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OnePlus patents a selfie camera small enough to fit in a modern smartphone's bezel

OnePlus' new in-bezel selfie camera. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
OnePlus' new in-bezel selfie camera. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
The race to the perfectly edge-to-edge mobile device screen has most recently culminated in the under-display selfie camera. However, it now seems OnePlus has developed an alternative: a super-slim bezel that incorporates a front-facing shooter. It may be able to maximize display real estate without resorting to punch-holes or other similar tech.

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Punch-hole selfie cameras: love them or hate them, they have become the most common way to maximize screen real estate in smartphones since the market's demands pushed display bezels to the point at which they can barely accommodate front-facing sensors.

The only true alternative to the punch-hole is under-display camera tech; however, there is only 1 phone in the world that delivers it at present, and, according to some of its reviews, could still use some work.

Therefore, the OEM OnePlus has come up with an alternative. It is a selfie camera that is not in or under the display at all, but can be housed in a razor-thin border instead. This new kind of sensor, described in a patent submitted to the Chinese IP office CNIPA, seems to be much smaller than the average selfie shooter so as to achieve this placement.

This same piece of engineering is ostensibly based on a large connector for this camera to the main board. One end is depicted as too wide for the phone in question; however, it can fold back on itself so as to fit into the phone.

It seems to be compatible with flat or curved screens, and might thus result in phones with barely-noticeable bezels and otherwise uninterrupted displays.

This patent appears to build on OnePlus' sister company OPPO's earlier work on a selfie camera that also blends into an uniform smartphone bezel, albeit not quite as effectively. Therefore, it might feature in future devices from either brand.

However, as this new patent was only just granted on February 4, 2021, the upcoming 9 flagship series are unfortunately unlikely candidates for this new design.

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The in-bezel camera OnePlus phone might look like this. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
The in-bezel camera OnePlus phone might look like this. (Source: LetsGoDigital)

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4217 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > OnePlus patents a selfie camera small enough to fit in a modern smartphone's bezel
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-02-10 (Update: 2021-02-10)