OPPO's quest to become one of the first OEMs to release 5G smartphones next year continue and during the 2018 China Mobile Global Partners Conference which took place last week, it unveiled a brand new prototype smartphone based on the OPPO Find X boasting 5G capabilities. Instead of the Snapdragon 845 from Qualcomm employed by the regular OPPO Find X, the prototype smartphone made use of an engineering sample unit of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset, which was also unveiled by the chipmaker last week. 5G connectivity leverages on the built-in Snapdragon X50 modem, and during the event, both OPPO and Qualcomm showcased the prowess of 5G in various tasks including web browsing, video calling, and viewing online videos, using the said prototype device. The company also briefly talked about the 5G+ concept and revealed it has new devices in development for the future ecosystem.
Background: OPPO already spent a few years researching and developing 5G solutions, and the OEM's efforts in this area have been demonstrated on a few occasions throughout 2018. Back in April, OPPO established a new institute for developing AI and 5G solutions, while earlier in May the OEM made the industry's first 3D video call over 5G using a prototype OPPO R11s model. In August OPPO also demonstrated another prototype smartphone based on the R15, which employed Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 modem. Even more recently in October, OPPO successfully achieved 5G Internet access using its OPPO R15 prototype, fueled by a handful of modified hardware components including new antennas and circuitry. Now, on top of all of these previous efforts, the OEM successfully demonstrated a new prototype 5G-enabled smartphone based on the OPPO Find X and featuring Qualcomm's latest mobile chipset solution. The OEM also spoke about its desires to advance 5G technologies towards the idea of "5G+" in conjunction with Cloud Computing and AI, and believes that 5G+ will usher in a new era of "true intelligent personal assistants" and applications capable of delivering "disrupting experiences" to end users. To this end, the OEM also revealed that it is presently developing several smart devices designed to cover market segments such as "smart health" and "smart home." The company will continue its collaboration with Qualcomm, and claims that it is building a "5G+ innovation ecosystem" side by side the "entire industry."
Impact: OPPO intends to become one of the first smartphone makers to offer 5G devices to customers next year, and this was reiterated at the recent event by the company's Global Vice President, Brian Shen. The OEM also wants to extend its footprint outside of China, and the first efforts in this regard were shown by the launch of the OPPO Find X in the western hemisphere. Likewise, it wants to establish partnerships with telecom service providers overseas, including regions like Australia and Europe, so the company's first 5G-enabled smartphones will not remain exclusive to its home market. Instead, OPPO wants to enter the new 5G era while at the same time establishing a global presence in the mobile market. As yet, it's unclear if a 5G-enabled OPPO Find X variant will be launched commercially, but if not, there will be other smartphone models set to launch next year and they will adopt the new networking standard.