Oppo Has An Ingenious Solution To The Punch-Hole Problem

By Holly Brockwell on at

Since there's been so much moaning about the notches on modern smartphones, the manufacturers have all turned to the possibility of punch-hole displays, or 'doughnut phones' as we like to call them.

The punch-hole bit refers to an actual physical hole in the screen, interrupting the display to allow the selfie camera to peek out. Visually, it's less disruptive than a whacking great black notch, but it's also an annoying pothole in the otherwise smooth surface of your screen.

Despite not many punch-hole phones having actually made it to market yet (the Huawei Nova 4 and Samsung A8 are the main ones), several manufacturers are already looking to fix the problem. We've heard about how Samsung might put a transparent display over the top that can display different icons, and now we're hearing that Oppo has a good idea too.

The Huawei Nova 4 and its punch hole

According to Slashgear, the Chinese phone brand -- set to launch in the UK shortly -- has filed two patents for its potential use of the punch-hole space. Usually, the hole appears in the notification bar across the top of the phone screen, but Oppo's plan is to put a camera icon there, with the hole forming the lens. So the lens of the phone will literally be the lens of the icon, which is genius.

Then, of course, to launch the camera you just touch the icon. We're a little unclear as to how this isn't going to cause lens-smudging issues, but presumably Oppo knows what it's doing.

Of course, as soon as you open a fullscreen app of any kind, you're going to see the hole again. It'll still squat on the corner of your Netflix film. But it's a good idea nonetheless, and we're happy to see the hole punch camera sparking new ideas at tech companies that too often just do the same as each other.