So yesterday my arch nemesis (and workmate) Farai Mudzingwa went full throttle on how The Oppo Find X was a clear miss with the pop up camera design and axed features. A lot of valid arguments were outlined by this lad but I feel every story has 2 sides. Here is mine.
Notch Be Gone
Backtrack to last year and iPhone mic-dropped us with the almost bezeless iPhone X. Now Apple was not the first to attempt this. That trophy goes to the Sharp Aquos Crystal that kicked it off back in 2014. Neither was the notch too that one was won by Essential Phone 2 months before.
But all this hype was fueled by the desire and drive to produce a smartphone with a screen that’s spacious enough to provide an immersive multimedia experience but still be compact enough to fit in your slim fit jeans without you ripping a seam. I mean this pursuit also contributed to this taller/narrower design trend that we are now seeing in flagships of today.
To put it out there I was never a fan of the notch. My OCD would never tolerate such. And along came Vivo Apex and Oppo Find X to the rescue. I am positive I am not the only one who prefers a symmetrical design and it seems Oppo and Vivo shared our sentiments in this regard. They took up the challenge of an all screen phone, removed the notch and threw the contents of the notch on a retractable tray that tucks nicely inside the phone when not in use.
Perfect Symmetry was the order of the day and in this regard the camera solution on the Oppo was the more elegant approach. Its not perfect yes but the mission here is a fully bezeless smartphone. I don’t know any other manufacturer that has done a better job thus far.
A good design ends at being functional but a great design also leaves room for aesthetics. The notch works but doesn’t look good on aesthetics (unless if it’s as symmetrical as the ZTE Iceberg) and a popup camera that is off center is not my cuppa.
It’s not exactly a practical solution but of the 2 that are on offer I feel Oppo’s version even with its flaws is a more cohesive approach with welcome aesthetics.
Gotta Break Some Eggs To Get That Omelette
When the first car was made it was challenging an already dominated transport market of horses, donkeys, bicycles and oxen. And to make matters worse it was slower than them and less practical too. I’m guessing it also didn’t come that cheap.
Those who owned the first vehicle were probably legitimately ripped off but it’s that fresh outlook on transportation that got us to the courier, passenger and commercial and sports vehicles we see today.
In my view with the Apex and the Find X I will admit the moving parts will be tried and probably they don’t make sense right now. But we are closer to a bezeless, notchless phone than we have ever been right now. The implementation is questionable and the compromises are a possible nightmare given your preference. But it’s all necessary if definite strides are to be taken towards that 100% screen-to-body ratio. If you want an extremely fast car best believe you are in for one bumpy ride. Some few steps back are necessary to move further forward.
Someone Has To Do It
You can burn the iPhone X, the Essential Phone, the Oppo Find X and the Vivo Apex all you want for failing at being proper Flagships. But the mission they are on is getting that 100% screen-body-ratio. It’s a mission that’s on offer and for the industry to make strides in pushing the bounds of innovation, someone has to step up and do something.
Yes we will critic the durability of moving parts. Remember the belt issue that riddled slide and flip phones? Yes it’s weird that for the money they couldn’t spare the motors by adding a good ol fashioned thumb scanner which even the Vivo graced us with.
But it’s not all bad. I mean with this new set up the cameras are always shielded against rough surfaces, sand and keys in pockets and the collection of bogies in backpacks and handbags better than if they were exposed in plain sight.
It might not beat water resistance and wireless charging but man it looks cool with those tiny bezels and for some of us who have an inner 8 year-old to satisfy and this pop up camera is pitching right up my alley.
Bring on the pop up camera modules. And may the best man win!
So yeah, Oppo imma let Kanye finish and I’ll resume awarding you your trophy!