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  • Lawrence Ng

OPPO Unveils Second-Gen Under-Screen Camera Tech With 50% Improved Screen Lifespan

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

PPO recently announced its second-generation under-screen camera (USC) technology for smartphones, which will allow the front-facing camera tucked below the device’s display to lengthen the screen’s lifespan by up to 50%.

Credit: OPPO

By applying the "1-to-1" pixel circuit and the gadget brand’s optimisation algorithm, the USC will be able to host display compensation in the area where it will be nestled, improving the screen’s longevity as well.

In the 1-to-1 pixel setup, each pixel circuit will power only one pixel, going beyond the industry practice of driving two pixels with a 1-pixel circuit. This innovation will also give users increased control of the screen’s colour, brightness and accuracy.

Credit: OPPO

For instance, e-book enthusiasts will be able to see more precise and uniform presentations of smaller fonts. On the other hand, people viewing digital maps on their phones will see colours and intricacies that more accurately reflect roads and structures, making for an immersive experience.

As for the camera, OPPO trained imaging artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms dealing with diffraction reduction, High Dynamic Range imaging and Auto White Balance to prevent users from capturing blurry and glaring images — usual downsides of USCs.

OPPO’s AI takes in tens of thousands of images, finding ways to detect and lessen diffraction at the light source. As a result, it helps the USC produce clearer and more vivid imagery.

Expect other advancements as well, including those in pixel geometry as OPPO developed a new solution shrinking a pixel's size without reducing the number of pixels, ensuring that a 400ppi high-quality display will be reflected even in the USC area.

Placing a camera lens below a screen would usually lead to many problems such as inconsistent display quality seen in the screen area above the USC, shoddy image quality due to the screen blocking the camera as well as other product reliability and lifespan concerns.

Credit: OPPO

But with OPPO’s new USC technology, users will no longer encounter these issues if the smartphone brand chooses to roll out the innovation on its upcoming devices. In 2019, we saw OPPO unveil the world’s first USC, causing gadget enthusiasts to anticipate the under-display camera in OPPO’s new phones. Unfortunately, it never came to pass.

ZTE beat OPPO in taking the first under-display selfie camera to market by releasing the Axon 20 5G in December 2020. However, multiple tech reviewers found the Axon 20 5G’s USC underwhelming. According to them, the tucked-away camera takes mediocre-quality pictures.

It would be interesting to find out if OPPO will surpass ZTE’s achievements in the USC field, so we’ll have to wait and see if the USC will be a part of OPPO’s to-be-released phones since it’s not a guarantee that it’ll be commercially available.


Written by Sophia Lopez

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