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Oppo’s first under-display camera demo looks decidedly first-generation

Smartphone design is slowly dumping notches, hole punches, and other blemishes that cut into the display to make room for the front camera. Devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro have reached the final form of all-screen front designs thanks to a complicated, motorized pop-up camera, but it would be nice if we could do all-screen phones without all the moving parts. A possible solution is coming in the form of an under-display camera—a camera that sits behind the pixels of your display to take a selfie through the screen.

So far we’ve seen both Oppo and Xiaomi show off prototypes of this technology in blurry social media phones, but at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Oppo showed off its prototype to the public for the first time. Engadget attended the show to see the device in person, and well, it looks like this first generation isn’t the seamless all-screen camera solution we were hoping for.

With Oppo’s prototype, you get a full screen design, but Engadget reports that the display over the camera “appears to be more pixellated” than the rest of the display. Oppo’s solution involves making the display over top of the camera transparent with a transparent anode and a “redesigned pixel structure for improved light transmittance.” This “redesigned pixel structure” is, well, less dense than the normal screen, so the image over it looks bad. In the pictures it looks like a semi-transparent notch.

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