Despite the pain points, I am still optimistic about under-screen technology phones.
Since the Samsung Note series created the large-screen trend, consumers' threshold for mobile phone size has been greatly increased, and when the grip limit is reached, mobile phone manufacturers have begun to sprint the screen-to-body ratio.
The Samsung S6 Edge makes the curved screen shine; Nubia Z9 uses 2.5D curved glass to lengthen the display effect of the edge of the screen and create a borderless display on the front; The Sharp AQUOS Crystal and Xiaomi Mi MIX are more radical, and the "forehead" is gone forever.
Samsung S6 Edge
Of course, there are also bangs, water drops, which are unlikely to be accepted by consumers at that time.
In order to "sweep the front out", manufacturers have eight immortals across the sea to show their talents.
vivo NEX's camera lift, OPPO's body lift, Xiaomi honor Lenovo's slide, Samsung A80's flip camera, and even dual-screen phones like Nubia Z20, directly replace the front with the rear.
Although they have an outstanding positive look, the durability of the components, not waterproof, thickened and heavy and other drawbacks have also led to abandonment by manufacturers.
At that time, the baton was called "under-screen camera phone", OPPO, vivo, ZTE, Xiaomi, Samsung have bet on warming up, Huawei, Meizu actively follow up related technologies.
The prototype of the show, the first mass production, just when everyone thought that the screen was the future, but it was like a concubine who entered the cold palace, and it became unpopular with most manufacturers overnight.
Why the camera phone under the screen is mixed like this, to clarify this matter, we have to start with a few years ago.
As early as June 2019, Xiaomi and OPPO "incompatibly" announced their own under-screen camera schemes, but because they were exposed through Weibo, the picture quality was limited, and the display effect of the front camera area could not be well distinguished.
In February 2020, vivo released the concept phone Apex 2020, and some media had the opportunity to see the "real face" of the camera under the screen.
However, according to the actual shooting material, you can see the screen-like box at an angle.
Under the screen, but not completely under the screen, this is also the biggest problem of the camera under the screen, the display effect and imaging quality are difficult to have both.
Simply put, "under-screen camera" is to hide the front, when the need for framing and imaging, the area originally responsible for hiding becomes "transparent", thereby obtaining a higher amount of light, and the under-screen camera area is also called the light transmission area.
Transparent screens may sound like black technology at first glance, but the principle is actually very simple.
Take the advertising stickers in the subway, for example, which are covered with fine perforations that are pure black on one side and printed with advertising patterns on the other.
When we look outside the door, we can see the inside of the car through the sticker (pure black side), and when we look inside the car, we can clearly see the advertising pattern.
This sticker is the "single transparent sticker", which vividly restores the working principle of the camera mobile phone under the screen.
We all know that one of the key factors of imaging is light, without light, just like a cook without ingredients, it is difficult for a woman to cook without rice.
In order to ensure a minimum amount of light, the pixel density of the screen in the light transmission area should be reduced, so that the light can enter through the gap between the pixels, although this can not substantially solve the attenuation problem when the light enters, but at least basic imaging.
In addition to reducing the pixel density in the light transmission area, manufacturers will also use transparent anode and cathode materials and new circuit arrangements to obtain higher light intake.
In the early stage of immature technology, these will affect the brightness, color and resolution of the screen, which will lead to the incompatibility between the light transmission area and the surrounding area, and the screen effect is obvious.
In addition, if the under-screen solution adopts a flexible curved screen, it needs to be bent, and the PI base is used. The light transmittance of PI substrate will be worse than that of substrate glass.
The world's first officially mass-produced front-facing mobile phone ZTE Axon20 adopts a straight-screen solution.
Despite the claim of "world's first", consumers were not applauded.
The reason is that the ZTE Axon20, which starts at 2198 yuan, is far from the flagship in terms of workmanship, and the wider border leads to even if the front is hidden, the screen-to-body ratio is not outstanding, and it is even a single speaker.
More importantly, the resolution of the under-screen area of ZTE Axon20 is only 720P, which does not open a qualitative gap with the previous vivo demonstrator.
The screen is down, but not completely.
In 2021, the upgraded ZTE Axon30 5G is contending, the screen not only has 10bit color depth, 100% P3 color gamut, DC dimming and other mainstream features, the area under the screen is not easy to detect in daily use.
ZTE Axon30 5G
It stands to reason that this should be a little hot, but Xiaomi, which has been warmed up for nearly two and a half years under the screen, jumped out, and the MIX4 is ready to go, and the publicity is in the limelight.
Although this is Xiaomi's first mass production of under-screen camera mobile phones, Xiaomi said that the under-screen technology has been iterated three times in its hands.
The first generation of screen camera technology was not much different from the peer technology before, so it was not mass-produced.
Although the second generation improves light transmission by sacrificing part of the display pixels, improving brightness, color gamut and other issues, the PPI decreases, the graininess is obvious, and it is still not satisfactory.
It was not until the third generation, through a new pixel arrangement, that the camera area under the screen achieved a full-resolution display effect, which met everyone.
The "new pixel arrangement" mentioned in this third-generation technology is similar to the scheme principle of ZTE Axon30 5G and OPPO Prototype at the same time.
As mentioned earlier, manufacturers mainly improve the light transmittance by reducing the number of screen pixels, which is simple and crude, but the hidden area under the screen is lacking.
Since reducing the number of pixels will affect the display effect, manufacturers simply reduce the volume of each sub-pixel, and the total number of pixels remains unchanged, so that the gap between pixels increases, the light transmittance is there, and the resolution will not have the obvious decreasing effect as before.
Eh, the person who came up with this method is really a little clever ghost.
