Pop-up cameras are going out of trend, as brands are inching closer to pulling off the under-display camera concept. ZTE now has an actual commercial device with the said tech, while other brands like Xiaomi are in the process of perfecting it.
That does not necessarily mean that pop-up modules will be gone forever. vivo—whose APEX concept phones introduced unusual ideas like a true, continuous optical zoom and a buttonless, portless design— is imagining the pop-up module in a different light.
Spotted in a Red Dot Design listing, vivo’s IFEA Camera Mobilephone gives users the ability to detach the pop-up module for a variety of use cases. Some of these include remote shooting, multi-cam setups, and different POVs (ie. a dog POV when the module is attached to an accessory that you place on your furry friend’s collar). The said module connects via a magnetic port and will come with a variety of accessories for different functions.
As someone who is not exactly a fan of pop-up modules—anything that moves is prone to failure at some point—having a detachable module adds another headache of possibly misplacing it, especially given its diminutive size. vivo claims that it will have an alarm of sorts, where it will notify thru the phone if the module is left unattached for extended periods of time. Even with such feature, we all know that they are not 100% accurate.
Aside from the headache of possibly misplacing the module, there are still other questions that come to mind. How long can you use the module unattached? Does the camera have autofocus? Is there a recording limit? How can vivo fit a decent battery AND storage inside such a diminutive attachment? Will it be future proof?
While we appreciate vivo’s efforts in pushing technology—after all, they are the ones who pioneered in-display fingerprint scanners—this concept looks promising, provided that vivo irons out all our questions and concerns regarding the design.