It has been months since OPPO introduced the world’s first under-screen camera but it is undeniably one of the most impressive innovations we’ve seen this year. The under-screen camera is OPPO’s solution so that smartphones can achieve a bezel-less, fullscreen display without using a pop-up camera or the unwanted notch.

However, OPPO is not done with the year yet. A few days ago, the brand revealed a prototype handset that features an impressive under-screen selfie camera, no buttons, ports, and visible speakers. The prototype is indeed the future of smartphones and it’s possibly a peek at the upcoming trend for 2020.

Since we’re currently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the OPPO APAC Conference, we were given the chance to test it out in person. Here’s our thoughts about OPPO’s newest prototype handset.


Familiar design with a twist

At first glance, the prototype doesn’t look anything new. It has an uncanny resemblance to the recently released OPPO Reno 2. Despite the similarities in looks, this prototype is way different. It has all these unique features packed together in one device which makes it different from the rest.

Under the hood, the OPPO prototype features 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and runs on Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.1.

Absence of physical buttons

OPPO’s prototype has no physical buttons. Instead, it has a slightly elevated area on the right that serves as a power button and on the left side of the phone is a capacitive, touch-sensitive section to increase or decrease the volume. A buttonless smartphone is definitely not a new thing. Other brands already have it in their smartphones, however, OPPO was able to provide an impressive fully functional button-less device.


No Ports

The prototype does not have any ports which mean, there is no need to use cords for charging, earphones and not even visible speakers. So, how does it work? Everything is wireless.

Wireless charging has been introduced a few years back. However, it hasn’t been widely used because of its relatively slower charging speed. OPPO addressed this through speeding up the wireless charging by 30W, which is probably the fastest to date.

When it comes to file transfer, OPPO, in partnership with other smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and Realme has created a combined effort for a seamless wireless experience. This allows wireless transfer of around 20Mbps — more than good enough for photos, videos, and other large files.


The under-screen selfie camera

For years now, smartphone manufacturers have faced the dilemma of where to put the front-facing camera to achieve the highest screen-to-body ratio. Some brands came up with the solution of incorporating a notch in their design to house the front camera, while brands like OPPO introduced a pop-up mechanism. Though these solutions have been functional, they are subject to limitations on the phone.

OPPO’s under-screen camera technology is a big step-up to smartphone innovation. The camera is hardly seen when using a dark wallpaper. However, when a brighter wallpaper is used, it is slightly noticeable but definitely not distracting at all. In fact, it’s very hard to capture in a photo because of how stealthy it is. I’d go as far as saying that it’s almost invisible to the untrained eye.

In terms of image quality, the camera performs similarly to other OPPO smartphones like the Reno, so there seems to be no sacrifices made that could possibly affect the quality.

If you’re interested in learning more about OPPO’s under-screen camera technology, you may check out this article where we discussed it extensively.


Pricing and release date

OPPO has not given any information about the price and to when will it be out for mass production. However, this only shows that the future smartphones with under-screen camera or wireless charging are already in the works. Hopefully, it will be released very soon. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what OPPO has to offer for the coming years.

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