• The new age of mobile phones

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    Bakkarik Azeri, Oppo product manager, presents the R5, the world’s slimmest smartphone

    Bakkarik Azeri, Oppo product manager, presents the R5, the world’s slimmest smartphone

    Oppo launches cutting-edge products in Singapore
    According to the November data of Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) Intelligence—a trusted source of mobile operator data, analysis and forecasts—there are over 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers in the world today, or about half of the planet’s 7 billion population. (gsmaintelligence.com)

    This only shows that the global mobile phone market is already saturated with different kinds of products for all kinds of people. From entry-level, to mid-range, to high-end needs—you name it—there is a brand that will cater to it.

    So where does Oppo, a global company that only entered the smartphone industry in 2008 come in? Idealistic as it may sound, Oppo says it does not aim to compete with established brands, but rather promises to deliver “products of great technology” to world.

    Sean Deng, chief executive officer of Oppo Singapore, unveils Oppo’s new flagship phone, the N3 which features a motorized, rotating camera

    Sean Deng, chief executive officer of Oppo Singapore, unveils Oppo’s new flagship phone, the N3 which features a motorized, rotating camera

    Driven by this thrust, Oppo launched its latest smartphones in an international event at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore on October 29.

    Unveiled were Oppo’s N3 as the brand’s new flagship phone, and said to carry the most powerful motorized camera to date; and R5, which at a thickness measurement of 4.85mm should be the slimmest smartphone in the planet for now.

    10-year history
    Oppo is an electronics company established in Guangdong, China in 2004. In 2005, an independent Oppo Digital company organized in Silicon Valley in California, USA (Wikipedia).

    Oppo Digital has been responsible for the brand’s Blu-ray DVD players, which has received international awards, as well as a complete range of music players and headphones.

    It was only in 2008, however, that Oppo began producing and selling mobile phones. It then upped its game in 2012 by launching its first smartphone, the Finder.

    Ski Li, general manager for overseas mobile phone business at Oppo

    Ski Li, general manager for overseas mobile phone business at Oppo

    In a presentation by Jet Lee, the chief executive officer of Oppo Indonesia, he recalled how the Finder made headlines that year for effectively becoming the thinnest smartphone during its time.

    More firsts followed suit including the first HD phone in December 2012, a rotating camera in 2013, and a rapid charge system in 2014.

    In terms of target markets, Oppo has always had a strong customer base in China. But once it diversified in South East Asia, the company immediately established a strong following especially in Vietnam and Thailand, where it holds the No. 4 and 5 spots in terms of sales, respectively.

    “Our business took off in South East Asia where Oppo had been a hit in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It was able to establish itself as a high-end brand in SEA,” noted Lee.

    The R5 measures at an astounding 4.85mm thick—less than the 5 mm mark the industry deemed unachievable before

    The R5 measures at an astounding 4.85mm thick—less than the 5 mm mark the industry deemed unachievable before

    The electronics brand is currently building a strong footprint in Middle East, Mexico, and Australia. It is also planning to be available into 20 markets by the end of 2014.

    But never forgetting its roots, Oppo decided to hold its international launch in Singapore to signify the importance of SEA to the company. The milestone gathered over 1,000 dealers, fans and media from 15 countries to the Marina Bay Sands.

    ‘Design for life’
    With the tagline “Design for life,” Oppo aims to make smartphones a part of daily life.

    At the launch, overall general manager Sky Li announced, “At Oppo, we firmly believe that our customers deserve a product that is specially designed for them. Design matters because it transforms technology into an essential part of our day-to-day life.”

    The N3’s camera can be rotated in three ways using the O-click remote control, by gestures, and with touch access at the back of the phone

    The N3’s camera can be rotated in three ways using the O-click remote control, by gestures, and with touch access at the back of the phone

    To further explain how Oppo’s smartphones will be able to achieve this, Li graced a press conference with international media where he declared that the company takes designing very seriously and meticulously. As such, three teams have been created toward this goal.

    The first is the IT team that takes the lead in developing the products. Then next is the image team in charge of making the best smartphone cameras. Last is the color-operating system team tasked to create Android-based and user-centric interface.

    These signify that Oppo is genuinely focused on product development besides profit.

