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The OnePlus 8 Pro has a crazy secret camera feature

Updated 3 years ago
Published May 14th, 2020 6:03PM EDT
OnePlus 8 Pro Color Filter
Image: OnePlus
  • OnePlus 8 Pro users have discovered a neat camera feature that allows the phone to see through objects.
  • It’s not X-ray vision; it’s actually a camera filter that gives the phone this ability and only works through plastic and other materials.
  • The OnePlus 8 Pro camera can process infrared light for this particular effect, and that’s how these see-through images are obtained.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

If you’re buying a new Android flagship this year, the OnePlus 8 series needs to be on your shortlist. As with previous models, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro offer tremendous value, and unlike in past years, OnePlus went the extra mile for the Pro, which is the company’s first handset to support wireless charging and water- and dust-resistance.

The Pro is also the version of the OnePlus 8 with the better camera module of the two. And it turns out the phone has a unique camera superpower that’s not available on any other device. The camera has a mode that lets you see through objects. But it’s not exactly the X-ray vision you might expect.

The OnePlus 8 Pro features a camera filter that lets you see through plastic. The revelation came via Reddit a few weeks ago when a user asked whether it’s possible to see through plastic with the phone. The feature quickly went viral on social media, 9to5Google notes, where all sorts of samples were posted.

First up, we’ve got a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller:

Next is a TV remote that suddenly becomes translucent:

Here’s an Apple TV getting the same treatment:

And here are some see-through phones:

Finally, here’s a smart speaker through the camera filter:

The last set of images also shows the camera filter making the liquid in a bottle invisible, which means the feature works with other types of materials, not just thin plastic covers. Ok, fine, it can also see through some clothes:

OnePlus 8 Pro ‘X-Ray’ color filter camera trick in action on clothes.

That’s about as much as the feature can do, however. It won’t see through walls, and if the plastic layer is too thick, it might not be able to penetrate it. But it can definitely be fun to experiment with on various objects and gadgets that you may have around the house. What actually happens with the phone is that it’s able to process infrared light, and that’s how these unexpected visual effects come to life.

But the color filter trick is hardly a must-have feature. As I said before, the functionality is limited in scope, and it won’t turn you into the next James Bond. The OnePlus 8 Pro might be the only handset that can support the feature right now, though. Otherwise, we’d have seen similar camera samples from other phones.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.