We’ve got one serious love-hate relationship with front-facing cameras on our phones. Sure, everyone likes to take selfies, and their popularity has helped drive multiple social media sites into the stratosphere. But the cameras themselves are just so darn inconvenient, taking up precious phone real estate, and increasingly stealing space from the screen itself. One novel solution involves tucking the front-facer under the display, like we see on the brand-new ZTE Axon 20 5G. Now Zack from JerryRigEverything is putting this model to the test, seeing how it holds up to abuse and also giving us a better look at how this weird camera works.
Honestly, the durability test isn’t really the interesting part of this video, and we’re mostly just interested in checking out the under-screen camera tech. Understandably, it’s a bit visible under a variety of conditions, but perhaps not distractingly so.
Close-ups show that the area over the camera is less pixel-dense than the surrounding screen, and when fully illuminated you can just make out the gaps that allow light to pass. Animations moving across this area look a little stuttery at times, which may be a consequence of aliasing and the lower resolution here.
We also get to see some image samples, and to little surprise, quality suffers as a result of this camera arrangement. Bright lights pick up a pronounced halo and there’s a diffuse quality to everything, like the screen’s having a diffracting effect on light sources.
Selfie quality from the Axon 20 (left) vs. the Note10+ (right)
Before this starts sounding too negative, remember that this technology is still in its infancy, and just like how folding-screen phones are already getting much better, it might just take a generation or two for under-screen cameras to really start making a name for themselves.