can include features and see how they perform and are received by the market. This may or may not end up in a model. Not unlike when patents are filed. You never know if anything will actually reach the market that makes use of them.

    If you have no plans to use a 3D depth sensing setup, none of the elements you mentioned are relevant.

    It isn't 'Face ID etc'. Face ID is the collective term behind the software/hardware involved, not a component in itself.

    There is nothing passive aggressive about anything. Simply competition and marketing.

    I would say 99% of Android phones absolutely didn't include notches 'without purpose'. Can you give many examples?

    The references to notch size are regarding screen to body ratios. If your goal is to minimise the visual impact of the notch, you limit what you put in it. It was Apple's decision to offer only one notch variant.



    The PR is very dumb. Like comparing a bicycle to a car.

    And YES all these knockoffs have one common enemy: Apple.

    As others have mentioned, the notches these wannabe Apples included were included for inclusions sake. Apple on the other hand had no choice but to invent a place for FaceID to sit.
    Which phones specifically? I can only remember one case from a major player. You are making a claim (persistent now over more than one thread) so I am requesting some details to see if the claim holds true.

    The common enemy is the competition (be that Apple or any other Android manufacturer).

    All knockoff iPhones that introduced a notch as a reactionary move without need. Some even have a huge chin that could have easily been placed above without a notch.

    You can tell yourself that android competes with android but the truth is they all are competing with Apple. This is why all their Apple-style keynotes and ads bash Apple. There's a good quote I once read about anti-Apple ads. It went something like this:
    "Android manufacturers have one thing in common: they sure aren't afraid of each other".

    edit: I'm looking around and some iKnockoffs with notch STILL have the Apple style home button on the bottom. WTF? Further proving they only added a notch to replicate iPhone.

    So surprised.... /s
    edited June 26 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    ralphieralphie Posts: 13member
    Both blows. I’ll never buy a phone that relies on a notch to solve a problem that never existed.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,211member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    This is dumb.

    All these iKnockoffs are passive aggressively fighting Apple. They're claiming they could potentially hide a camera under the screen.... SO WHAT? If Apple only wanted to hide a camera under the screen they could have done this years ago BUT Apples notch houses not only a camera but a dot projector, flood illuminator, FaceID etc.

    mjtomlin said:
    ...having been beaten to market...

    Yes, yes, because everyone was racing to get this “feature” on the market first. What’s this infatuation about winning and losing and being first? Why not just say, “Several months prior to the release of the iPhone X, the Essential Phone debuted with a notch in the screen to make room for the front facing camera”
    Yes. The notch is no feature it's just a solution to a technological shortcoming. What copycats did, however, was to copy the form of the notch to match that of Apple's instead of the Essential's; even though, they didn't have the many sensors that occupy such a large notch.

    The knockoffs did it without purpose. Just so consumers could think they had a real iPhone. It was cringey when one of the iKnockoff manufacturers had an Apple-style keynote and bragged about how much smaller their notch was than the real iPhone. Well no sh**, it's only a camera you're offering.

    mattinoz said:
    How can they have beaten anyone to market when there are no products shipping or even confirmed with the feature let alone sold?

    just another rinse and repeat vapourware press release. 
    The “beaten to the market” comments refer to the fact that the Essential Phone had a camera notch before the release of iPhone X, it’s not about the under-screen camera.

    This one is also funny because Apple haters will claim the Essential camera hole is a "notch" and Apple copied it to invent the notch/FaceID/Animoji etc. Yet when Samsung releases a camera hole it isn't a "notch" anymore. Even Sammnys ads read "notch-less" lol. A way to jumble words to fit your anti-Apple agenda.

    There is nothing dumb about it. Look at it as a tech preview. Oppo releases so many phones every year that it can include features and see how they perform and are received by the market. This may or may not end up in a model. Not unlike when patents are filed. You never know if anything will actually reach the market that makes use of them.

    If you have no plans to use a 3D depth sensing setup, none of the elements you mentioned are relevant.

    It isn't 'Face ID etc'. Face ID is the collective term behind the software/hardware involved, not a component in itself.

    There is nothing passive aggressive about anything. Simply competition and marketing.

    I would say 99% of Android phones absolutely didn't include notches 'without purpose'. Can you give many examples?

    The references to notch size are regarding screen to body ratios. If your goal is to minimise the visual impact of the notch, you limit what you put in it. It was Apple's decision to offer only one notch variant.



    The PR is very dumb. Like comparing a bicycle to a car.

    And YES all these knockoffs have one common enemy: Apple.

    As others have mentioned, the notches these wannabe Apples included were included for inclusions sake. Apple on the other hand had no choice but to invent a place for FaceID to sit.
    Which phones specifically? I can only remember one case from a major player. You are making a claim (persistent now over more than one thread) so I am requesting some details to see if the claim holds true.

    The common enemy is the competition (be that Apple or any other Android manufacturer).

    All knockoff iPhones that introduced a notch as a reactionary move without need. Some even have a huge chin that could have easily been placed above without a notch.

    You can tell yourself that android competes with android but the truth is they all are competing with Apple. This is why all their Apple-style keynotes and ads bash Apple. There's a good quote I once read about anti-Apple ads. It went something like this:
    "Android manufacturers have one thing in common: they sure aren't afraid of each other".

    edit: I'm looking around and some iKnockoffs with notch STILL have the Apple style home button on the bottom. WTF? Further proving they only added a notch to replicate iPhone.

    So surprised.... /s
    I would like you to point me in the direction of specific notch offenders. I only remember one case involving a major manufacturer (and just one model).

    You made a blanket affirmation. You should have no problem supporting it.


    chemengin1
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