Oppo has shown a concept smartphone during the MWC Shanghai in which the front camera is behind the screen. This works through the use of a relatively transparent panel, a modified camera module, algorithms and a separate pixel structure.
This front camera, which is hidden behind the screen, receives sufficient light through a number of adjustments. Engadget China was present at the presentation and writes that the screen functions normally without using the camera. The part of the smartphone screen at the top in the middle, where the front camera sensor is located, appears to be a bit grittier under some circumstances, although it would still just touch sensitive. Oppo has previously announced that a screen has been used that is largely transparent. A redesigned pixel structure is also applied. This technique is also used for optical fingerprint scanners behind the screen. After all, these are also cameras, although the image quality is unimportant.
In addition, according to Oppo, a modified camera module is required, which involves a larger sensor with larger pixels and the use of a relatively large aperture. This should lead to a relatively large amount of light falling on the sensor, but the larger pixels automatically mean a lower resolution. The company says it uses multiple algorithms so that the end result is comparable to other devices. Engadget made a quick comparison and states that there is room for improvement in terms of brightness and color fastness. Oppo would also have applied an algorithm for removing blur, hdr and a white balance for the photos compared.
The technology to place the front camera behind the screen was part of a demonstration by Oppo. It is still unclear when this will actually be applied in a commercially available smartphone. Xiaomi is also working on this technology and from this manufacturer it is also unknown when it releases a phone with an under-display selfie camera.
Oppo did something similar earlier this year. At the end of February it presented a concept for the periscopic camera for smartphones and two months later announced the first model with that technology, the Reno 10x Zoom.