Pop-up Camera vs. Waterdrop Notch Camera. Which do you prefer?


Which style of front camera do you like?

  1. Pop-up

    137 vote(s)
  2. Notch

    45 vote(s)
  3. Other

    19 vote(s)
  1. USBA JasonB
    US Brand Ambassador Dec 10, 2019

    USBA JasonB , Dec 10, 2019 :
    Cam Faceoff Header.png

    What's up OnePlus Community?

    The US Brand Ambassadors are at it again with another hit comparison article. Pop-up vs Waterdrop Notch front cameras. This time it's USBA @jasonb and Nikolaus (@nmatheis) bringing the goods and our opinion.

    First up let's review the specs of each camera. OnePlus 7 Pro, the device that blew OnePlus into the Premium smartphone market and laid the foundation for it's not so little brother the OnePlus 7T. Inheriting 95% of what made the 7 Pro and built on it specifically with the newest 855+ processor under the hood.

    The OnePlus 7 Pro packs a powerful Sony 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0", 1.0µm front facing motorized camera.

    What does motorized mean? A powerful and durable motor effortlessly raises the camera from the body. There is no notch, no empty space, no “hole punch” intruding into the screen. This results in a nearly full size front screen. Simply gorgeous!


    The OnePlus 7T features what looks to be the same Sony 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.1", 1.0µm as its OnePlus 7 Pro counterpart. However this is not motorized and utilizes the same waterdrop notch features on the 6T for the most minimal interruption to the screen possible.


    Both devices also have gyro-EIS and can record 1080p @ 30fps, so it's probably safe to assume they are using the same “selfie” camera.

    But what are OUR thoughts on the 2 different devices.

    Nikolaus's thoughts...

    I started using both the 7 Pro and 7T soon after they were released. Confession time… I'm not a selfie kinda guy, but that doesn't mean I don't care about front cameras. To the contrary, I care deeply about them for a couple reasons. The first is completely pragmatic, I rely on Face Unlock as the primary way to unlock my phones. The second is vanity, I want to use products that are aesthetically pleasing. So how do the two phones with they're competing front camera implementations stack up for me?

    Let's start with the phone that was released first, the 7 Pro. It easily wins in the aesthetics department, the pop-up camera enabling a completely clean display without forehead or notch. Talk about a production monster! It gets bonus points for feeling futuristic, and people are always amazed when I activate Face Unlock or show them the selfie cam. However, it took a while before I took the decision to enable Face Unlock on the 7 Pro. Why? Two reasons. The first is because it isn't as fast as I was used to coming from the 6T. The second is because I didn't want to wear out the motor activating the pop-up camera multiple times a day. In the end, I got tired of relying on Fingerprint Unlock and decided to trust in OnePlus engineers and just go for it. Absolutely no problems, and I'm much happier with the user experience.

    Next up is the 7T with the front camera in the waterdrop notch. When I got the 7T, it was almost like coming home since I used Face Unlock as the primary way to unlock my older (but still awesome) 6T. If anything, it was even faster with Face Unlock than the 6T which is super impressive! Does it feel futuristic like the 7 Pro? Nope, not at all. Is it pragmatic? Most definitely. Gets the job done in a fraction of a second! The biggest downside compared to the 7 Pro is that the notch eats up real estate. In all honesty, it's not that much but it feels like more than it is when compared with the 7 Pro's super clean, giant display.

    I'm torn because I like the aesthetics & extra screen real estate of pop-up camera but like quick face unlock without wearing out a camera motor of the conventional selfie camera screen even more.

    Jason's thoughts...

    I am also completely torn on the 2. And the decision is close to impossible for me to decide. The extra real estate for the screen just makes the device experience so futuristic and modern. If we have the technology why not use it! Uninterrupted videos and gaming by not having any sort of cut-out, drop, or notch to me seems to be the way to go. However the gaming industry is aware of the number of devices with cut-outs, drops, and notches and have hence altered their games to not be “bothered” by these. As I have yet to find a game that has been affected by this.

    To me there is 1 area the 7 Pro camera falls short of the 7T.

