In recent years, smartphone designs are becoming thinner. There is a new trend of slim, sexy hardware and now no one wants to buy heavy, bulky smartphones. Notches have been there for some time but with time, it also gotten slimmer and now manufactures are moving towards a full edge-to-edge design with no notches. So where are they going to place the front-camera on all these devices?
Over the last year, we seen display screens with less notches, holes, or pop-up cameras, but now it is time for hidden selfie camera. Oppo and Xiamoi are doing just that by placing the camera under the display itself. Today in a tweet, Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi showed off its exciting new design. Yesterday Oppo released a short video on a smartphone snapping a photo with an in-display that you can't see. To make the point clear, a finger was posed in front of the camera in the end of the video and you can see a blurry image of the finger on the screen.
Xiamoi also posted its own video to display a smartphone with an in-display selfie-camera. In the video the upcoming phone was compared with the Xiaomi Mi 9 side by side. The prototype has a full display with no cut-out, no notch or pop-up camera but it can still take a selfie just like a regular smartphone. Oppo didn't reveal much about the technology but Xiamoi get one step further by explaining the whole mechanism. The camera features a 20MP camera and a transparent display that doubles as the camera lens and allows more light into the lens to enable the perfect selfies, but when the display is off, the camera goes invisible against the rest of the black surface of the screen. These are just prototypes and there hasn't any real demo done by the companies in public so far. But we can hope for some of the best technologies to experience this year.
Yesterday, HTC released a new device called HTC Desire Eye. This is the first Smartphone with an HTC Eye 13MP front-facing camera and flash for amazing selfies, the Desire Eye also packs a 13MP rear-camera with flash too.
Both cameras can record 1080p@30fps video. The one on the back has an f/2.0 aperture and a 28mm lens, while the one on the front has a wider 20mm lens but a smaller f/2.2 aperture.
HTC's trademark BoomSound speakers are harder to see but still on board. They flank the larger 5.2" screen of the HTC Desire Eye, an LCD with 1080p resolution. Besides selfie camera and screen size, the Eye also trumps the One E8 with an IPX7 rating water resistance up to 1m of water for half an hour.
The Desire Eye carries much better specs than most of the Desire family. It's powered by a Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2GB RAM and runs Android 4.4 with the latest Sense software and two camera-centric apps Eye Experience and the new Zoe.
DxOMark did not test selfie cameras before, but in line with the changing times, they have now started doing it. Their first test protocol for selfie cams have interestingly enough, put the Galaxy Note 9's selfie camera ahead of almost every other smartphone available in the market right now, which was a pleasant surprise. If you are wondering why it was a surprise, then that's because there isn't anything too special about the single front camera of the device on paper to be honest! It's just a 8-mp, 1/3.6-inch sensor. Perhaps the autofocus is the differentiating factor here, we are not really sure.
DxOMark gave the Note 9 a whopping 92, putting it ahead of even the Apple iPhone XS Max (82) and Samsung's own Galaxy S9+ (81). Interestingly enough, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 stands second in rank with 84 points, ahead of Apple's exorbitantly pricy flagship smartphones. The only phone which has managed to match the Note 9's selfie cam in terms of performance is the Google Pixel 3, which also scored 92.
Last Monday, As a surprise Acer has announced a new product accessories that brings the selfie tech to a ridiculous new level. The company introduced a never-seen-before "Selfie Hat".
This latest weird development in selfie tech is basically a giant sombrero and holds an Iconia A-1 840 tablet held by the hat's fold-down flap. The tablet is located on the hat in such a way that allows the wearer to slide it around the brim for the ideal selfie.
Even more alarming, there was actual thought put into the "couture" aesthetic of it. It was designed in collaboration with fashion designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis and Acer UK.
For those interested in purchasing a hat well, you may be out of luck unless you're in the London area. It'll be on display today at the Christian Cowan-Sanluis fashion presentation at London Fashion Week.