Camera bumps are one of the necessary evils of smartphone design. There’s a hard limit on how small you can make imaging sensors and lenses while also keeping the phone itself thin and light. Sometimes, this situation has resulted in ingenious and beautiful designs, but sometimes the mass of glass and metal protruding from the back of the phone ruins whatever beauty the rest of the design might have. These days, it’s no longer common to see unappealing camera designs, though there are a few rare cases that pop up from time to time. If this leak is true, however, OPPO’s next flagship will come with a rather odd design choice that will surely split camps and get the Internet talking.
Designer: OPPO (via Weibo)
To be fair, it’s difficult to design around those cameras that wouldn’t look obnoxious or even unusable. Unless you’re Samsung, which separates each camera into its own little island, the common strategy is to have a single raised structure, often called a “bump,” to visually group the cameras together. Coming up with a pleasing design for that is no walk in the park, but OPPO has had some very good results in that regard.
The OPPO Find X5, for example, used a single piece of ceramic for the back cover as well as the camera so that the bump is more of a gentle slope rather than an abrupt and independent structure. This year’s OPPO Find X6, on the other hand, used a very large circle, but it tried to imitate the aesthetics of a DSLR lens to give it a more familiar appearance. Given these two hits, it’s almost shocking to hear that the brand might be adopting something completely different and opposite to what they achieved.
Leaked hands-on photos of the alleged OPPO Find X7 reveal a gigantic camera bump with a hexagon shape we rarely see on other phones, at least not of late. It seems to have a two-step structure perhaps to give it a bit of a flair, something it definitely needs given this rather unappealing appearance. At this point, however, the device in the photo is most likely a prototype, which means there’s a chance it isn’t the final design. Given the rather raw and rough appearance, that is hopefully the case.
The extra large camera bump could be due to having two periscope-style telephoto cameras, another first in the industry, that would require even more space for the hardware. That speculation isn’t that far off considering how OPPO markets its Find X series as a mobile photographer’s tool. It seems that the rest of the phone’s design will be similar to the OPPO Find X6, especially the curved edge screen which is a dying breed in this new flat age. The OPPO Find X7 is expected to drop sometime in the first quarter of 2024, so there’s plenty of hope that the brand will adopt a more attractive design for that large camera bump.