Rumours of a collaboration between Oppo and Kodak on a smart phone have been batted around for a while now. It’s not exactly a new concept, with many phone manufacturers teaming up with big camera names: Huawei and Leica, OnePlus and Hasselblad, Vivo and Zeiss to name but a few. Now it looks as though Oppo and Kodak have finally joined the camera-phone club, but is it exactly a new product or is it a rehash of an existing one?
Eliminating the notch (or the little peephole) has been the goal of smartphone companies ever since they became a thing. There’s nothing better than a nice big unhindered display that fills your device. And while there have been popup cameras and flip-up cameras, under-screen camera technology looks like it’s going to be the way.
OPPO, Xiaomi and others have shown off prototypes in the past and while they’ve been impressive proof of concepts to demonstrate the principle, they haven’t really given the results that other front cameras have. That seems to have changed now, though, as OPPO has unveiled its next-generation under-screen camera smartphone prototype.
OPPO has announced its new Find X3 Pro smartphone, and it comes with a pair of primary cameras with each featuring 50-megapixel Sony IMX 766 sensors covering both the wide and ultra-wide fields of view for “billion colour photos and videos”. The camera module also features a 60x microlens that lets you capture super close up detail.
Weighing in at 193g, the new flagship phone is IP68 rated, too, meaning it can withstand dist, dirt and stand and submersion in water up to depths of up to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. Great for shooting in the rain or even in the pool! It also has a 120Hz QHD+ HDR10+ screen capable of displaying all those colours the cameras see, too.
Avoiding the notch seems to have been the big goal of 2019. Some devices have managed to do it quite successfully, like the OnePlus 7 Pro with its popup camera, and the ASUS ZenFone 6 with a flippy up camera. But people want fewer moving parts in their cameras. So, other companies, like OPPO, have been working on cameras that sit underneath your display.
OPPO first showed off the under-glass tech earlier in the year, but it needed a lot of work. Now it seems they’ve put that work in as they’ve been showing off some prototypes recently. And judging from the practical demonstration, it looks quite good, too.
After the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Apple’s smartphone presence just grew and grew, ultimately becoming the top dog in the market. But last year, Samsung knocked Apple from their throne to become the world’s most popular smartphone brand.
This year, findings published by IHS Markit shows that Apple has now also been overtaken by Huawei and Oppo, dropping Apple down into 4th place.
We saw a teaser earlier this month from both OPPO and Xiaomi highlighting their under-screen camera technology that was coming to their next generation of smartphones. This tech allows the camera to be placed directly underneath the screen, getting rid of the notch while maximising the size of the display.
Now, it looks like OPPO has beaten Xiaomi to the punch by officially announcing the tech and showing off a working device at MWC Shanghai 2019.
Ok, so that title might’ve been a pun at the expense of Samsung, but OPPO has jumped onto the foldable phone bandwagon, a newly published patent shows. The patent was filed in October 2018, but has only now been published and includes several design sketches as well as full colour renders of what a foldable OPPO might look like.
The notch seemed like a great idea at the time. It allowed phone manufacturers to get back a little bit more screen space while still having a front camera. But then the notch became kind of annoying, and manufacturers have been doing what they can to eliminate it. ASUS turned theirs into a flip-out camera, and Oppo has already experimented with popup cameras.
OPPO has announced that they’ve gone into mass production on their new 10x zoom camera module for smartphones and will release a phone utilising it in the second quarter of 2019. It’s a three-camera system which OPPO says is “built to work in perfect harmony” and allows them to offer an equivalent focal length range of 16-160mm – hence, 10x zoom.
It seems that the Israeli smartphone camera tech company Corephotonics is being snapped up by electronics giant, Samsung, according to GSMArena. It’s a deal estimated to be worth around $150,000,000 and should see Samsung acquiring some pretty cool smartphone camera tech.
Corephotonics has been working to overcome the shortcomings of tiny sensors placed inside phones. Issues like noise levels, low light performance, zoom, and optical stabilisation. Corephotonics developed the 5x lossless zoom camera module found in the OPPO smartphone. Now they have 10x and new triple camera 25x zoom modules.