The Oppo N1 packing a rotating camera module was launched back in 2013 and was soon followed by the Oppo N3 that featured a more advanced motorized camera hub.
Years later, Asus tried a similar iteration with the Asus ZenFone 6 and later with the ZenFone 7 Pro in 2020. It now appears that Oppo is back to the drawing board and is experimenting with a new design that involves a fully detachable camera module. The patent images and description show this potential future smartphone will have a rear camera module that can be removed from the back panel and then be used to take selfies using a USB Type-C connector.
The camera module has two sensors and a pill-shaped LED flash, but we can expect more lenses in a commercial model if it ever becomes a reality. Additionally, the removable camera module has a USB connector of its own that you can plug into the smartphone’s USB port for clicking selfies and making video calls. The camera module’s USB plug bends 90-degrees so that when the camera module is put back in the housing slot at the back, the connector doesn’t protrude or pose any hindrance.