Skip to main content

Oppo releases photos taken with its prototype Under Screen Camera for phones

Oppo has revealed its latest Under Screen Camera (USC), which it hopes will eventually replace the notch or hole-punch cutout on a smartphone, and hide the selfie camera beneath the screen instead. The company claims its USC has the “perfect balance between screen and camera quality,” and has released two selfies taken with the camera for proof.

Oppo's prototype phone with an under display camera

It’s not the first of its type we’ve seen. Oppo has already had a go at getting the complicated tech right and showed its first version at MWC Shanghai in 2019. It didn’t go on to debut on a smartphone, but ZTE has released not one but two devices — the Axon 20 5G and the Axon 30 5G — with Under Screen Cameras, although neither has made much of an impact internationally.

What has Oppo done differently here? It uses both hardware and software to get the performance right. The camera has a 400 pixel-per-inch density, achieved here by making the pixels smaller, along with thinner wiring made from transparent materials for a more compact module. The software links each pixel circuit to a single pixel, allowing the brightness to be better controlled and for the screen to show more colors and greater detail. A host of other tweaks help the camera and screen work better than before, including HDR, auto white balance, and diffraction reduction using artificial intelligence (A.I.).

Example selfies taken with Oppo's Under Screen Camera.

The two selfies sent out by Oppo show good white balance, a natural tone, and plenty of detail. However, it’s also obvious the selfies were taken in good lighting conditions and outside, when even the most basic selfie camera should be able to take a decent photo. Performance in low light, and in more challenging lighting conditions inside, will be the real test for Oppo’s USC camera.

Wondering when Oppo will put its USC on a phone you can buy? It’s not giving any indication when this will happen, saying instead that it will continue to work on the technology, “with the end goal to bring a more immersive, full-screen USC system to users worldwide.” This suggests it doesn’t consider the tech ready for general use yet, and considering the two-year gap between its first USC and this version, we may still have some time to wait.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Oppo’s slick Find X5 Pro is a phone loaded with potential
Oppo Find X5 Pro seen from the back and held in hand.

Oppo has scored a few wins over the past year, starting with the Find X3 Pro, continuing with some impressive tech announcements, and culminating with the folding Find N smartphone. The Find X5 Pro should bring everything it has learned together, combining the excitement and fun of the Find X3 Pro and the hardware prowess of the Find N, and showcasing all its newly announced tech.

I’ve spent 24 hours with the Oppo Find X5 Pro to find out if it has succeeded.
Great looks, ruined by one thing
The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a beautiful smartphone. Just look at the way the camera module rises out of the ceramic case, ending in a shaved-flat surface housing the camera lenses. The flowing shape of the body has a natural look, yet the flat module is so obviously machined, you can almost see and hear the machines creating it when you look at the phone. Replacing the Find X3 Pro’s matte glass with ceramic gives the phone more scratch resistance, plus a warmer, grippier texture. Polishing it to such a high-gloss finish emphasizes its curves.

Read more
Camera fans, get ready for the Oppo Find X5 on February 24
oppo find x5 pro announcement date news teaser close

The next big smartphone release from Oppo is coming on February 24. The company has confirmed the Find X5 series will be revealed at 11 a.m. GMT on that day, which is 6 a.m. ET and 3 a.m. PT, so those not in the U.K. will need to be up bright and early to catch the announcement event when it streams live on YouTube.

Oppo’s early warning also officially tells us the name of its next flagship phones, the Find X5. The phones will follow the Find X3 series, released in early 2021. It seems Oppo has decided to avoid the number four, likely due to it being considered bad luck in China. Although we don’t know how many phones will make up the Find X5 series, expect a standard Find X5 to join the Find X5 Pro, and probably a Find X5 Lite.

Read more
Like OnePlus, Oppo is now a Hasselblad camera partner too
OnePlus 9 Pro front side.

Oppo has joined forces with camera experts Hasselblad in a three-year partnership deal, where the plan is to improve mobile photography together. If you’re thinking you’ve heard this before, you’re correct, because nearly a year ago OnePlus announced a very similar deal. That came just a few months before Oppo and OnePlus decided to integrate the two companies in order to share technology and resources, and the new Hasselblad partnership with Oppo is an extension of this move.

The pair will work together on research and development, mainly around refining the natural color performance of Oppo’s cameras, all through its Hasselblad for Mobile technology which can currently be seen on the OnePlus 9 Pro. Oppo says it intends to further enhance the color science of mobile photography, but does not go into detail about any other advancements, or mention any Hasselblad-led hardware changes for future smartphones. However, this is something OnePlus has suggested will eventually happen.

Read more