    “We do not look at sales value too much. What we pursue is to develop quality products so that we do not yield into pressure,” Li emphasized.

    The general manager is therefore very proud of Oppo’s N3 and R5. He shared, “With the launch of these two products, we accomplish our mission to always be different. N3, with its motorized camera, and R5, as the thinnest smartphone, are indeed products of great technology.”

    Rotating camera enhanced
    At the Marina Bay Sands’ spacious convention center, thousands of people awaited the unveiling of Oppo N3. It was Sean Deng, the chief executive officer of Oppo Singapore who was given the honor to present the new flagship smartphone.

    As anticipated by everyone, the N3 did carry its predecessors’ swivel cameras, which can capture both front and rear views by manual turning. However, the new and enhanced features exceeded everyone’s expectations.

    Very proudly, Deng shared that the new swivel cameras are now motorized allowing users three options to turn it on. First is through the use of the O-click, a remote control; then by gestures of sliding a finger up and down the screen; and lastly, by a touch access at the back of the phone.

    According to Deng, Oppo added these features to N3 with smartphone users who are so addicted to taking selfies in mind.

    Another innovation for N3 is that it is now the first smartphone, which can take panoramas vertically thanks to its 206-degree rotation. Yes, with just one click, the camera captures a photo from the ground below to the sky up above.

    To showcase this innovation, Oppo invited New York-based photographer Brian Derballa, who showcased some of his vertical panoramas of Singapore taken using N3.

    It was also Derballa who raved about the N3’s super powerful lenses. Developed in partnership with Schneider Optics, the camera’s 16-megapixel lenses can take 64-megapixel high-resolution images.

    Another capability of the N3 camera that the photographer liked was the PI 2.0 plus, which can “snap first, then focus later.”

    “Truly, N3’s camera is a photography machine,” Derballa enthused.

    In terms of design, the smartphone carries a hollow underside. This hollow space houses Oppo’s signature skyline notification that lights up whenever there is a text or email message. More than giving N3 a stylish and unique look, the hollow part at the bottom also protects the phone if dropped as it absorbs the impact.

    Oppo N3 runs using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, with 32-GB ROM and 2-GB RAM. It also comes with a 5.5-inch screen, and Oppo’s VOOC rapid charging system that can give 75-percent battery life in just 30 minutes.

    ‘Thinnest yet toughest’
    While the launch of N3 as the main event of the Oppo launch in Singapore, the introduction of R5 proved to be just as interesting as the flagship unit. Tasked with the job of presenting its specs was Bakkarik Azeri, product manager from the company’s main office.

    He caught everyone’s attention by declaring that R5 is now the world’s thinnest smartphone. It measures at an astounding 4.85mm thick—less than the 5 mm mark that the industry deemed unachievable before.

    On how the electronics company achieved such a feat without sacrificing the phone’s quality, Azeri explained that they used cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. He even added that the “R5 is not only the thinnest, but also the toughest smartphone.”

    It is tough because in terms of performance, the R5 is powered by an octa-core processor that is also made by Qualcomm. Further enhancing its operating system is the device’s internal cooling material called the “Cool Element.” Made from liquid metal, it absorbs the heat produced by the phone, thus prolonging battery life.

    According to Azeri, this is a notable feature since the R5 cannot use a big battery because of its slim size. Another compromise to the small battery is the compatibility with VOOC fast charging system.

    The official finally shared that R5 was built using first-grade steel and a micro-arc frame which was forged nine times, and then finished by hand for a luminous sheen. Its shape is also exquisite as the lengths are uneven to provide an “ergonomic” feel.

    The R5 features a 5.2 inch AMOLED screen.

    In the Philippines
    In a separate press conference with Oppo Philippines executives, it was announced that both N3 and R5 will be available here soon but dates are not yet definite.

    “Filipinos can expect the product to hit stores early-January. N3 will be priced at P29,900, while R5, P22,900, said Garrick Hung, operations manager of Philippine Oppo Mobile Technology Inc.

    For his part, chief executive officer James Ma echoed Oppo’s global commitment when asked about the brand’s current standing in the Philippines. “Oppo is a brand on its own. We just want to focus on giving the best products. We always challenge our own selves to do that,” he concluded

    For more information, log on to oppo.global.com.

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