What Is The Future Of Front-Facing Cameras?
We all love bezel-less smartphones. Even since the turn of 2017, the bezels have become increasingly thinner and displays have become taller. All this while, the size of the whole device has remained constant. The trend has caught on so much that capable devices like the OnePlus 5, even the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were deemed “archaic” for the modern times. By no means are they bad-looking devices, they just have modern looking siblings that are more appealing.
But, while we despise anything with bezels, we need to remember that bezels on a display have a role. While we like to call smartphones like the iPhone X or the Galaxy S9 as “bezel-less,” in reality, they aren’t. No smartphone has a 100% screen-to-body ratio and there is a genuine reason behind that. Modern day smartphones have different implementations of the front-facing cameras and the earpieces. Along with that, you need space to store all the sensors as well.
While the Mi Mix and Mi Mix 2 moved the front-facing camera on the bottom bezel to trim the other three sides, it hasn’t been a popular decision. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ with their infinity displays still have a chin and forehead which houses the sensors, camera and an earpiece. The iPhone X has a notch that houses everything. Similarly, the Essential Ph-1 has a cyborg eye-like notch for the front camera while the rest is situated just above the display.
However, it looks like two companies might have the answer to the front camera conundrum. At the ongoing MWC 2018, Vivo unveiled a concept phone, the Vivo Apex. Apart from having some of the thinnest bezels on a smartphone, it has an interesting implementation of the front camera as well. The Apex has a camera housed in the smartphone. It essentially means that when a user has to take a selfie, a camera pops out of the smartphone. It doesn’t use up any screen real estate which allowed the company to keep the bezels at 1.8mm thick.
While this is still a concept phone, it is an interesting implementation. Certainly, it is better than what Xiaomi did with the Mi Mix and Mi Mix 2. Another interesting smartphone unveiled at MWC 2018 is the Bluboo S2. However, the Bluboo S2 has an interesting implementation of the camera as well. Similar to what the OPPO N1 did, the Bluboo S2 has a rotating camera. You basically lift the camera from behind and it stands upright for front-facing functionalities.
While this does seem futuristic, more brands, and mainly, bigger brands need to adapt these for it to grow. Until we get a screen-embedded camera, these could be some of the best options to completely get rid of the bezels.