SmartHouse - - FIRST LOOK // OPPO - Writ­ten by DAVID RICHARDS

Chi­nese Com­pany Oppo who are still strug­gling to con­vince Aus­tralians that they are a vi­able smart­phone Com­pany has moved to us­ing gim­micks and pop ups in an ef­fort to get into the smart­phone premier league.

Des­per­ate to em­u­late the suc­cess of Sam­sung and Ap­ple and even arch ri­val TCL who own Al­ca­tel, the third largest smart­phone brand in Aus­tralia, Oppo is now re­sort­ing to what they are de­scrib­ing as “cut through” tech­nol­ogy. This is the same strat­egy that Lexus used decades ago to try and break the monopoly of BMW, Audi and Mercedes in the lux­ury car mar­ket, the strat­egy failed de­spite the Toy­ota owned Com­pany spend­ing bil­lions of dol­lars mar­ket­ing their lux­ury car brand.

Then there was LG’s at­tempt to build mod­u­lar smart­phones, this lasted 12 months be­fore the Korean Com­pany ditched the idea com­pletely.

The all-new $995 Oppo Find X phone (No­tice the sim­i­lar­ity to the words iPhone X) is an ex­pen­sive high risk de­vice that comes with no bezel and a big dis­play screen that could eas­ily break be­cause of its size and the lack of struc­ture be­hind it.

The Chi­nese Com­pany has cho­sen to elim­i­nate the notch that houses the cam­era on the Ap­ple iPhone X and sev­eral other brands that have copied this con­cept, in­stead they have cho­sen to re­lease a mo­torised pop up cam­era unit which presents fu­ture own­ers with a whole new set of smart­phone prob­lems.

Mo­torised ac­tions mean more bat­tery use and this de­vice only has a 3730 mAh bat­tery, which is smaller than the bat­tery on the Sam­sung Note 9,

The pop up has a lit­tle elec­tric mo­tor that’s al­ways on, so you can imag­ine what this is go­ing to do to bat­tery life.

That black at the top of the screen is ac­tu­ally the cam­era mod­ule that houses the pop up cam­era.

Then there is the spring mech­a­nism that ejects the cam­era. This is a mov­ing part and with any mov­ing parts there is a real risk of fail­ure. Just imag­ine that magic pic­ture mo­ment when ‘Oh shit” the cam­era won’t open.

When­ever you go to take a photo, whether you are us­ing the front-fac­ing cam­era or the rear cam­era the cam­era mod­ule hid­den be­hind the screen is sup­posed to pop up, takes the photo, and then pops down again when you’re done. The em­pha­sis is on the word “Should”.

Oppo claims it has tested this mech­a­nism and it had sur­vived 300,000 open and close cy­cles. Then there is the risk of leav­ing the mech­a­nism up and dam­ag­ing the cam­era unit or drop­ping it when the cam­era is up.

At the end of the day Oppo has not said whether the new cam­era takes bet­ter pic­tures than the all new Sam­sung Note 9, I doubt it as Oppo does not have a rep­u­ta­tion for cam­era soft­ware de­vel­op­ment sim­i­lar to Ap­ple and Sam­sung.

What they are do­ing is re­ly­ing on the same Google An­droid OS found in all other An­droid smart­phones.

The one thing that has hap­pened with the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Oppo cam­era tech­nol­ogy is that Oppo has man­aged to re­claim more dis­play real es­tate.

The new Find X has a screen at the front, with a screen-to-body ra­tio of 94 per cent. In com­par­i­son the Gal­axy S9+ only has 84 per cent screen-to-body.

Also miss­ing from the new Find X is a fin­ger­print scan­ner in­stead the Chi­nese Com­pany is re­ly­ing on an in­frared scan­ning fa­cial recog­ni­tion scan­ning sys­tem though they are not say­ing where the face images are be­ing stored. Oppo has been ac­cused in the past of send­ing user data back to Chi­nese based servers.

The prob­lem with big dis­play screens sim­i­lar to what Oppo is at­tempt­ing to de­liver to mar­ket with their Find X is dura­bil­ity and the im­pact of pres­sure when slightly bent.

Some an­a­lysts are al­ready say­ing that there are risks as­so­ci­ated with this de­vice due to a lack of metal re­in­forc­ing in the frame of the phone. Just make sure you don’t sit on this phone or put it in your back pocket and then sit down.

As for other fea­tures there’s no wire­less charg­ing and it’s not wa­ter­proof. There are also prob­lems with the pro­ces­sor heat­ing up when play­ing games or run­ning pro­ces­sor in­tense apps.

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