Both OPPO and Xiaomi have just demoed their under-display camera technology, on the same day Apple's WWDC 2019 starts. A well-known tipster, Ben Geskin, did say earlier this month that OPPO will release a smartphone with an under-display camera in 2019, and based on this new info, that may actually happen, even though it's still not likely, it's more likely we'll see first phones come out in 2020.
People were quite skeptical following Mr. Geskin's post, and if you take a look at the two tweets embedded below the article, you'll be able to see the under-display camera technology in action for yourself.
OPPO published its demo unit with an under-display camera via its official Twitter account. The company notes that this is the very first look at its new "under-display selfie camera technology". The provided video shows you how things work. Once you launch the camera app, and switch to the front-facing camera, part of the display will go black (presumably power down, as this is almost certainly an OLED panel), so that the under-display camera does not have any interferences.
Whoever demoed this camera tech over at OPPO, did show us where exactly the camera is located by hovering his / her finger over the sensor itself. The camera sample that the camera took was not shown, though, so it's possible this technology still has a lot to be desired, which is why we're more prone to think that first smartphone from the company with such tech will land in 2020, not this year, but we'll see.
A already mentioned in the title and the first paragraph, Xiaomi actually showed a similar demo to OPPO, though Xiaomi's demo actually allows us to see the whole demo device. Xiaomi's video was published by Alvin Tse, Head of Pocophone Global, who is also a Global Former China Lead.
Xiaomi's demo device is shown next to the Xiaomi Mi 9, for comparison's sake. In his tweet, Mr. Tse also notes that this is an under-display camera technology that we're looking at here. In this video, a part of the display also goes dark when you switch to the front-facing camera.
Unlike OPPO, Xiaomi actually showed off the camera sample, on the phone's display, at least, and truth be said, it looks quite decent. We can't really expect front-facing camera samples from such cameras to be great straight away, but many people don't really care that much about front-facing cameras, so as long as images are decent, that's probably enough, at least for the first-gen product.
Neither of the companies noted when we can expect this technology to become a reality, but based on what we've seen here, we may see the very first phone with such tech in 2019 or 2020. If Mr. Geskin is to be believed, at least OPPO will release one such device by the end of the year, though Xiaomi seems to be close to doing so as well.
Under-display cameras will probably replace display notches, holes, pop-up camera, and flip up cameras in the future. This would actually allow OEMs to come closer to a fully bezel-less device, without opting for including moving parts in a device or anything of the sort.
UPDATE: Xiaomi shared some insight into this technology via its Senior Vice President. Four images have been added below the article, and on each of them you will find some more information about how will Xiaomi's under-display camera tech function.
For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed. 📲
You are taking a very first look at our under-display selfie camera technology. RT! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/FrqB6RiJaYAdvertisement
— OPPO (@oppo) June 3, 2019
— Alvin Tse (@atytse) June 3, 2019