Google has a brilliant idea for Pixels with under-display camera tech

A Pixel 6 leak confirmed us final week the purported design Google devised for the next-gen Pixel handset. Overall, the leak signifies Google is taking the Pixel extra severely than final 12 months, indicating the brand new cellphone may supply the type of flagship construct high quality and specs we’d count on from this specific iPhone competitor. If that’s one factor that gained’t truly change, that’s the display screen design. Most handsets have the identical show design. If it’s a new iPhone, there’s a notch on the prime housing the selfie camera, Face ID parts, and different front-facing {hardware}. Androids characteristic a hole-punch selfie camera positioned within the center or one of many two corners. The Pixel 6 can have a hole-punch display screen of its personal, if the render above is correct.

A model new discovery signifies that Google is trying to eradicate the opening within the display screen and exchange it with an under-display camera (UDC). Google has developed a brilliant approach that might assist it forestall the primary downside with UDC. But the design isn’t essentially flaw-free.
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We’ve seen UDC screens in telephones for a couple of years now. Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Oppo demoed their prototypes about two years in the past, revealing the one downside with the selfie camera. The display screen layer that sits on prime of it may impression the photograph high quality. Algorithms are required to compensate for points and repair the pictures. This explains why we’ve solely had one business cellphone with a UDC design, the ZTE Axon 20.
Several smartphone makers are purported to launch telephones with under-display cameras this 12 months. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a doubtless candidate, contemplating current experiences. All of those telephones ought to characteristic a steady OLED display screen with no cutouts. Somewhere below the OLED panel, there might be a camera below it.
Animation explains under-display camera expertise from Google patent. Image supply: LetsGoDigital by way of Google
This is the place Google’s brilliant plan comes into motion. Google described its UDC tech in a patent from mid-September 2020 titled Full-screen show with sub-display camera, as discovered by LetsGoDigital.
The patent describes Google’s idea to forestall camera points with such a Pixel show design — and Google is all concerning the camera expertise with regards to Pixel telephones.
The animation above completely illustrates Google’s idea. The Pixel cellphone would certainly characteristic an under-display camera, however the camera wouldn’t be positioned proper below the display screen. Instead, the camera sits horizontally, similar to a telephoto lens that permits higher optical zoom on telephones just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Also, Google will place a “sub-display” secondary display screen below the show. In between them, there’s a prism/mirror that may rotate left to proper.

Concept exhibits a Google Pixel cellphone with an under-display camera. Image supply: LetsGoDigital
In camera mode, the prism will beam gentle by the display screen proper onto the sensor. But the a part of the display screen that gentle has to journey by isn’t made from pixels because it occurs with different UDC telephones. Therefore, the camera high quality shouldn’t be impacted. If something, the camera may supply higher zoom, though the characteristic doesn’t essentially make sense for selfies.
Most of the time, the selfie camera isn’t wanted, so when the camera is off, the prism will rotate to the fitting to mirror the secondary display screen that may include the a part of the picture that matches into that rectangle, as seen within the animation above.
While this innovation prevents camera high quality points, it poses two fast issues. First of all, this OLED panel would nonetheless require slicing. It may not be a gap punching by the display screen, however that sq. has no OLED pixels in it. It’s simply glass. Manufacturing the show must be simply as difficult as making hole-punch screens.
Secondly, the prism/mirror is a shifting half inside a cellphone. And there are all the time dangers of malfunction with shifting components. Should it malfunction and cease shifting, the mechanism may smash both the camera or show expertise. Or each.
That mentioned, there’s no telling if or when Google will use the expertise in business units. If Google does go ahead with it, then we’d see it in telephones solely, beginning with the Pixel 7 subsequent 12 months. This 12 months’s Pixel 6 design might be determined.
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