Invisible selfie cameras paired with a notch-less display became very popular in 2018. Back then, almost every company was trying out a different variation of a hidden selfie camera, in the form of motorised popups or punch-hole displays, to make the notch-less screen a reality.
Two years later, at the end of the ominous year that was 2020, we officially have the world’s first smartphone with an under-display selfie camera. The smartphone is called the AXON 5G made by ZTE and it will set the standard for almost all the phones shortly.
Here’s everything that you need to know about the world’s first Invisible camera phone
ZTE AXON 5G: Beneath The Surface
All of us were expecting an invisible selfie camera phone, but none of us knew it would debut on a mid-range smartphone. At $450, the ZTE AXON 5G is the phone of the future at a killer price point.
I am not saying that this smartphone isn’t overpriced, it sure is, but not by a huge margin. Here are the specs of ZTE AXON 5G
|ZTE AXON 5G|
|Screen Size||6.92 inches|
|Resolution||2460 X 1080|
|Panel||90 Hz OLED|
|Battery Size||4220 mAh|
|Charging||30W Fast Charging|
With a 1080p panel and a Snapdragon 765G SoC, this phone should have a price tag of around $300 or Rs 22,071. But due to the “invisible camera tech,” you’ll end up paying $150 or Rs 11,035 more if you decide to buy this phone.
How Does The Invisible Selfie Camera Looks
At the first glance, you will not notice the front-facing camera. But tilt the phone sideways a little bit, and the pixel distortion give away the camera’s position. Beneath the surface is a waterdrop notch hidden by a group of translucent pixels.
The visibility of the camera depends upon the background or wallpaper. If you have a really bright wallpaper which activates all of the pixels, you’ll easily notice the image distortion over the front-facing camera. However, if you’re using a dark wallpaper, the invisible camera is almost invisible.
The technology is still in its first generation so any form of imperfection merely represents the room for improvement. But even at this early stage, the invisible camera looks really cool.
Nonetheless, the question remains. Is the invisible selfie camera actually any good?
The Invisible Camera Is Surprisingly OK
The first concern with an under-display camera would be of its image quality. Since the camera is placed underneath and has to cross a layer of pixels, its image quality is going to suffer. The good news is that it’s not as bad as expected.
The videos from selfie camera look a bit smudgy, and low on sharpness. However, the overall quality is manageable. Almost no one would suspect that your selfie was shot using an under-display camera.
Whenever you’ll turn on the camera, an outline will appear over the selfie camera highlighting its waterdrop notch.
The front sensor itself is not a flagship unit so I cannot pinpoint whether the under-display tech or the camera is responsible for average image quality.
Other Things To Note
The invisible selfie camera comes at an additional cost as well. Due to the sophisticated mechanism on top, there is no visible front earpiece as just like the camera it is also under the display. Because of it, the call quality of ZTE AXON 5G suffers.
According to the testers, the call feels a bit muffled. To circumvent this issue, you can use a pair of earphones with a built-in mic.
What Does The Future Hold?
As with every new technology, there are some flaws with the world’s first invisible camera. Surprisingly, they are fairly easy to live with if you want to be an early adopted of this technology.
Shortly, the invisible camera tech will become the standard for all smartphones to follow, flagship or otherwise.
Furthermore, once the invisible camera tech is perfected, manufacturers can experiment with different selfie camera positions. For example, they can place the selfie camera in the middle of the screen so it becomes easier to maintain eye contact during a video call.
Additionally, manufacturers can also use a big sensor in the front camera without affecting the aesthetics of the smartphone.
A full-screen display was the goal for several android smartphone makers. We have seen invisible camera tech from OnePlus and Xiaomi, but they were just the prototypes. The AXON 5G however, is the real deal.