The notch, born out of a need to make today's narrow bordered smartphones a reality, has been a controversial design element. In order to do away with the notch, smartphone manufacturers have been experimenting with creative solutions like dual screens, mechanical sliders, and pop-up selfie cameras. Now, Oppo and Xiaomi have showcased working smartphone prototypes with an under-display selfie camera - a solution which will allow for notch-less smartphones without the need of mechanical parts.
Earlier today, Oppo VP Brian Shen took to Weibo to share a short video showcasing a notch-less smartphone with the front camera optics embedded underneath the display. The company shared the same video via its official Twitter account as well. Soon after, Xiaomi teased its own implementation of an under-display selfie camera. The company's president Lin Bin posted a video to Weibo (re-posted to Twitter later) showcasing a Xiaomi Mi 9 prototype with the front optics integrated beneath the display. It is not known at the moment when this technology will be ready for mainstream use.
For those seeking the perfect, notchless smartphone screen experience – prepare to be amazed. 📲— OPPO (@oppo) June 3, 2019
You are taking a very first look at our under-display selfie camera technology. RT! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/FrqB6RiJaY
According to a report by The Phone Talk, Xiaomi recently filed a patent which involves the use of two alternately-driven display portions to allow light to pass through to the camera sensor. Samsung is also reportedly working on a method to hide the camera underneath the display and do away with a notch of any kind.
BBK Electronics, the parent company of OnePlus, Vivo, and Oppo, has led the way when it comes to facilitating near bezel-less, notch-less smartphones. Vivo introduced the world's first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor last year in the form of the Vivo X20. The Chinese company also launched the Vivo Nex (Review) in 2018, which eliminated the notch through the use of a pop-up selfie camera. In a similar vein, Oppo's Find X (Review) used a mechanical slider in order to accommodate the selfie camera.