Do smartphone users really want a pop-up camera?

Do smartphone users really want a pop-up camera?

In the past couple of months, more and more smartphone vendors are coming out with entry to mid-range level smartphones that feature a pop-up camera. This feature used to be exclusive to high-end or flagship devices last year.

This quarter, it seems like pop-up cameras are the new “IN” thing. We’ve been asked by several brand reps before what we think about pop-up cameras and my answers remained the same.

So, let’s gather together and answer this question — are pop-up cameras what customers really want with their new smartphone? Do they solve a real problem? Do they add value?


Not really. We’ve shared our opinion with several brands and we explained why:

  • Pop-up cameras add an unnecessary mechanical break-point for a fragile device like a smartphone. Users are already worried about scratches, cracks or broken screens and potential water damage. A pop-up camera will be prone to mechanical failure or damage. Imagine taking a selfie and the phone drops with the pop-up camera in shooting mode.
  • In connection to the issue above, pop-up cameras are also prone to penetration by dust and other minute particles. Also, it’s hard to make a phone water-resistant if it has a pop-up camera.
  • A pop-up camera introduces delays in shooting, sometimes even as long as 0.5 seconds. That’s quite a lag if you’re talking about taking a photo.
  • Smartphone users are more concerned about more important features — like smartphone quality, performance and battery life — way more than what a pop-up camera intends to solve (i.e., the notch).

Smartphone brands need to look for something more valuable or meaningful for the common user other than a pop-up camera.

Sure, it is considered an innovation but we think it’s a solution that will just add a problem rather than actually solve one.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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5 Responses

  1. Rei says:

    If there was a survey, I would have answered. “No, I do not need a pop-up camera” for the same exact reasons stated above.

  2. cruizer says:

    I think a lot of sites/videos have demonstrated that the pop-up camera implementation by Vivo and Xiaomi are pretty good and can withstand repeated use and even a bit of abuse.

    As for the delay when popping out the camera – that’s OK as long as it’s the selfie cam that’s popping out. Who’s in a hurry when it comes to taking selfies?! For the rear-facing camera definitely you want it available as quickly as possible and the bottleneck is launching the camera app for the most part, as long as the rear camera is not a pop-up cam as well.

  3. Rova says:

    I thought this would be an unbiased article with actual research but seems to be a personal take or opinion of Abe. Interesting article but misleading title, “Do smartphone users..” but it was only tackled on the perspective of the author. Would have been helpful if survey was actually done. You sir does not represent the majority or should not expect to be so.

  4. david stern says:

    you could have just said “No.”

    But really though…I can live with a bit of notch (or even top bezels) for a good sturdy phone. They could have focused their innovation on something a bit more insane like improved augmented reality for games, highly interactive phone that becomes an amazing personal assistant…or even waterproof, dust proof and shock proof devices.

  5. Vince says:

    I disagree, pop-ups allow space for much larger camera sensors. Way better selfies in exchange for that delay, which even the worst offenders are sub 1 second,which is well below negligible for selfie use.

    Durability-wise, the majority of the big brand pop-ups auto retract when dropped and have been tested to far out-last the normal life-span of a smart phone.

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