Xiaomi and OPPO's 2018 Android smartphones will feature 3D sensors, DigiTimes reported on Thursday, citing sources close to the two Chinese companies. The systems set to be implemented into some of their devices are believed to have been created by Himax Technologies and Qualcomm, with the modules themselves supposedly being manufactured by Truly Opto-Electronics. The technology is understood to be planned for integration into high-end devices set to be released no earlier than mid-2018, with the modules supposedly being scheduled for flow production in early spring. This state of affairs indicates that handsets like the Xiaomi Mi 7 that are expected to be introduced early next year won't support any kind of 3D sensing solutions or will be delayed until Xiaomi and OPPO are able to secure a sufficient number of such modules.
The two original equipment manufacturers are supposedly seeking to add 3D modules to their premium devices in order to help them differentiate on the increasingly saturated Chinese market where flagships often take curious forms and boast unique capabilities, as was the case with the recently launched Meizu Pro 7 (Plus). It's presently unclear whether adopting such technologies will raise the price of Xiaomi and OPPO's upcoming offerings that have traditionally been relatively affordable, even in the high-end segment. Another feature that Xiaomi is planning to debut in at least one of its high-end devices next year is a meaningful level of elements resistance, industry sources said earlier this week, suggesting that the company may even be considering releasing its first rugged device that also boasts an IP67 or IP68 rating. Huawei is also believed to be working on mobile 3D sensors with Sunny Optical Technology but no specific product roadmaps have yet been revealed in regards to its project.
Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are also rumored to feature a front-facing 3D sensor that's believed to be functionally similar to the one found on the recently released Apple iPhone X. With the Cupertino-based tech giant embracing facial recognition this year, many OEMs are expected to follow suit, though it remains to be seen how successful their first implementations end up being.