Of course, there is still an essential difference between small pixels and large pixels, so manufacturers add independent driver chips to drive these special "small pixels" to achieve a display effect close to normal pixels.
So these under-screen mobile phones are actually composed of a regular screen and an under-screen screen.
It can be seen through the microscopic diagram that the ZTE Axon 30 under-screen version adopts a small delta arrangement + delta arrangement ≈ 0.67 RGB arrangement, and the actual pixel density is only two-thirds of the standard RGB.
OPPO's unmass-produced model uses the little yellow duck arrangement, which is actually derived from the delta arrangement, and BOE's scheme accounts for ≈ 0.71 RGB arrangement as a whole, which is stronger than the delta arrangement.
The Xiaomi MIX4 uses a pearl arrangement + a changed small pearl arrangement with an imaging ≈ 0.8 RGB arrangement.
The MIX4 has a more detailed display, but it won't be much better, because all three brothers are 1080P.
Imagine that if the under-screen area is made into 2K and the pixel density increases, the light transmittance will decrease, and if the conventional screen resolution is higher than the resolution of the under-screen area, it will cause the display effect of the two screens to mismatch and cause a split.
So this is a drawback that the third generation technology has not solved at the moment, and the screen can only go on 1080P.
Then the problem comes, a high-end flagship MIX4 with a starting price of 4999 yuan, but the screen is "comparable" to a thousand-yuan machine, which obviously cannot satisfy all consumers...
Xiaomi has made a lot of efforts for under-screen technology, but there is a compromise in the product as a whole, is this considered a loss of one or the other?
What happens if it's high resolution? Samsung, as a negative textbook.
Samsung adopts a "low-density and large-pixel" scheme, and the display effect is not the primary goal.
Its red, blue, and green sub-pixels in the underscreen area are "packaged" into a "giant pixel" through a special arrangement and combination, and the interval between each giant pixel is very large, thereby improving the light transmittance of the screen.
The advantage of this scheme is that the light transmittance can reach more than 40%, and Xiaomi's third-generation under-screen solution is only 15%.
More light intake would theoretically be better for imaging, but at this time, the front pixels of the Galaxy Z Fold3 are only 4 million.
Coupled with the folding screen can completely use the rear-camera selfie, Samsung does not seem to focus on this front-facing optimization, so although it enters the light quantity of cow B, the imaging quality is low, and the actual combat is a weak chicken.
Moreover, the high resolution of Samsung's folding screen is an indisputable fact, and the combination of high resolution and "low resolution" in the area under the screen can be imagined.
To sum up, the screen of the Samsung folding screen is like its hinge crease - let go of itself.
In fact, even if Samsung can play this 40% of the light intake perfectly, if it wants to achieve the imaging quality of ordinary mobile phones, it is also an insurmountable mountain of under-screen technology at this stage.
In order to basic imaging, it is not enough to rely only on the amount of light, because multiple pixels in the area under the screen will divide the light into countless grids, resulting in diffraction phenomenon, and selfies will have a layer of "halo" and "fogging feeling", and the backlight is more serious.
Taking ZTE as an example, ZTE Axon20 in addition to conventional fogging and glare, the picture smearing feeling is also relatively serious, and the camera is like grease.
ZTE Axon30 has been improved, but when it comes to bright objects, there will be obvious light spots, and details such as character skin and object texture also need to be improved.
In the third generation of ZTE's under-screen technology, the improvement includes but is not limited to blue diamond arrangement, independent pixel drive, distributed transparent routing, and front-camera penetration algorithm 3.0.
By the way, when the Red Devil 8Pro uses pre-recording, it is also impossible to set the 1080P 60 specification.
Red Devil 8Pro
The front performance of these under-screen phones may not be as good as the iPhone 5S ten years ago.
It can be said that at this stage, all under-screen camera phones are only visible, not good-looking.
The under-screen camera mobile phone that cannot have both display effect and imaging quality, just like the small screen mobile phone that cannot take into account the size and feel of the movie at the same time, is very biased, and there are many people who applaud, but there are very few who really buy it.
But then again, despite the pain points, I am still optimistic about under-screen technology phones.
Privately, I just like a complete screen from the bottom of my heart, I just don't like the extra black dots or bangs when watching movies.
Image source network
In the past, I also had the option of lifting the mobile phone, but now in addition to the screen, I can't find a second replacement, and doing well under the screen can also avoid the drawbacks of lifting thicker and heavier, so I don't want it to become niche.
Yu Gong, ZTE, Xiaomi, OPPO, etc. mentioned earlier, most of their under-screen camera technology comes from domestic screen suppliers such as Visionox, Huaxing Optoelectronics, BOE and other screen suppliers.
It can be said that in the field of under-screen camera technology, our domestic manufacturers are ahead of the traditional screen giants Samsung and LG, which is a good thing.
After all, no one wants the screen to become like Huawei Kirin Core or Yangtze River Storage one day, and be sanctioned if people want to, he has you as well as me.
The leading edge of under-screen camera technology is actually only a small part of the results of the efforts of domestic screen manufacturers for many years, and it is also where we hope to take this opportunity to see the big with everyone.
What you may not know is that at present, our domestic LCD screens have won more than 67% of the global market share, and even OLED screens for the high-end market have won more than 30% of the market share.
As the fourth generation of display technology, miniLED has also become an important layout for domestic screen manufacturers to bet heavily on treasures and invest in research and development.
In general, the situation of "thirty years of Hexi" of domestic screen manufacturers is opening.
Although mature products themselves will go through an immature period, it is precisely because of these involution, hard work, and high-spirited and radical domestic screen manufacturers that I believe that the perfect true full-screen mobile phone will be the first to be used.
This article is from the WeChat public account "Technology Fox" (ID: kejihutv), author: Guozi