OPPO's new phone has a mechanical-camera: Game-changer or bad idea?
In a bid to kill the 'notch' popularized by the iPhone X, and move towards truly bezel-less phones, OPPO has taken a rather radical step. Instead of having a cut-out on the screen for a selfie camera, a mechanical camera module slides up from the top of the OPPO Find X for selfies, photography, and facial recognition-based unlocking. Super cool, but is it practical?
First off, here are the specs of OPPO Find X
OPPO's flagship Find X, priced around $1,150, will have a screen-to-body ratio of 93.8%, and will come with 6.45-inch AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB internal storage, a 25MP front camera, dual 16MP rear cameras, and a big, fast-charging 3,730mAh battery.
OPPO's Find X follows in the footsteps of Vivo's Nex
Following on the footsteps of Vivo's recent unveiling of the Nex phone which features a smaller pop-up selfie camera, the OPPO Find X takes it a step further with a completely mechanical sliding camera module. It's nice to see Android phones coming up with innovative, original design ideas, rather than downright aping whatever Apple does, but these new designs might lead to some issues.
What the Vivo Nex offers under the hood
Vivo Nex, on the other hand, sports a massive 8.59-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, and will come with a Snapdragon 845 SoC processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB internal storage, an 8MP front camera, a 12MP+5MP dual rear camera, and a sizeable 4,000mAh battery.
Sliding camera modules have several potential problems
According to The Verge, mechanical sliders can cause a whole host of new problems. To start with, exposing a phone's internal organs every time the front camera is needed might hamper its water resistance - something which has become extremely crucial for smartphones today. Secondly, fitting these glass-bodied phones with protective cases might just prove to be impossible owing to the sliding camera modules.
It's unlikely that Nex, Find X will have top-notch cameras
Additionally, dust, sweat, and all sorts of undesirable particles might make their way into the sliding modules, adding to complications. Then there's also a problem for camera purists - it's highly unlikely that OPPO and Vivo will be able fit in top-notch cameras in the sliders. Great imaging equipment requires depth to fit in an array of lenses, which is difficult in this setup.
The sliders might also negatively affect battery life
Further, there's also a question about the implications of the mechanical sliders on the phone's battery life - repeatedly triggering a pop-up and pop-down is bound to come with additional power costs, and might negatively affect battery life. Also, there's the general problem of durability - adding mechanical components to any device, regardless of quality, leads to a loss in durability in general.
OPPO and Vivo wanted attention, and they'll get it
It'd be naive to assume that OPPO and Vivo didn't foresee the aforementioned problems, which leads us to the question of why they've taken this step. Both the companies have grand ambitions outside China, and such radically different designs are bound to attract global attention to the companies' wares. Simply speaking, the slider idea might be bad, but it should be great for business.