At the beginning of the month two Chinese phone makers, Oppo and Xiaomi, showcased their designs for under-the-screen selfie cameras in prototype devices. Now the former is the first to officially unveil their new selfie camera, doing so at MWC 19 Shanghai, which kicked off earlier today in the Chinese city.

The technology, which Oppo is calling “Under-screen Camera” (USC), places a front-facing camera under the display of a smartphone, and allows it to snap pictures without the need for a notch, pop-up or any other gimmick, all while retaining an all-screen design.

As such it’s a pretty significant feat, considering most of the world’s top smartphone makers are yet to find a fully fledged solution.

So how does it work?

Oppo says the display on the smartphone being shown off in Shanghai uses a specialised material that goes transparent on the section covering the camera, allowing light to pass through it and capture images.

The quality of said images is hard to gauge for now, considering that we haven’t had a hands-on with the device, and cannot compare it to standard selfie cameras. Regardless though, Oppo’s technology seems quite similar to Xiaomi’s version, and we could therefore see larger firms adopt the same approach for their future devices.

While Oppo has beaten its competitors to the punch in terms of officially unveiling the technology, we’re yet to hear when they plan to launch a device commercially. As such there is still some time for Xiaomi, or some other unknown firm, to beat them to market.

[Image – Oppo India Twitter]