electronics and gadgets

OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential

Julian Cirineo
OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential
The brand keeps introducing new innovations year after year. What are they doing next?

Editor’s note: This content is sponsored by OPPO and was produced by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial  team participated in the production of this piece. 

2021 has been a big year for smartphone makers, especially for OPPO. While many brands indeed worked hard to improve existing technologies, OPPO decided to do this while pushing the boundaries of what makes a smartphone. 

Apart from additional camera lenses and the appearance (and disappearance) of a camera notch on the phone screen, smartphones have had a uniform form factor for several years now. In 2021, OPPO challenged that by introducing tech that allowed consumers to reimagine what a phone can be like.

It was in 2021 that they introduced some of the biggest game changers in the industry, including a foldable phone and a rollable phone, both of which grant users extra real estate on demand. OPPO has also been hard at work in making 5G more accessible, not to mention a bunch of software upgrades that maximize hardware like smarter AI and a more robust ColorOS. 

“[2021] has been such a breakthrough year for us and we know that this only sets the tone for OPPO’s future. We are ushering in the next chapter, the new era of smartphones – the revolutionary experience of this new form factor will undeniably shake up the industry,” shared Andy Shi, president of OPPO APAC. And we couldn’t help but agree.

Pushing the envelope

OPPO is no stranger to challenging what defines a smartphone, whether in software or hardware. Throughout its seventeen years of being in the industry, they have manufactured phones that had hidden or rotating cameras that can flip from the front to the back and vice versa. They also created cameras and sensors that could be hidden behind the phone’s screen, thus removing the need for an obtrusive notch on the front and allowing for a truly immersive visual experience in a smartphone.

They are also among the first to introduce high megapixel cameras and pro camera tools on phones.

“One of OPPO’s key strengths lies in its smartphones’ camera technologies, granting users access to the best visual content possible by even developing proprietary AI camera technologies. Now, to reinforce our leadership and expertise, we’ve recently launched the OPPO MariSilicon X, a processor that is meant to further upgrade the camera system of our smartphones. This processor will deliver more superior content, setting it apart even from the best camera technologies available today,” shared Shi. 

Every new innovation they have introduced has been a step towards addressing the needs of their customers, and has never been about novelty or gimmick. By creating solutions that resolved pain points in user experience as well as features that gave users more capabilities, OPPO has been able to cement itself in the smartphone industry. 

“OPPO steadily holds its position as the world’s fourth-largest smartphone brand as of Q3 2021. OPPO also maintained the supereminent position in Southeast Asia markets, ranking 2nd in the region. In the Philippines, OPPO rose from the top five to 2nd place, with 11% annual growth.” 

In 2021, several of their phones stood above others in their respective price ranges. These include the Find X3 Pro, the OPPO X 2021, and the OPPO Find N.

OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential

The Find X3 Pro boasts an award-winning design. Its form factor is surrounded by a seamless, flowing glass panel that supposedly takes 40 hours to process per device inspired by spacecrafts. But what really makes it a cut above the rest is its camera system, which includes a 50MP ultra-wide lens along with a wide, microlens, and telephoto lens. These lenses are paired with AI that makes editing smarter and easier. It’s a phone built for the discerning content creator.

OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential

Then there was the OPPO X 2021, a rollable concept phone that uses a flexible screen. It expands like a scroll, giving users a display that can go from 6.7 inches to 7.4 inches in an instant. 

And towards the end of 2021, we saw another device that gives users more screen space as needed: the OPPO Find N.

OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential

“Most of the products released by OPPO in 2021 made me feel excited. If I have to choose one [that excited me the most], I’d say our first foldable phone – OPPO Find N, OPPO’s unique solution in an increasingly homogenized smartphone industry,” shared Shi. 

This device brings the perks of having both a small and larger display in one phone. Folded, users get a 5.5-inch outer display. Open it up, and you get 7.2 inches with a 18:9 aspect ratio.

“It also features the industry-leading Flexion Hinge and OPPO self-designed Serene Display. Together, these solve two of the main pain points of current foldable devices: a) minimal crease in the display and b) more durable and reliable display,” added Shi. 

It took OPPO four years of intensive research and development before releasing this device, and it already looks promising despite being the first generation of their foldable phone. 

They also took good care of developing the software for this as transitioning between displays is seamless, and the inner screen adds more functionality than just being a larger display. 

OPPO did more than just these three phones for 2021. They released a number of noteworthy devices throughout the year, as well as developed software and AI that could keep up with the demands of the modern human.

2022 and beyond

 During the OPPO INNO Day held last December, OPPO founder and CEO Tony Chen shared that in reimagining the future, they needed to keep “Inspiration Ahead,” which is the company’s new brand proposition. Throughout the day, they gave watchers a teaser of just how they’re going to achieve this, and that the OPPO Find N is just the beginning. 

OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential

Throughout the day, they demonstrated and unveiled the big plans they have on improving technology and lives, and embracing the age of the “Internet of Experience”. They call their strategy the 3+N+X. The 3 refers to underlying technologies, N for essential capabilities, and X for differentiated technologies. 

One of their biggest announcements is the Marisilicon X, a neural processing unit dedicated to image processing. This will bring ultra sharp images with ultra-high power efficiency. 

They also introduced one of their biggest projects yet: the OPPO AR Glass, a monocle whose design is inspired by the wings of a cicada. This device will introduce groundbreaking assisted reality technology, enabling users to get real-time information like navigation, health data, teleprompting, and live speech-to-text translation without having to hold a device in your hands. 

OPPO challenges the smartphone’s potential

“OPPO will  never cease to provide users with improved and pioneering technologies perfect for one’s ever-changing lifestyle. There are a lot of great products and features coming out in 2022 that users should be excited about. New generations of smartphones and IoT devices are slated to come out this year. These products will surely be powerful enough to champion 2022 with the technology of the future,” said Shi. 

2021 was indeed a big year for OPPO. And now with an even stronger foothold in the industry, and with more people trusting and looking forward to their technologies, they are getting ready to take charge and transform the industry. It’s hard to say what the next big thing will be when it comes to smart devices, but it’s clear that we can count on OPPO to be among those challenging our imaginations and redefining what technology will look like and what it can do. – Rappler.com