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  • Xiaomi's under-display camera, which you can just make out in the top left. Xaiomi
  • Seeing through the display used to mean thinning out the pixel count, but now Xiaomi just uses smaller pixels for a bigger dot pitch. Xaiomi
  • You can only see it if you zoom in really close.
  • Here's a closeup of the round cutout version, which looks a lot nicer. Ice Universe
  • In many cases, Xiaomi's video claims it's invisible. Xaiomi

Front-facing cameras have been the bane of smartphone design for the past few years. As screens get bigger and bigger and bezels get smaller and smaller, there ends up being nowhere to put a front camera that doesn't interfere with the display. Manufacturers have mostly settled on clunky solutions that involve making the display as big as possible and just cutting out whatever chunks you need to support the front camera. This started as a notch-shaped cutout, and companies have lately worked that down to a single circle that looks like someone took a hole punch tool to the display.

The holy grail of front camera design is the under-display front camera. Why worry about the camera placement at all when you can just shove it behind the display? Manufacturers have been floating this idea in public since at least last year, with Xiaomi leading the charge. Today, the company is back with video footage of what it's calling its "third-generation" under-display camera technology, even though generations one and two never came to market.

With the caveat that this is highly biased promotional material, Xaiomi's new camera looks darn near invisible in all but one shot of the video. In the worst shot, which we captured above, the display looks darker than normal over top of the camera area. An under-display camera needs to see through the spaces between the pixels, and that involves thinning out the display somewhat. Xiaomi's graphic shows that early prototypes would remove 75 percent of the pixels above the camera, but the latest "third-generation" technique keeps the full display resolution and uses smaller pixels above the camera, basically just increasing the dot pitch.

Even if Xiaomi is overselling things and the camera section of the display looks a little odd, the alternative here is complRead More – Source

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arstechnica

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