Look, Chinese phone manufacturers, we need to have a talk. I know trademarks, copyrights, patents, and all manner of intellectual property are played kind of fast and loose over there. But when even your legitimate companies follow Apple like a bunch of multi-million-dollar ducklings, it's not poking any holes in the old "iPhone clone" argument. Case in point: OPPO's shiny new F1 Plus, a phone that has some fantastic design and hardware and could certainly stand on its own merits... that just happens to look like someone took an iPhone 6 Plus and put it through a photocopier a few dozen times.
OPPO might have just blown everyone's mind with its Super VOOC fast charging technology, but that doesn't mean that the company's MWC announcements are over. SmartSensor is its new Optical Image Stabilization technology and it happens to be the smallest, fastest, and most precise sensor available on smartphones right now.
OPPO explains that SmartSensor is built on sensor-based OIS (or sensor-shift OIS) as opposed to the current lens-based OIS technologies in smartphones. Instead of using a motor to shift the lens around to compensate for movement, it keeps the lens stable but moves the sensor to counter the motion. It's also as thin as two sheets of paper, overcoming the size limitation when being implemented in modern smartphones.
Do you like Qualcomm's Quick Charge? Are you impatiently waiting for all devices and accessories to be compatible with Quick Charge 3.0? Then OPPO is about to rain on your parade with its Super VOOC technology. And I mean really rain.
Announced and demoed at MWC, Super VOOC is the evolution of OPPO's VOOC (yeah, they like capitalizing things) fast charging technology. It uses a new low-voltage pulse-charge system, a new dynamic algorithm for current regulation, and a new customized battery. The charger, adapter, and cable connector have also been upgraded to use military-grade materials. The end result is a setup capable of fully charging a 2500mAh battery in an OPPO phone in 15 minutes.
OPPO just announced that it was planning to announce a new phone soon. That's the gist of the story really. I guess the company wanted to jumpstart the CES news cycle by a couple of hours, without being ready to fully unveil all the specifics.
After receiving lots of positive feedback for its cameras on flagship devices, Oppo has decided to bring its photography experience to the mid-range. Everyone likes to take photos and Oppo wants to make it affordable without having to dig deep into your pockets for the top-of-the-line specs on all fronts. The result is the new Oppo F series, of which the F1 will be soon announced and ready to launch in January.
A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.
OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates.
OnePlus is easily the world's most controversial smartphone company, and that's for good reason: they actively bring that controversy upon themselves. And they know they do.
Case in point: the OnePlus 2's so dumb I can't believe it but yes I can marketing slogan - "2016 Flagship Killer."
Now, if you ask OnePlus about this phrase, they'll probably claim you're not "getting" their meaning. Their "meaning" is that "specs don't matter." People are tired of specs (OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei literally told me this, by the way). Except the specs OnePlus dutifully teased over the course of weeks and months leading up to their phone's launch.
The midrange smartphone market is getting more interesting by the day, both on its cheaper lower end or in the more expensive price bracket. The latter is the case of the newly unveiled Oppo R7 and R7 Plus, which tread that thin line between upper midrange and almost-flagship status, offering a list of impressive specifications in a very decent-looking package.
Oppo takes about 8 sections in its product pages to explain why the R7 and R7 Plus are such exquisite devices, comparing their curves... whatcha talkin' 'bout Oppo? These are the flattest flattened phones that lie flatly flatting on any flat surface.
If you've got a Find 7 or Find 7a phone from OPPO and you're itching for an official Lollipop ROM, head on over to the company's user forums. A beta version of Color OS 2.1, running on top of Android 5.0 code, has been posted for you to download. At the moment this edition of the software is not available via an over-the-air update, though that should be coming soon enough.