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OnePlus to disable OnePlus 8 Pro color filter camera, but only in China

Update: OnePlus won't temporarily disable the 8 Pro's color filter camera in the West, but an update is still coming.

Published onMay 19, 2020

OnePlus 8 Pro back on table
David Imel / Android Authority

Update, May 19 2020 (9:29AM ET): OnePlus announced on Weibo earlier today that it would be temporarily disabling the color filter camera on OnePlus 8 Pro phones due to user privacy concerns. Now the firm says this only applies to China.

“While we think this camera gives users the ability to get more creative with smartphone photography, we also understand the concerns that have been raised. Therefore, we are already working on an OTA that we’ll push out in the coming weeks to offer the Photochrom filter while limiting other functionality that may be of concern,” the company explained on its forum.

“We decided to temporarily disable this filter on HydrogenOS out of an abundance of caution about some false and misleading information circulating on social media in China. However, we do not plan to disable this filter on OxygenOS, our global operating system, so we can focus on bringing the OTA to you as quickly as possible.”

In other words, you can keep using the color filter camera if you’ve got a global OnePlus 8 Pro. But expect an update to presumably neuter the see-through abilities soon.

Original article, May 19 2020 (2:42AM ET): The OnePlus 8 Pro has a gimmicky color filter camera, essentially allowing users to take images with grey and copper colors. But videos posted online show that this camera is able to see through thin plastic material (like the Apple TV and some TV remotes) as well as thin layers of clothing.

Now, OnePlus has announced on Weibo (h/t: Mishaal Rahman) that they’ll be temporarily disabling the color filter camera, while acknowledging privacy concerns over the tech.

The Chinese brand said (via machine translation) that the color filter camera has an effect on “special materials at very close distances.”

OnePlus 8 Pro's color filter camera is little more than a gimmick
oneplus 8 pro color camera filter sample

“In order to eliminate the impact on user privacy under possible extreme circumstances and eliminate everyone’s concerns, we decided to temporarily disable the filter function through software upgrades,” the firm explained, adding that this update would be pushed in a week.

There’s no word if OnePlus intends to temporarily disable the OnePlus 8 Pro color filter camera outside China. We’ve contacted the company to confirm this and will update the article if/when they get back to us. Nevertheless, it’s somewhat interesting that the firm didn’t spot this issue during testing.

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