Weekly poll: under-screen cameras vs. pop-ups and flip-ups

Peter, 30 June 2019

This week, Oppo showed off the first under-screen camera. Itís the perfect solution as it not only avoids problems, it will actually improve how people use the camera.

First off, notches and punch holes are an unsightly compromise that contorts the screen and UI of the phone. And people have made it clear in previous polls that they are not a popular option (not a deal-breaker, perhaps, but still better avoided if possible).

Then there are pop-ups and flip-ups, both of which enable a full-screen design. The downside is that a pop-up mechanism takes more room inside the phone than a simple camera module, room that could have been used for a bigger battery or better cooling.

Flip-ups have the advantage of pointing the main camera (and its large sensor and high-quality optics) forward Ė the best selfie cameras on the market are flip-ups. Itís an even larger mechanism, though and there are concerns about the durability of any moving part.

That said, pop-up cameras may prove more durable than flip-ups as they are often mounted on a spring, so pressing down on them does no damage. Also, they are smaller and retract quicker if you drop the phone.

An under display camera doesnít take up much room and has no moving parts Ė or just one if it has autofocus (which most selfie cams donít). And, of course, it improves the looks of the phone.

Better still, it makes things feel more natural. We alluded to that in last weekís poll Ė the human brain is wired to look at faces, so it takes some concentration to look away from the face on the screen and into the camera. This is true both for video calls and for taking selfies, we think.

Oppoís design places the camera in the middle of the top row of the screen. Thatís not a bad place to start for a first-gen product. Still, in-display fingerprint readers are closer to the center of the screen and that would be an even better placement for the front camera.

Itís not quite as simple, however. Oppo itself warned that the first under-screen cameras wonít have the best image quality. We havenít seem camera samples yet, so itís hard to tell how much of an issue this is (current selfie cams are not perfect either, even on some flagships).

But until then, what would you prefer Ė an under-screen camera, whatever the quality, a pop-up, flip-up or notch/punch hole?

Under-screen cameras
Weekly poll: under-screen cameras vs. pop-ups and flip-ups
Under-screen cameras solve problems and avoid issues
Weekly poll: under-screen cameras vs. pop-ups and flip-ups
Pop-up cameras are more durable than flip-ups
Weekly poll: under-screen cameras vs. pop-ups and flip-ups
Flip-ups are best because of high-quality selfies
Weekly poll: under-screen cameras vs. pop-ups and flip-ups
Punch hole, notch, etc. don't bother me

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Reader comments

  • NBL

As long as the manufacturers continue to make phones with IP 68 and better, nothing bothers me

+999. Most people & phone manufacturers laughed when Apple introduced the notch, but they ironically copied that silly 'design'. Top bezels were starting to get 'busy' with better front camera (not that I need it) and even double front camera f...

  • Anonymous

I'm perfectly happy with no front camera, so whatever is least intrusive (with holes in the display being most inclusive). And for the person who posted that "most people have moved to video calls", sorry but LOL! I don't know anyone who uses th...