When you want to make a splash on the global stage you announce something awesome. When you’re up against the giants of the tech world like Apple and Samsung that’s pretty hard to do. Oppo have done a pretty good job of punching above their weight this week with the announcement of the world’s thinnest smartphone – the Oppo R5.
Announced alongside the expected N3 device, the R5 seemed to come as quite a surprise to the several thousand in attendance at the Oppo launch in the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore.
Having run through a short video of some of the innovations in “thin” phones, starting with things like the Motorola Razr, through to the iPhone and many subsequent smartphones, Oppo was showing how phones had been getting thinner and thinner – only to unveil their own super thin device the R5.
Measuring in at just 4.85mm it’s almost insane. The latest iPhone 6 is 6.1mm and feels like it couldn’t get any smaller.
To be clear, many of the phones Oppo highlighted as trailblazers in the “thin” stakes were measured at points not including the camera – that lens is a bulge that has been there on many devices. The Oppo R5 is no different, the lens comes out probably another half a millimetre but they certainly aren’t Robinson Crusoe in their method of measurement.
What makes this so insane is that because it is so thin, there’s no way they could fit a headphone jack in. Your headphone plug is 3.5mm thick, add the housing around that and getting it into a 4.85mm body really presents some issues.
In today’s Bluetooth connected world, the lack of a headphone jack might gain some negative attention, but that will be far outweighed by the appreciation from lovers of the thin design and users of Bluetooth headphones.
The R5 has a 5.2inch AMOLED screen, with an “octa-core” Qualcomm processor, so speed and performance shouldn’t be an issue. The screen is great to look at and produces excellent colours.
Along with the N3 the R5 packs some powerful camera features which should be enough to convince the sceptical buyer.
With the Oppo PI 2.0 Plus technology, you’re going tom get a lightning fast focus time (0.18 seconds) and a 50MP high-definition picture clarity.
All that will be put to the test once we get the R5 in our hands.
In terms of design, there’s something crazy here too. So picky are the Oppo team about imperfections, they felt no machine could offer the finish to the rounded edges of this sleek device. What did they do? Hand polish every single one.
That’s a production line I’d love to see, each phone, literally being picked up and hand polished before they are packaged up for sale.
Finally, with Oppo’s “Vooc” mini rapid charge system, you can charge the battery to 75% in just 30 mins, and that’s a win for many people.
While the R5 announcement suggests it will be available at launch in Australia, EFTM understands the R5 (and N3) will be on sale in early 2015, with pricing for our market yet to be announced – US pricing will be $449.
Trevor Long travelled to Singapore as a guest of Oppo Australia
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.