OnePlus could place front camera in top bezel, suggests new patent

Most smartphone brands have already minimised the age-old bezel design or gotten rid of it. In the pursuit of a completely intrusion-free, immersive display, the front camera is all that remains for most brands. Now, a new patent by OnePlus that recently surfaced on the web has hinted at where the brand plans to plant the front camera next.

OnePlus is not new to moving around the placement of the front camera. The brand was amongst the first to implement the pop-up camera design on its OnePlus 7 Pro back in 2019, providing one of the earliest all-screen experiences on smartphones.

However, the setup was dropped with the OnePlus 8 series, when the selfie camera came back on the screen in the form of a punch-hole cutout. While it is quite popular and minimal, the punch-hole setup still stops users from getting a 100 percent immersive experience with the display.

OnePlus could move the front camera on the bezel

The new patent, first spotted by LetsGoDigital now suggests that OnePlus could move the front camera to the top bezel of its phones, allowing the screen to be uninterrupted. The 23-page patent filed by OnePlus at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) hints at an OLED display with a front camera on the top bezel, covered with a “transparent cover plate”.

The patent also goes on to describe that the setup has a “high screen-to-body ratio, low production cost, high yield, and high product reliability.”

OnePlus, OnePlus 8, OnePlus patent, front camera, OnePlus front camera, OnePlus 9, Images from the new OnePlus under-bezel camera patent. (Image Source: WIPO)

Under Bezel Vs Under Display

The under bezel camera of the patented design could directly compete with the under-display camera technology that a few brands are working on. As seen on the ZTE Axon 20 5G, the tech allows a small portion of the screen to go transparent, allowing the front camera underneath to operate.

However, various media reports have suggested that the tech affects the quality of the display area where the camera resides, at least on the ZTE Axon 20 5G. The Under-Bezel technology could be a great alternative, allowing the screen to be untampered.

Still a lot of patents never make it to final products, so OnePlus may not come up with a phone using the under-bezel camera anytime soon. It is also highly unlikely that we’ll see this in the OnePlus 9 series, the leaks for which have all pointed at a punch-hole front camera. However, it will be interesting to see such a design come to life in a future OnePlus product.

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