30 July 2020
Update: May 20, 2020
OnePlus has decided to strip this special feature completely from the OnePlus 8 Pro in China following the concerns that the color filter camera can see through clothing as well. But the update will not be rolled out globally for everyone with the OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePlus has announced via a forum post that it will temporarily disable the feature in the devices running Hydrogen OS, the Chinese version of the company's operating system. This means Chinese variants will first receive the update. The company currently has no plan to disable this feature in the US and international versions of the phone.
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.
Original Post (May 19, 2020)
OnePlus 8 Pro’s color filter camera grabbed some limelight last week due to its behavior that lets you see through certain plastics that don’t have IR shielding. As soon as the feature came into notice, users started using it and also found out that under very specific environmental conditions, the filter lens can see through clothes as well.
Now, OnePlus has acknowledged this and said it decides to temporarily disable the filter function in order to "eliminate the impact on user privacy under possible extreme circumstances."
Folks over at AndroidPit investigated the feature themselves to check if it was possible to see through clothes if certain conditions are met like day time and thin layers of clothing. Later many users found responding to the feature in the same way. A video from the famous YouTube channel UnboxTherapy can show you this in action. The YouTuber also examined it and found out the Photochrom mode present in the camera app of the OnePlus 8 Pro can indeed see through the clothes under some circumstances.
So, this had to be stopped since this could have compromised the privacy of the users. Hence, OnePlus has decided to disable this color filter effect via a near-future update.
It is good to note that OnePlus was quick to take action on the same, though we believe the filter should have been thoroughly tested by the company first before even making it available in the hands of the users.
But OnePlus has something else to say about it. According to official press release surfaced on Weibo,
When planning the filter lens of OnePlus 8 Pro, we hope to use this lens to perceive the characteristics of infrared light to provide users with a unique texture photography style effect. But recently, based on user feedback, we have found that under very specific environmental conditions, the filter lens may have a slight perspective effect on special materials at very close distances.
So, clearly, OnePlus didn't investigate it before making the filter available and only got to know about the same from the users' feedback.