While other smartphone manufacturers are currently more focused on implementing front-facing cameras on notch type screens or even camera under display, Chinese vendor Oppo is experimenting with a removable camera module for smartphones.
According to the latest patent registered with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) suggests that Oppo is considering such an option. The document shows a phone with a removable camera module with two sensors and connectivity options, such as USB-C, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
It seems that the Chinese company has begun to investigate the possibility of creating a removable camera module that would allow us to disassemble and reposition the camera of our smartphones as we wish — take a normal photo or selfie, without having to sacrifice screen space or image quality.
The images and the patent description show that the potential future Oppo smartphones will have a rear camera module that can be detached from the rear panel and can be used to take selfies using a USB Type-C connector. The patent also indicates a possible remote functionality with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.
Additionally, the USB connector located on the module will feature a small elbow that will allow it to bend at least two fixed angles of 90 degrees and 180 degrees.
There is no way to say whether Oppo intends to follow up on this idea. However, it seems clear that the cameras under the screen still have a number of challenges to overcome. The first commercial versions are unlikely to match the results of conventional selfie cameras.
A removable module can solve this problem in the meantime. A modular design can also allow you to update only the camera instead of the entire phone.