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Oppo could be working on 15X hybrid zoom tech, reveals patent

Shubham Verma     December 3, 2020

Oppo could be working on a breakthrough camera technology that will change zoom photography on phones. The Chinese company has filed a new patent with the Chinese authority that reveals one important aspect. Some folks tried and created the 3D renders based on the patent diagrams, only to point out that this device from Oppo will come with 15X hybrid zoom, which is going to bring next-level zooming on mobile photography.

The new patent was filed by Oppo in July earlier this year but it got approval from the Chinese authority only on November 6. LetsGoDigital managed to obtain the patent and partnered with Concept Creator to create the 3D renders of this Oppo device. While the patent diagram does not have any texts written on them, the renders show the camera module giving away the information that there could be 15X ZOOM on them. The letters are located right below the LED flash, pointing to this new capability on mobile phone cameras.

So far, smartphones have come with as high as 10X hybrid zoom, which lies between optical and digital zoom techniques. While there are smartphones with up to 5X optical zoom, the digital zoom has been as vastly high as 100X on certain devices. Hybrid zoom uses both lens and software optimisation to achieve a zoom level where there is no loss of quality. Optical zoom is purely achieved by lens movement but hybrid takes things a little further with software enhancements.

3D renders of the Oppo device available in the patent.

Besides, going by the renders, the device seems like another top-level device that could become a reality in near future. The device has curved edges on the display, much like how the Reno series and Find X series smartphones have it. But an unusual punch-hole is there in the centre of the display.

Curved displays with a punch-hole in the middle are common on Samsung phones. No other manufacturer went for this style until Fujitsu launched the Arrows NX9 F-52A but since it will be available only in Japan, the rest of the world has just Samsung. Oppo could change that with this device that it has shown off in the patent. This will not only give options to customers but will also create a stream for future devices to come with this setup.

Other elements that are visible on these 3D renders include a power button on the right side, volume rocker on the left edge, a USB-C port on the bottom flanked by a speaker grille and a microphone. The 3D renders also show there will be a 3.5mm headphone jack on the phone, however, the original sketch of the device does not have the jack. So, it is possible the creator took some liberty in designing these renders.

The details so far mentioned in the patent and recreated into 3D renders sound similar because Oppo filed a patent describing another device with 15X hybrid zoom previously. However, the major difference between this one and the previously spotted patent is the placement of the selfie camera. This new patent shows the camera will reside inside the punch-hole while the patent spotted earlier pointed out that there could be a pop-up module on the Oppo device.

Of the two, the Oppo device with a punch-hole seems a viable option. And since the two are coming across just variations of one device, Oppo might pick the second one. For now, it is not clear if Oppo will go ahead with this device and the 15X hybrid zoom technology since patents do not guarantee anything. We will know more about the device in future.

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