CHINA’S SECOND biggest phone manufacturer Oppo (it’s pronounced Oh-poh) has become the latest brand to reach the European mainstream with the launch of two handsets – the RX17 Pro and Neo.
The two devices were launched on Tuesday at an event in Milan, Italy, beating arch-rivals Xiaomi to the punch ahead of that company’s arrival due tomorrow.
The Pro model (which is the one we’re all interested in) boasts a 6.4in AMOLED screen with embedded fingerprint scanner, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 octacore processor (640 for the Neo) and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 which it claims offers double the drop protection of the previous generation.
Let’s knock the obvious questions out of the park – no, there’s no headphone jack (the Neo retains it), and yes, there’s a notch, in this case, a teeny-tiny teardrop, leaving some tiny bezels with a 91 per cent screen to body ratio.
Oppo uses a heavily customised version of Android called ColorOS. In this case, version 5.2, which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo, though Android 9.0 Pie will be added in early 2019. It adds a number of non-standard features including FTP server support and a neat sidebar that allows you to open, say, a messaging app to reply, in a pop-up window.
The RX17 Pro has 128GB storage and 6GB RAM, whilst the Neo has 4GB RAM. Contrary to earlier reports, neither has an SD slot.
Camera-wise, there’s a 25MP front camera with AI support for 296 facial features, whilst a dual 12MP/20MP rear camera can recognise 16 different types of scene. There’s also AI-enhanced portrait mode and 3D support.
Battery-wise, the RX17 Pro has an unusual arrangement, housing two 1850mAh units, to accomodate the SuperVOOC Flash Charge feature which boasts 40 per cent charge in 10 minutes and a full load in 35 minutes. The Neo has a more conventional arrangement.
Oppo is even cocky enough to claim that its optimised versions of popular games including PUBG: Mobile won’t run the battery down.
The Pro comes in two gradient colours – a green one and a silver/greyscale one. The Neo comes in Red and Blue gradients.
At first, the two phones will be rolled out in mainland Europe for 599 Euros and 349 Euros respectively.
Although there’s no timeline or pricing for the UK as yet, Oppo is setting up a Design Centre in London, so we’d expect some product to go with that.