Smartphone design has long been dominated by what companies can make something better than the rest. The increase of screen-to-body ratio or high-resolution cameras take the lead. Where to actually put those critical components on devices is another story. Is it possible to integrate them directly into the display? We’ve seen this success with fingerprint sensors, but let’s add selfie cameras to the mix.

Oppo, a Chinese tech company, has done just that. In their anti-bezel experiments, they’ve come up with with display notches and pop-up selfie cameras. At MWC Shanghai this week, they demonstrated an under-screen camera. A rendering of their innovation is below.

How It Works

The display uses a custom transparent material along with a redesigned pixel structure so that light can get through to the camera. The sensor is larger, with a wider aperture lens in front. The camera screen area works with touch control, and its display quality won’t be compromised.

We know that front-facing cameras don’t always uphold the best photo quality. They tend to draw glare and haze. However, the company said they’ve developed algorithms tuned to the hardware to address these issues. We’ll have to see for ourselves just how true their claim is when their tech becomes commercialized.

As of right now, there is no launch date for the under-screen camera phone. We’ve been given until “in the near future.” Their current Reno flagship phone offers this latest tech with its periscope zoom lens.

Lazy or innovative? You decide.

The tacky notch above our phones has always been the center for re-design debate. The race for who can design it best is still on. Oppo is trying to take that lead by hiding the selfie camera within. It could be a viable solution, but with only a working prototype, its fate rests in the palms of the consumers.