Home theatre component maker Oppo has been making phones since 2008, but we haven’t seen many here except through specialist retailers, but that’s set to change with Australia now on the list.
While it has traditionally been a name focused on high-end Blu-ray players and amazeballs headphones, Oppo is now playing with smartphones, coming up with a range of products for the high, mid, and low ranges of budgets that we all have.
We’ve heard about them for some time, and while the developments have been interesting, Australia hasn’t been a country on the release list for Oppo.
That changes this week, however, as Oppo makes Australia the first Western country to receive its products, as well as a dose of solid tech support to go with them.
“At Oppo, we’re focused on innovations and are passionate about exploring the latest that technology has to offer, while providing our consumers with high-quality, state of the art devices,” said Michael Tran, Head of Marketing at Oppo Mobile in Australia.
“We feel that Australia as a country mirrors these values, so we’re excited to begin our journey into Western markets here.”
To start that journey off, there will be four models making landfall in Australia, providing competition to the major players, and hopefully offering a taste of something different, with two high-end models, one mid-range, and one budget device.
The high-end ones will likely be the models to grab attention first, and you’ll find these in the form of the Find 7 and the Find 7A, two very similar products that look like they were cast from the same mould with a few changes here and there.
Both rely on 5.5 inch displays protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, and both are equipped with a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, the same chip used in the HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3, and the LG G3.
They both support 4G connectivity and 802.11ac when you’re at home (with the other 802.11a/b/g/n technologies out of the box), and both rely on a 13 megapixel Sony sensor on the back and a 5 megapixel camera up front, with that rear shooter able to capture 4K videos.
But from there and outside of the design, the similarities stop, with the hero product — the Find 7 — bringing with the market’s second smartphone Quad HD (QHD) display, running the resolution of 2560×1440 and making it compete head on with the LG G3.
The storage inside also sits at 32GB and can be upgraded with a microSD card, with the RAM set to 3GB (over the 2GB sweet spot Android prefers), and running a 3000mAh battery.
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, that’s what the Find 7A will be all about, delivering the same basic hardware and design, but instead relying on a Full HD (1920×1080) display, 16GB storage (microSD upgradeable, too), 2GB RAM, and a 2800mAh battery.
A brief hands-on with the handset showed us surprisingly well-built devices, though handsets with plenty of plastic. The screen was quite bright, and that’s a good thing, but we’re a little concerned by the soft buttons at the base of the handset, which lack brightness and are hard to notice.
Moving on from here, there’s the Oppo N1 Mini, a 5 inch handset with the ability to make the 13 megapixel rear camera its front camera, simply by rotating the camera to face you.
You can call this the selfie camera, because really that’s the focus here, and with a 13 megapixel front facing camera with flash, it kind of takes top dog position for people who love taking self portraits for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
We do need to note that there is only one camera on the N1 Mini — the one you rotate — so if you like having two cameras to take simultaneous photos or video of yourself and what’s going with the rear camera, that won’t happen here, as the N1 Mini can’t cater for it.
That said, it should still handle itself nicely, with a quad-core processor, 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, and 4G LTE connectivity.
Finally, there’s the Neo 5, a model which looks set to take on Motorola and Huawei, possibly even Kogan, with 4G connectivity for a budget price ($219), providing 5 megapixels of camera goodness on the back, 2 megapixels on the front, 4GB built in storage with room to move over microSD, 1GB RAM, and a quad-core processor.
The screen isn’t all that small either, with a 4.5 inch display showing the much older resolution of 854×480, though being a budget device, we’re not shocked.
Also of interest is the support system for these phones, and Oppo doesn’t want Australia to feel like it’s leaving them out and just selling a product without a backbone.
To prove this, it will be launching a customer care Oppo line to let customers talk to its people directly, with a local repair centre coming to Australia in the next few months.
As for pricing and availability, these phones will be coming shortly, with Oppo’s online presence taking the bulk of the orders. For those interested, the Oppo Find 7 will go for $719, the less spec’d up Find 7A for $629, the selfie N1 Mini for $539, and the budget Neo 5 for $219.