It has been some time since the Chinese company Oppo
went ahead and made an announcement. Following the series of teaser videos, they have introduced their new and unusual 5.9-inch smartphone. Sheer size isn’t the only ‘striking’ thing here, as the unit has a rotating 13MP camera and is powered by either Color OS (fork of Android) or CyanogenMod.
Phablet-category device is surely different than the regular slabs, if for nothing else, then for the rotating camera unit on the top. Oppo claims that this is the world’s first rotating camera smartphone, and that it is revolutionary
. This particular design was present on some laptops in the past, and it is difficult to have fond memories of the failing mechanism after a few months of usage. Then again, Oppo claims that the piece (containing over 60 components) is tested for 100K rotations. The 13MP f/2.0 shooter is paired with a dual LED flash unit as well as the Fujitsu-developed dedicated imaging chip. While the company has posted some samples on the official page
, they are in lower resolution and stripped of the camera data, which does put some suspicion in the abilities of a tiny 1/3.06” module. Combining the sensor format with the effective megapixel count, it is very likely that the module used is the all too familiar Sony Exmor RS IMX135 – found in the Oppo Find 5. Based on the product images alone, one would hardly believe this is a 5.9-inch smartphone
Yet another peculiarity is the back surface of the unit, which is touch sensitive and used for various gestures. The “O-Touch Panel”, as company has branded it, is there to help with handling the enormous device – scrolling, snapping photos, and controlling playback.
Rest of the components found inside the case made of plastic and an aluminum frame are more standard: 1080p FullHD IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, paired with 2GB of RAM and 16/32GB of non-expandable storage and a 3610 mAh battery. Connectivity-wise, the Oppo N1 features Wi-Fi 802.11ac, BT 4.0, NFC…
According to the company, in order to get the final Oppo N1 shape and characteristics, they spent more than a year working with over 20 various designs of the unit – believing that innovation in smartphones has stopped – and that something must be done. Now, while they claim that they have returned to the “core reason why technology should exist”, it remains to be seen if they have done enough on that perspective:
On the software side of things, Oppo innovates
with presenting potential buyers a choice of operating system variants: “OPPO N1 ships with Color (based on Android 4.2), a unique Android operating system with over 400 unique features and improvements over stock Android. CyanogenMod is the world’s most popular aftermarket Android operating system. International versions of the N1 come with Color, and also the ability to flash CyanogenMod directly from stock recovery. A limited OPPO N1 CyanogenMod Edition will ship with CyanogenMod preinstalled, the first CyanogenMod hardware product in the world.”
Oppo N1 should launch in early December at about $570 (16GB variant). Additionally, the Oppo Find 7, a successor to the Find 5 that saw the international market will likely show up
only in late 2014, and according to the rumors, it should carry the Snapdragon 800 as well as the 4000mAh battery.
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