    I have loved the OnePlus face unlock feature since the day the released it! And the 7T is undeniably fast if not the fastest facial unlock there is. The 7 Pro is no slouch but having the camera pop up every time I want to unlock my device just kind of hurts my soul a teeny bit. I'm so nervous that I will accidentally hit the power button when it's in my pocket and cause the camera to pop out. Luckily I have not had that happen.

    One thing is for sure though, that motor on the 7 Pro is strong. Claiming the motor can be used over 300,000 times, that's 150 times a day for 5.5 years. Plus the strength of it to raise a 49.2lb cement weight from the video I am sure we have all watched several times. There is no doubt to me about the durability of the 7 Pro motorized camera. It just simply boils down to personal preference.


    It should be clear by now that there is no clear winner in this comparison. Both pop-up and the more conventional hard-centered front facing camera have pros and cons that cancel each other out. In the end, it's a matter of what matters most to the individual. Do you want more screen real estate and more futuristic, eye catching? If so, then the 7 Pro's pop-up camera is for you. Want lighting fast responsiveness out of the front facing camera and don't mind a notch? You'll be super happy with the 7T.

    Now that we've given you our take on the subject, it's your turn to tell us which option you prefer and why. Hit us up in the thread below!

  2. keithnyc
    Moderator Moderator Dec 10, 2019

  3. jayanyway
    US Brand Ambassador Dec 11, 2019

    jayanyway , Dec 11, 2019 :
    My thoughts:
    For a WOW factor: Popup
    For a convenience factor: Notch

    Give me a big, bright, smooth display with a high resolution and I couldn't care any less about a notch.

  4. Sandman68
    Donut Dec 11, 2019


  5. #5
  6. kandan26
    Froyo Dec 11, 2019

    kandan26 , Dec 11, 2019 :
    I like the OP7T with the notch because I use the face unlock feature 70% to unlock the phone and only 30% the fingerprint technique.

  7. Caleb Meier , via OnePlus 7 Pro Nebula Blue , Dec 11, 2019 :
    This is an easy decision for me. I like the Pop-up camera for convenience since it gives me the all-screen display, while I would choose a notch for longevity.

    OnePlus has proved that the pop-up camera is a strong mechanism, and I believe them. But I could really care less if it is strong or not because I NEVER take selfies, so I never use it. Now I can take advantage of the full screen display without any obtrusions, there is added privacy as well.

    The only reason I would choose the waterdrop notch is if I was a photographer and took several pictures and selfies. I would be more worried about the longevity of the camera since it would be coming in and out of the phone. Same thing goes if I used face unlock. I open my phone countless times a day, and that could compromise a pop-up camera if it is used too much like that. That is why I just use the fingerprint scanner, it's way quicker anyway.

    There is no reason to discuss water resistance, neither of the two phones are. The 7 Pro is more prone to water damage though because of the moving parts.

    That is my thought on the Pop-up camera vs Waterdrop Notch.

  8. sumitMZ007
    Jelly Bean Dec 11, 2019


  9. #9
  10. G_Soumya_brata_Dutta_zWr
    Cupcake Dec 11, 2019

  11. Navafpp
    Froyo Dec 11, 2019

  12. Bouncer71
    OnePlus 7 Pro Sample Shot Photographer Community Expert Dec 11, 2019

  13. Defiant2005
    Gingerbread Dec 11, 2019

    Defiant2005 , Dec 11, 2019 :
    Notch or punch hole are too distracting.
    For me it has to be pop-up camera.

    If the pop-up camera stops being a thing ..... back to full bezels

  14. manasarora98
    Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 11, 2019

    basa govardhan reddy and colaboy like this.
  15. Dinesh-Kishori
    Cupcake Dec 11, 2019

  16. Football_rider
    Donut Dec 11, 2019

  17. charmingash
    Honeycomb Dec 11, 2019

  18. Max.Mar
    Jelly Bean Dec 11, 2019

    Max.Mar , Dec 11, 2019 :
    Who doesn't want a full screen view but a moveable part can be fragile in certain situations and I don't want to bet on it. But a small notch doesn't bother me much.. It is passable.
    But why not under display camera? OPPO has one almost ready.

  19. Abhishek.001
    Honeycomb Dec 11, 2019

  20. Pdpk@1+
    Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 11, 2019