Oppo Unveils ‘World’s First’ Under-Screen Front-Facing Camera

Chinese mobile maker Oppo today unveiled its solution to the ubiquitous smartphone display notch – the "word's first" Under-Screen Camera (USC).


The fullscreen display-enabling technology was demonstrated to the public at Shanghai's Mobile World Congress, following a teaser earlier this month.

According to Oppo, the selfie camera is embedded under a section of the display that's made of a highly transparent custom material with a special pixel structure, which enables light to pass through to the lens.

The selfie camera is also said to be larger than other front-facing cameras, featuring a wider aperture lens in front of the sensor.

The company has already admitted that putting a camera under the screen will make it harder to match the quality of an unobstructed smartphone camera.

To compensate, however, Oppo said it has developed software algorithms that address haze, glare, and color cast issues, resulting in pictures that are "on par with mainstream devices."

We won't know how accurate that claim is until the tech hits the market, and it's still not clear exactly when the under-screen camera will debut in a consumer product, but the company says it plans to launch a device featuring its USC "in the near future."



This isn't the first time Oppo has tried to innovate in the mobile camera space. The company in February introduced a 10x optical zoom camera system for smartphones, and just last month unveiled its latest flagship OnePlus 7 Pro phone, which features a bezel-free display and pop-up selfie camera.

Apple's 2019 iPhones are widely expected to include a triple rear camera system featuring wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses. The display notch, which houses Apple's TrueDepth camera and Face ID tech, will almost certainly remain.

Tag: Oppo

This article, "Oppo Unveils 'World's First' Under-Screen Front-Facing Camera" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Global Shipments of 3D Sensing Smartphones Predicted to Reach 100 Million Units This Year

Global shipments of 3D sensing smartphones are expected to reach over 100 million units in 2018, according to China-based analyst Sigmaintell, as Android phone makers gradually adopt the technology that Apple introduced to market last year.

China-based Xiaomi and Oppo have already unveiled phones featuring their own versions of the 3D scanning technology that Apple launched in the iPhone X back in September, while Apple is expected to bring Face ID to three new iPhones that are set for launch in the fall.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition

Announced in May, Xiaomi's 6.28-inch Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which combines 3D facial recognition technology and an in-display fingerprint sensor, is expected to hit stores in China on July 24, with a price tag in the region of $550.

In June, Oppo announced the Find X with a 6.42-inch AMOLED display. The 3D-sensing enabled phone is a direct competitor to the Mi 8, and features the same 8GB of RAM and Snapdragon 845 processor as its rival, with a higher price tag of around $750.

Also in June, Vivo unveiled new 3D sensing technology which it says has 10 times the accuracy of the Face ID authentication system in Apple's iPhone X.

Oppo Find X

Vivo's claim stems from its Time of Flight (TOF) system using 300,000 data points to map the user's face in three dimensions, compared to the 30,000 points of infrared light used in Apple's smartphone. The hardware is expected to feature in Vivo's new flagship model set for launch later this year, so whether the specs translate in practice to better security and accuracy remains to be seen.

As for Samsung, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 models already feature facial recognition, but it is 2D, and tests have proved that the systems could be spoofed with a photo of a face. The Korea-based firm is said to be considering adding more sophisticated 3D facial recognition to the Galaxy S9 lineup later this year.

Despite growing adoption of 3D sensing across the market, Apple will remain the primary vendor of the technology throughout 2018, with combined shipments of equivalent Android smartphones likely to reach only 12 million units, according to Sigmaintell.

(Via DigiTimes.)

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones

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Apple Facing Struggle to Convince Chinese Smartphone Users to Switch Allegiance

Apple is facing an uphill struggle in its attempts to wean Chinese smartphone users off cheaper rival devices in a saturated mobile market, according to a new Bloomberg report.

With Apple gearing up to sell its most ambitious but most expensive iPhone yet, local competitors like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are already poised to compete by launching their own less expensive feature-packed devices around Apple's September 12 "iPhone 8" launch date.

Unofficial "iPhone 8" poster spotted in Chinese store (via Slashleaks)
While it sticks to a global template that's served it well, local vendors have become adept at technology design while tailoring phones to local tastes, such as with dual SIM capability. In a show of confidence, Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi Corp. and likely Vivo -- far from front-running or avoiding the iPhone the way movie studios juggle summer tentpoles -- are tackling the U.S. company head-on by timing new products around the publicity avalanche sure to engulf Apple’s Sept. 12 launch.

"The challenge comes from Vivo, Oppo and Huawei, they can replace Apple in high-end markets priced around $500, even as Apple remains dominant in the ultra high-end $600 plus segment," said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst with industry consultancy IDC. "We don't expect big growth as China's market is now very saturated. The biggest demand for the new iPhone will come from the replacement market."
Part of the problem is that many of the features Apple will debut in its so-called "iPhone 8", such as a full-screen display and wireless charging, are already available in some form to consumers in China, albeit at a much lower price point. Adding to the difficulty is that local vendors have become more skilled at efficient smartphone design and are particularly adept at tailoring smartphones to local preferences.

On the software side, the ubiquitous WeChat app has been described as the iPhone's "toughest rival" in the country. The app offers users an entire ecosystem where they can pay for services, text, call cabs, watch videos, play mobile games, and access cloud-based "mini programs", or apps that don't need to be downloaded to a device to be used. WeChat is said to have captured nearly 35 percent of each user's monthly smartphone usage time, averaging about 1 billion monthly active users in total.

Combined, these market factors make it increasingly difficult for Apple to prise away users from rival devices and platforms, which doesn't bode well in a market which the company has historically struggled to penetrate.

To counter these obstacles, Apple has previewed new features coming in iOS 11 that specifically cater to Chinese customers, such as QR code scanning with the native camera app, a keyboard that makes Chinese characters easier to input, and a new mapping app that shows traffic camera locations.

But with supply of new iPhones expected to be tight in the upcoming months, Apple's Chinese rivals may be seeing their best chance yet to lure buyers away with features aimed at local users, such as dual SIM devices that support multiple phone numbers, high capacity memory and storage, and advanced selfie cameras.

Apple and the iPhone have taken fourth place in China, behind Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, according to market research firm Warren Captial, while in April Kantar Worldpanel's data noted that iOS dropped to its lowest share of the China smartphone market since 2014.

Canalys estimates Apple's Chinese smartphone shipments will grow by just 1.4 percent to 22.5 million units in the second half of 2017. Meanwhile, the upcoming OLED iPhone's rumored $1,000-plus price tag may end up pushing iOS fans toward local alternatives, "because even well-heeled buyers are price-sensitive", said Jia Mo, an analyst from Canalys.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: China, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo

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