Update: OnePlus only disabling ‘X-Ray’ colour filter camera in China
The OnePlus 8 Pro’s colour filter camera – more recently referred to by some as an ‘X-Ray’ camera – is going to be disabled in a software update coming within the next week.
It seems as news gained momentum that this camera could see through some materials, including thin clothing, OnePlus has opted to protect users’ privacy and security by turning the camera off.
The manufacturer announced the move on Weibo, in a post where it says that it will “temporarily disable the filter function” until it can find a solution that keeps the unusual dystopian landscape colours, but stops it from seeing through objects.
A little while after announcing this on social media in China, OnePlus clarified on its community forums that this restriction was limited to Hydrogen OS phones within China, and doesn’t apply to Oxygen OS phones across the globe.
In the post, OnePlus states that this move is “out of an abundance of caution about some false and misleading information circulating on social media in China”.
For users outside China running Oxygen OS, the feature will continue to work as it is, until OnePlus rolls out a software update to fix the feature and limit what it can see through. This update is coming as a regular over-the-air “in the coming weeks”.
Back when the OnePlus 8 Pro was originally announced, questions and confusion centred around this particular camera’s function, and more specifically, how it worked.
It’s the fourth camera in a quad system, and even within the marketing materials and announcement there was no explanation except to say it was for a bit of fun.
In our review, we suggested it would be better if it wasn’t there at all. Not only did the fourth camera mean that the quad camera setup ruined the usual symmetry OnePlus is known for on the back, it also didn’t seem to offer any real benefit.
Resulting photos from that particular colour filter in the camera app were out of focus and noisy, and while a bit of fun to begin with, the gimmick soon wears off.
To top it off, now it seems the camera has caused privacy concerns which OnePlus has had to respond to by switching the camera off in an update in China, and rolling out a fix. It’s a lot of trouble for a piece of camera tech that really has no need to be there.
This post was originally posted on 19 May 2020 at 08:43, and updated on the same day at 15:21 to reflect the global communication.