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MWC 2019: Oppo announces its first 5G smartphone and demonstrates 10x lossless zoom

Oppo becomes the first company to showcase 10x lossless zoom as it aims to replace entry-level DSLRs with smartphones.

Oppo MWC 2019 intext

Image Credit: Karthekayan Iyer


Oppo has announced exploration of 5G mobile telephony and development of 10x lossless zoom for smartphones at its Innovation Event in Mobile World Congress 2019. At an event held in Barcelona, Spain, the Chinese smartphone maker announced plans to introduce its first 5G smartphone and a new 5G Landing Project in partnership with leading telecom carriers across the world. 5G is at the centrepiece of every major communication at MWC 2019 and Oppo does not want to stay behind the curve. The company confirmed that its 5G smartphone will debut during the second quarter of 2019.

With the announcement today, Oppo is joining Samsung, which announced the Galaxy S10 5G in San Francisco early this week and Huawei, which is expected to introduce a foldable 5G smartphone at an event tomorrow. As part of its 5G Landing Project, Oppo is partnering with carriers like Swisscom, Telstra, Optus to bring 5G support to European market.

It also announced an in-depth collaboration with partners like Singtel, the leading telecom service provider in Singapore, to promote the implementation of 5G products and services. 5G is the future of mobile communication, one that promises to offer improved connectivity with lower latency and faster download speeds. It is also seen as the pinnacle of connecting any and every device that surrounds you.

2019 is expected to be the year when 5G becomes available in countries like the US, South Korea, China and some parts of Europe and will expand to markets like India, Canada and others next year. Smartphone makers including Oppo are trying their hands at 5G early as the new mobile standard comes with its own challenges including microwave link and battery drain coming with additional antennas.

“We’re proud to deliver our first Innovation Event for media and partners today,” said Anyi Jiang, Vice President of Oppo. “Innovation is our top priority and we have made many recent developments to bring the future into consumer’s hands. We look forward to continuing with this commitment and bringing to market more advances particularly in 5G and photography,” he added.

Oppo has always come to Mobile World Congress as an innovator more than as a smartphone maker. In 2017, the Chinese smartphone showed 5x lossless zoom, which was revolutionary for the time and forced other smartphone makers to focus on improved zoom feature on their phones. This year, the company is doubling down on that effort literally by introducing 10 optical zoom.

Oppo introduced the feature for the first time in China last month and is now making a formal announcement for the global market. Unlike the 5x zoom feature from 2017, Oppo plans to put the technology on a real smartphone. It means you will soon be able to buy a smartphone from Oppo that will let you achieve 10x lossless zoom.

In order to achieve 10x lossless zoom, Oppo is adopting a triple camera setup with a telephoto lens, an ultra wide-angle lens and a standard lens. The ultra wide-angle lens has an equivalent focal length of 15.9mm and the 10x zoom focal length reaches 159mm, in other words, Oppo is trying to replace the 150mm zoom lens on entry-level DSLRs with a smartphone equivalent. “The primary camera guarantees photo quality, and the telephoto camera, with 159mm equivalent focal range, combined with the original “peep-up structure” to support high-magnification zoom, can ensure a high-quality long-distance shot,” the company said in a statement.

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Oppo continues to rely on the periscope structure first introduced with the 5x zoom structure in 2017 for achieving the 10x lossless zoom on smartphone. The periscope mechanism uses the width and thickness of the phone along with a lateral arrangement and refraction of the lens set. Alongside the existing technology, Oppo is adding optical image stabilization on both the main camera as well as the telephoto lens thus adding anti-shake feature to the camera system.

Disclaimer: The author attended Oppo’s Innovation Event in Barcelona on the invite of Oppo Mobiles India, which provided flight and accommodation.

  • Published Date: February 23, 2019 7:15 PM IST
  • Updated Date: February 23, 2019 8:05 PM IST