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printed April 29, 2016
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Oppo Debuts R9 and R9 Plus Handsets

Mar 17, 2016, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Oppo today announced the R9 and R9 Plus smartphones, two all-metal devices that feature an updated version of Oppo's Color OS. Both the R9 and R9 Plus run Color OS 3.0, which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and is not as heavy as the previous version of ColorOS. The handsets fall into the affordable premium category. Oppo used a new manufacturing process to reduce the thickness of the side bezels, which is down to 1.66mm. Shared hardware features include fingerprint sensors, Oppo's Vooc rapid charging, 16-megapixel front-facing, wide-angle cameras, and 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB of storage.

  • R9 Plus: The larger of the two phones has a 6-inch full HD display, octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor, and a 16-megapixel Sony camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and phase-detection auto focus. The R9 Plus has a 4,210mAh battery.
  • R9: The R9 is a bit smaller than the R9 Plus thanks to its 5.5-inch full HD screen. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio P10 processor. The R9's main camera shoots 13-megapixel images and captures 4K video. The lens has an aperture of f/2.2. Its battery offers 2,850mAh of capacity.
The R9 Plus arrives in China April 12 for $505, while the R9 streets March 24 for $430. Oppo did not say if either phone will be made available to U.S. consumers.


Oppo Talks Up Sensor-Based Image Stabilization

Feb 23, 2016, 5:08 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Oppo today debuted two new technologies at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, one that promises higher-quality pictures and another that delivers faster-charging batteries. Oppo says it has created the first image stabilization system for phones at the sensor level. Rather than use optics (OIS) or software (EIS) to account for handshake, the sensor itself is mounted in a moving chassis that can adjust in three dimensions in order to compensate for movement. The results, claim Oppo, are much faster image stabilization and lower power requirements. Oppo plans to commercialize the technology in its future phones. The company also announced SuperVooc, the latest generation of its rapid-charging technology. Oppo's new algorithms are able to use 5W chargers to fully charge a 2,500mAh battery in 15 minutes. Oppo contends that its low-voltage solution is superior to competing high-voltage (10W) products, such as Qualcomm's Quick Charge, because it creates less heat and is more efficient. Oppo will use SuperVooc in handsets later this year.

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Oppo Says New Power and Camera Tech Headed to MWC

Jan 28, 2016, 8:23 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Oppo today said it plans to reveal new power and camera technologies at next month's Mobile World Congress trade show. The company promised to show off a "groundbreaking power solution" and "unprecedented smartphone camera innovation" but it stopped short of saying it has new handsets on deck. Oppo recently said it shipped more than 50 million devices during 2015, which puts it in the top ten manufacturers of the world. The company sells smartphones that run ColorOS, its forked version of Android 5.1.


Oppo Makes Near-Stock Android Available to Some Phones

Nov 18, 2015, 8:25 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Oppo today began offering customers an alternative to its ColorOS. The company has created a new operating system based on Android 5.1 Lollipop that it calls Project Spectrum. Project Spectrum offers the advantages of speed and quick system updates from Google, while maintaining some of Oppo's core user interface features, such as screen-off gestures and Oppo's PureImage and MaxxAudio apps. Oppo said owners of the Find 7 and Find 7a handsets can download and install Project Spectrum directly. Further, installing Project Spectrum will not affect users' warranties. Oppo expects to make the alternate OS available to the R5 and R5s soon. Oppo said it believes Project Spectrum will appeal to customers in western markets that favor a more Google-like experience on their handsets. Oppo's ColorOS is an Android fork, which means that it relies on the Android base code, but doesn't include Google services. Oppo will release a version of Project Spectrum based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow early next year.


Oppo Shows Off R7 Plus and R5s Smartphones

Aug 24, 2015, 7:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Oppo today announced two new handsets, the R7 Plus and the R5s (pictured). Both share thin and premium designs with internal specs such as 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processors, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and 13-megapixel Sony cameras.

  • R7 Plus: The larger of the two phones has a 6-inch, full HD AMOLED screen protected by Gorilla Glass 3, a 4,100mAh battery, and an 8-megapixel user-facing camera. The R7 Plus runs ColorOS 2.1, which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop.
  • R5s: The smaller of the two handsets is an update to the R5 and has a 5.2-inch full HD screen, 2,000mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel user-facing camera. The R5s runs ColorOS 2.0, which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat.
The R7 Plus and R5s are available to North American buyers via the Oppo Style web site. The R7 Plus doesn't support U.S. LTE bands, but will run on the HSPA+ networks of AT&T and T-Mobile. It costs about $470. The R5s has limited support for U.S. LTE, and also runs on U.S. HSPA+ networks. It costs about $225. The phones are sold unlocked at full price.


Qualcomm Boasts of Snapdragon 810 Support

Feb 2, 2015, 8:35 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Following reports of poor performance of its flagship Snapdragon 810 processor, Qualcomm today rounded up support from a handful of handset makers that plan to use the chip. LG and Xiaomi have already committed to using the processor in the G Flex 2 and Mi Note Pro, respectively, and reiterated their trust in the processor. Motorola, Sony, Oppo, and Microsoft today also offered statements in support of the processor and suggested they each plan to use the 810 in forthcoming handset designs. Last week, Qualcomm lowered its revenue outlook for the year after stating that a "large customer" decided to pass on using the Snapdragon 810 in its own flagship device. Earlier in January, Samsung claimed the 810 overheated. The Snapdragon 810 is a premium mobile processor with a quad-core design, advanced GPU, and support for Cat 9 LTE.


Oppo to Sell N1 Smartphone In US for $599

Dec 2, 2013, 11:01 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Oppo today announced that it will offer its N1 Android-based smartphone to U.S. consumers beginning December 10. Oppo, which is a Chinese hardware maker, is selling the N1 with a choice of operating systems. Consumers can pick Oppo's ColorOS Android skin, CyanogenMod, or both. The phone will allow users to switch from ColorOS to CyanogenMod if they wish with no hacking required. The other stand-out feature of the N1 is a swiveling 13-megapixel camera that can be aimed either at the user or away from the user. Other features include a 5.9-inch 1080p HD display, a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of storage. The N1 also includes a touch panel on the back for one-handed use. The phone will cost $599, and will be sold unlocked and without a contract.


MobileBench Consortium Formed to Improve Phone Testing

Sep 26, 2013, 7:34 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

A handful of mobile technology companies today announced the formation and launch of MobileBench, a consortium meant to help developers better benchmark their apps and services across today's mobile devices. The founding members include Broadcom, Huawei, OPPO, Samsung, and Spreadtrum, all of which met for the first time this week and demonstrated the first MobileBench benchmarking tool. The consortium has two major areas of focus: benchmarking mobile hardware, and how the hardware affects the user experience within applications. Developers and engineers have full control over the tools, and can alter parameters throughout the testing process, which delivers results immediately. The MobileBench Consortium is actively seeking new members and hopes to provide "objective ways to evaluate a mobile device's performance in the real world."


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