Phone makers have tried eliminating unsightly selfie cameras by hiding them under the display or even flipping up the rear camera, but Oppo may solve that through an unusual method: putting the camera in your hands. According to 91Mobiles, Oppo is patenting a removable camera module for smartphones. If you wanted to take a selfie or take more over a shot, you’d just have to pull the module from the back and point it at your subject.
The design on show has two cameras as well as options for USB-C, NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth. Not surprisingly, a lithium-ion battery would keep the module powered while you line up your photos. It’s not certain if you could mix and match camera modules, although this does raise the possibility of upgrading your phone’s cameras without replacing the entire device.
This is a patent, not a product roadmap, and Oppo isn’t guaranteed to build a phone like this. The company is well-known for having ditched the Find X’s pop-up camera in favor of a more conventional array in the X2 Pro. Oppo also just introduced a rollable phone concept, however, and it’s no stranger to other exotic ideas. We wouldn’t completely rule out a real-world release in the years ahead.