Xiaomi smartphone camera goes undercover

The punch hole or tear drop for the front camera — a common eyesore on smartphones — will be gone for good next year, with Xiaomi smartphones at least.

The China smartphone maker will start mass production of smartphones equipped with the 3rd generation under-display camera in 2021. With this technology, the front camera is hidden under the phone’s screen, enabling an edge-to-edge display.

Creating the full-screen effect is made possible through self-developed pixel arrangement and optimisation of the camera algorithm to show the same performance as conventional front cameras.

Same pixel density

The self-developed pixel arrangement lets light pass through the gap area of sub-pixels, allowing each pixel to retain a complete RGB subpixel layout without sacrificing pixel density.

Compared with other solutions, Xiaomi’s under-display camera has double the number of horizontal and vertical pixels to achieve the same pixel density above the camera as on the rest of the display area. This lets the area above the integrated camera have the same brightness, colour gamut and colour accuracy as the rest of the display.

Based on the brand new pixel arrangement solution, the technology adopts a special circuit design to hide more components under the RGB sub-pixels to further increase the light transmittance of the under-screen camera area.

Combined with Xiaomi`s self-developed optimisation algorithm, it offers a fully updated photography experience, matching the imaging performance of conventional front cameras.