The OnePlus 7 Pro was some pundits idea of the best value Android phone in 2019, despite it costing over $100 more than what I paid for the ZTE Axon 10 Pro, with the OnePlus base model having less RAM, half the flash memory, and somewhat weaker cameras. I’m pretty sure the allure was this pop-up front camera, rather than the tiny teardrop notch!
The leaked photos of what’s presumably the OnePlus 8 has lost the pop-up. Very few other pop-up cameras have made it to the USA as an official product release, and 2020 is pretty early, so it’s hard to say if this is actually a trend.
What could be the issue? Well, so far, no pop-up or flip-over camera phone (like the Zenphone 6) has a published intrusion protection rating. But then again, IP ratings are often not given for lower priced phones. That’s kind of a premium thing.
Maybe someone’s decided that the “hole” says 2020? Or maybe they have had too many warrenty claims on busted pop-ups? There could be a number of reasons specific to OpenPlus. However, at the other BBK Electronics companies, pop-ups seem to be safe so far in 2020. OPPO has a number of phones with pop-ups, and so does vivo. But we have only seen late model 2019 phones to date for most companies. Though an interesting patent suggests we might see an OPPO phone in 2020 with a side-popout selfie camera.
And it could just be a better tech. The holy grail of the selfie phone for some years has been an under-display camera, just as the under-display fingerprint sensor caught on last year.