OnePlus has announced plans to disable the colour filter camera on its latest OnePlus 8 Pro flagship blower after it emerged the device could see through plastics and clothes under certain conditions.
In a (Google-translated) post to its Weibo page, the Chinese smartphone giant acknowledged the issue and apologised, saying: “Recently, based on user feedback, we found that under very specific environmental conditions, the filter lens may have a slight perspective effect on special materials at very close distances.
“In order to eliminate the impact on user privacy under possible extreme circumstances and eliminate everyone’s concerns, we [have] decided to temporarily disable the filter function through software upgrades.”
OnePlus is expected to release this update to Chinese users later this week. So far there’s no word on an update for those outside the Middle Kingdom, but we’ve asked that very question.
OnePlus said the colour filter camera will eventually be enabled once engineers have managed to mitigate its slightly voyeuristic tendencies.
The mea culpa concludes somewhat unusually by threatening legal action against those who use the feature to poke fun at OnePlus.
“At present, there are a lot of descriptions about the perspective ability of this lens on Weibo that are not in line with the facts,” the firm said. Anyone posting fake pictures is liable for a knock on the door from local authorities, OnePlus warned.
It’s not clear whether this episode will dent sales of the OnePlus 8 Pro. By disabling the colour filter camera, it’s effectively a triple-lens shooter – just like its cheaper sibling, the bog-standard OnePlus 8.
And while there are other points of differentiation (for starters, the OnePlus 8 Pro has a bigger, faster display, as well as wireless charging), people often buy phones based primarily on the capabilities of the camera.
Regardless, OnePlus should be commended for breaking barriers in the often stagnant smartphone space, even if they didn’t intend to. The release of an X-ray phone is a world-first, though now it will hopefully appeal less to the “upskirters and assorted perverts” niche. ®