The OnePlus 9 series is set to debut next month with a souped-up camera courtesy of Swedish camera-maker Hasselblad; but while the company is upping its camera game, which hasn't been its strong suit, it's also looking into banishing the camera to the bezels to accommodate significantly more screen real estate.
Holepunch camera, and notches, are the bane of smartphone displays, disrupting the panel with an unsightly gouge. Some smartphone manufacturers are considering under screen cameras as a solution, including Samsung which might roll out the tech in its Galaxy Z Fold 3. But OnePlus' approach is to shrink it down and put it in the top bezel, out of the way.
The company's plans were exposed in a patent (opens in new tab) (via LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab)) and detail the benefits of going down this route; namely that it's cheap, and doesn't encroach on the screen as much.
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In the patent notes, OnePlus says that the bezel camera is low cost in terms of production, has a high yield, high product reliability, and of course, facilitates that sweet screen-to-body ration. LetsGoDigital has knocked together the concept above based on the patent.
The camera really is tiny, and the bezel itself is super slim, so it's not the case of moving the lens up and giving the smartphone a massive forehead. It's been refined down to a point where neither the bezel nor the lens are that sizeable, and cuts down on costs related to under display cameras. It's the best of both worlds!
We don't imagine this will roll out on the upcoming OnePlus 9, but it may make its way to the OnePlus Nord line if the production costs are low enough to roll out to the budget smartphones.