Slide To The Side

The story behind pop-up cameras

It’s unclear who fired the first shot in the bezel wars, but soon the whole smartphone market devolved into a deluge of form factors; from hideous notches to complicated slider mechanisms that hide that pesky selfie camera we can’t live without. Now that the users have had enough of weird cut-outs throwing their UI out of whack, it seems that most manufacturers have made peace with hiding the front camera inside the phone itself.
This has led to a new skirmish about the best way of getting the camera out to take pictures. Most manufacturers are going with sliders while a few more expensive models try their hand at under-display cameras. Oppo is going to a whole another level with their Reno model, which has a one-of-a-kind side slide module that lifts from only one side. It is a lot bigger than vertical sliders, but that seems to add to the perception of sturdiness.
In its new version, in addition to the more refined slider, the phone also features three cameras on the back that are interestingly placed under the Gorilla Glass that covers the entire back. The cameras combine to offer a 5x hybrid/20x digital zoom setup that is surprisingly usable in good lighting conditions.
The slider mechanism does sacrifice the possibility of stereo speakers, but the single downward firing unit is loud enough to make up the difference. However, what all of this leads up to is the 6.5” AMOLED display that covers the entire front of the phone. It is great to look at with enough brightness for outdoor use. The rest of the specs are pretty standard; with a 4000mAh battery, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage and a capable Snapdragon 730 chip. For a phone that costs ₹36,990, it is a good enough deal for multimedia users and selfie fanatics.


One Plus 7 Pro

This phone comes at the higher end of the price range at around ₹52,999. However, you do get more bang for your buck, with a Snapdragon 855 processor, UFS 3.0 storage and 12GB of RAM. There are three cameras on the back, one of which is the popular 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. Rounding it up with a 90Hz 2K AMOLED display and a quite fast under-display fingerprint sensor, this phone is a strong competitor in the slider camera category.

Redmi K20 Pro

At a lower starting price of ₹27,999, the phone is a tough contender for Reno2 and One Plus. With a 20MP front camera in a vertical slider, and a triple camera setup on the rear that also features a 48MP unit, the phone takes a straight shot at the competition. It even ups the ante with a Snapdragon 855 processor, which is a lot of performance at that price.


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