"Is the era of alien screens finally over?"
After Xiaomi released MIX 4, while lamenting the rapid maturity of the under-screen camera (CUP) technology, many friends also expressed the above-mentioned lament.
▲ Xiaomi MIX 4.
It is true that the under-screen camera is not Xiaomi's first launch. ZTE has also launched related products before, and it has been innovated for two generations. Not long ago, OPPO also disclosed its own under-screen camera plan.
▲ OPPO concept camera under the screen.
It can be said that all roads lead to Rome. "Perhaps next year the under-screen camera will become a universal technology for flagships."
"True full screen" cures the visual "cleanliness", but it is still imperfect and still needs "forgiveness".
The under-screen camera is not a high-yield business
"The main benefit is that the appearance is more beautiful, which has little effect on the use."
From the perspective of purely rational needs, after the screen is perfect, the increased display area does not bring gains to some scenes such as videos, games, and reading.
After adding a little sensibility, the perfect screen presentation will bring enough visual impact.
In the real experience, the "under-screen camera" at this stage is exactly the "extreme romance of straight men."
▲ Mi MIX 4 calls selfies in QQ.
The front camera is hidden under the screen, which has a lot of influence on the front imaging due to occlusion. Even if the card of "computational photography" is played, it still can't match the traditional front.
However, the use of reduced pixel size to solve the occlusion and the use of AI algorithms to make up for it, this is nothing more romantic than this for "straight men" who only scan their faces for authentication and take fewer selfies.
But when the under-screen camera with low light transmittance is introduced to the public, as the freshness of the full screen slowly dissipates, the poor self-portrait effect will always linger in the mind.
From the several under-screen camera solutions announced so far, the perception of the "screen window" effect is not obvious, but the resolution can only be maintained at the level of 1080P, which is far from traditional screens.
In addition, taking Xiaomi MIX 4 as an example, a whole screen on the front includes two parts, one is an ordinary screen, and the other is a CUP screen that only occupies 0.2% of the front area. The cost of a CUP screen is almost the same as that of a large screen.
From the user's point of view, the perception of "0.2% area" is improved, but the front camera effect, screen resolution, part quality, etc. are omitted.
The look and feel may not continue to stimulate, but these actual experiences will continue to shake your original motivation to choose a full screen.
Manufacturers pay too much attention to the "holes" on the screen
In recent years, manufacturers have focused on how to achieve a perfect screen, but it seems that they have overlooked a lot of beauty and details.
When celebrating entering the "full screen" era, many people hope to reproduce the "normal rectangular" screen so that they don't have to endure the various disharmony of the rounded screen.
▲ Mi MIX 4 and Mi 11 Ultra, the chin is quite obvious.
"There is still a chin." This is a sentence spoken by Jonathan Ho, the head UP master, after he got MIX 4. Even if the extremely advanced CUP screen is used and the front camera is eliminated, MIX 4 still fails to achieve the same width on all four sides.
I remember that after the release of the iPhone X in the early days, the four sides of the same width and narrow chin became the design benchmarks of the "shaped screen" at that time. Not only that, Apple has also adapted a set of UI for the rounded corners of the screen and borders in iOS 11 to keep them consistent. In the same year, the iPhone 8 series was still the traditional right angle.
▲ After iPhone 12 is changed to a right-angled side, the curvature of the frame has changed, and the Dock in the system has also been adjusted accordingly.
Last year, the iPhone 12 changed its design style. Due to the adjustment of the bezel and the rounded corners of the screen, the entire UI has also been quietly changed, which can be described as a detail madman.
To achieve the same width and narrow chin of the frame, the basis of the hardware is the need for an OLED flexible screen and a COP package. Now these hardware has almost become standard for Android flagships.
▲ Although this comparison between iPhone X and Xiaomi MIX2 is a bit foul, it is enough to explain the problem.
But they did not make the borders equal width, but pursued the extremely narrow borders to obtain a more impactful vision. In this way, it brings a lot of awkwardness.
The first is the "strange and weird" R angles.
The frame is narrowed, even introducing the concept of "waterfall screen", but in order to protect the fragile screen, the corners will not follow the "design" rule, but set aside black borders to prevent impact.
Even if the COP package can produce a narrower chin, it is still a bit too conspicuous in the face of a slightly curved 3D screen.
As a result, the transitional narrowing of the frame brings about a "chin" and the birth of a bizarre R angle. And this trend has little to do with the CUP full screen.
The second is that UI adaptation is a bit sloppy.
In just a few years, the screen has gone from bangs, water droplets, perforations (pill, center, offset) to today's full screen. The rapid iteration of the hardware leaves little time for system designers to adapt.
And, different from Apple’s product route of several models that dominate the world, Android manufacturers have products that cover different positioning, and the shape of the natural screen is also inconsistent, and the targeted optimization of the system UI is even more difficult.
As a result, domestic systems can only choose a set of "compromise" solutions, and try to cover more models instead of tuning for each model.
▲ Although the concept of perfect R angle was proposed, the adaptation of MIUI at that time was not excellent.
Finally, the same set of UI will have completely different presentation effects on different models. The most intuitive thing is that the taskbar, the "hole" and the position of the R corner are somewhat confusing.
After the arrival of the full screen, it may alleviate the adaptation work of some systems, but manufacturers still have a lot of room for improvement in the detailed design issues such as R angle and frame isometric.
Aesthetic magic of equal width on all sides
Apple's design has always pursued a "smooth rounded rectangle", which was the first idea of Jobs. He thinks that the right-angled edge design is easy to interrupt people's thinking, while the rounded rectangle is not so procedural and easier to be accepted.
From the beginning of iOS many years ago, until now, there are ubiquitous rounded rectangles in various Apple products.
Before the advent of the iPhone, most mobile phones had asymmetrical designs, which resulted in various shapes and blossoms. After the iPhone, large-screen touch-operated mobile phones rose, and the form of products began to gradually converge.
And this process is gradually shifting from the asymmetrical design of "functional appeal" to the symmetrical design for aesthetic pursuit.
Due to symmetry, the rounded corners of the screen echo the rounded corners of the fuselage, the four-sided borders are equidistant, and the system UI animation also echoes the R angle. These are all based on Apple's years of design.
▲ Just for fun. Picture from: Samsung Galaxy Advertising
This is also the exquisite and attractive aspect of the current iPhone and iOS (of course not including the bangs).
And the CUP screen of the Android camp may be a pawn to solve the final "symmetrical aesthetics" of the iPhone.
It can also be seen from this that Android products are more typical hardware drivers supplemented by design, while iPhone (or Apple's products) are more designed drivers supplemented by hardware implementation.
The MIX 4, who will have close to perfect hardware, are far from true romance. It seems that only the details are polished, but these details require more aesthetic recognition and accumulation. Once polished, it may be able to present a truly perfect full-screen mobile phone.
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