Samsung had a lot to talk about at Unpacked today with two new phones, two new watches, and yet another pair of earbuds. Even with a packed schedule, Samsung made certain to point out the Galaxy Z Fold3 sports the first-ever under-display selfie camera in a foldable. However, the resolution of the OLED matrix over top of the camera is about a quarter of the surrounding screen. The results can look a bit weird, and Samsung's renders don't really do it justice. Here's what it looks like in real life.
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The color being displayed affects the visibility of the camera portal. In the case of white and other light colors, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It has a shimmery look, which is more noticeable from certain angles. Text and icons that pass into the camera region are still visible most of the time. With sufficient contrast (like the "G" below), everything is still legible.
Android does have a lot of white space these days, so you'll see that camera dot frequently if you use light UI mode. But you can almost miss the distortion in more varied screen contents and darker colors.
My initial impression of the under-display camera (UDC) isn't great—the texture of that low-resolution section of screen distracts me more than a hole punch does. It stands out, as you can see in the demo video below.
You can almost miss the under-display camera entirely with darker colors (see below), but the same is true of a hole punch. If you want to minimize the appearance of the UDC distortion on the Fold3, you'll probably want to stick to a darker background with some patterns to disguise the edges of the cut-out.
I did find hole punches pretty distracting at first, too, so maybe I'll get used to it. However, the UDC changes so much depending on the color it's displaying. At least hole punches always look the same. I think I'd actually value an option to leave that section of the screen off permanently, similar to the way it looks when you take a selfie.
See? That's really not so bad.