OPPO Confirms Two High-Tech Phones With 5G, Crazy Cameras

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OPPO on Saturday announced intentions to release two high-tech Android smartphones in the coming months. However, the Chinese manufacturer named neither, and what it showed weren't finished devices but prototypes with partially covered exteriors; like the one seen above.

OPPO insists it's what on the inside that counts, having touted the new lineup's ability to communicate with the fifth generation of wireless networks. The model designed for 5G networking uses the Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm's latest and greatest chip announced in December.

The X50 modem found inside the silicon will be specifically optimized for Singtel's network in Singapore, as well as Telstra, Optus, and Swisscom's services in Australia. Coincidentally, that's also where the handset will first debut, though wider availability is understood to be part of the plans as well. The unnamed 5G smartphone will be released in the second quarter of the year, OPPO confirmed.

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A new mobile photography front

As part of today's product event held in the run-up to this year's Mobile World Congress, OPPO also revealed it commercialized its cutting-edge 48-megapixel camera unveiled late last year. The sensor is part of a system that will also rely on an ultra-wide and telephoto lens working in conjunction to deliver an extremely versatile imaging experience allowing for 10x optical — i.e. lossless — zoom. The ultra-wide module in question is a 16-megapixel affair, whereas the other unit has yet to be detailed.

In practice, that focal range will amount to 16-160mm, which is an amazingly versatile result for a tiny module that fits inside a smartphone and doesn't result in an inconvenient camera bump. The wide and telephoto lenses of the setup are optically stabilized, with the technology being ready for mass-production, OPPO said, adding that the first device featuring it will be released shortly.

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Thinking long-term

OPPO is describing its upcoming 5G push as something that's been in the works for a long time as the firm formed its standardization team back in 2015. The majority of its portfolio will likely remain limited to 4G LTE connectivity until at least 2021 seeing how the new generation of networking equipment will only start rolling out this year.

Much like its efforts on the wireless front, OPPO sees its new high-resolution camera tech as the backbone of its products in the long term. The company has been increasing its focus on mobile photography in recent time and largely made the niche its own, at least in Asia. Its brand is barely existent in the West and it's still unclear whether that will change in 2019 as some previous rumors suggested.

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In terms of design, the upcoming 5G smartphone from OPPO will apparently be based on last year's Find X, much like the prototype handset the company showcased several months back. In other words, notch seems like an inevitability and while OPPO has yet to share many details about the product, it will almost certainly pack one of the highest-capacity batteries ever commercialized by the company seeing how 5G computing will be extremely power-hungry, especially when it comes to initial use cases.