The Oppo N1 packing a rotating camera module was launched back in 2013, and was soon followed by the Oppo N3 that featured a more advanced motorized camera hub. Years later, Asus tried a similar iteration with the Asus ZenFone 6 and later with the ZenFone 7 Pro in 2020. It now appears that Oppo is back to the drawing board and is experimenting with a new design that involves a fully detachable camera module. Yes, a camera module that separates from the main smartphone body, something Oppo’s patent filed before WIPO explains in detail.
As you can see in the image above, the entire camera module packing multiple lenses, sensors, and the LED flash can be detached. The camera module has a battery pack of its own, allowing it to function as a remotely controlled image capture and video recording device. You can place the camera module at any place and remotely capture images by playing with the camera app installed on the smartphone. That iteration can prove to be quite helpful for capturing videos, as you want to worry about your hands shaking and resulting in a video full of jerky movements.
Additionally, the removable camera module has a USB connector of its own that you can plug into the smartphone’s USB port for clicking selfies and making video calls. The camera module’s USB plug bends 90-degrees so that when the camera module is put back in the housing slot at the back, the connector doesn’t protrude or pose any hindrance.
A removable camera module that can also take care of selfie duties will eliminate the need for a front camera housed in a notch or hole-punch cutout, helping achieve a clean full-screen design. However, this a patent we’re talking about, which means things are still in the concept stage and Oppo might never make a commercially available device with a removable camera module. But hey, this is one cool concept that we’d love to see become reality.