Can OPPO’s 5x Tech Change the Whole Cam Game?

While releasing new technology at Mobile World Congress instead of a device isn’t new to OPPO’s playbook, many were still left scratching their heads after their presentation. Sure! A new device from the Chinese brand would have been more exciting for consumers, since their last big release was back in August last year — the OPPO F1s, but the introduction of 5x optical zoom via their periscope inspired tech means a whole lot to the landscape of the camera technology available to mobile devices too.

Farewell, Huge Camera Bumps!

No matter how good the camera is on your device, there’s nothing more unsightly than a huge camera bump. Yes! You can hide all you want by slapping a case on your phone but at the end of the day, it will always come back to haunt you. The prototype OPPO had on hand for us to test out on the floor in MWC certainly had a different camera module than what we’re used to seeing on a phone equipped with a dual camera, with 5x optical zoom at that, but it was an acceptable size. In fact, the entire module is only 5.7mm thin. As John mentioned in a previous article, ASUS had their take on a similar system but this one is just so much more elegant than the one found on the original Zenfone Zoom.

5x Optical Zoom with Smooth Bokeh and OIS

It would be pretty obvious for us just to say… More optical zoom! Duh! Adding bokeh after taking a shot isn’t anything new at this point either, but adding it while utilising OPPO’s 5x optical zoom is a pretty exciting prospect and that’s exactly what Dr. King, OPPO’s head honcho for hardware, says the new tech will be able to achieve. Another thing to get hyped about is the fact that their camera module, on whatever phone that receives this tech, will have OIS as well to help you get cleaner shots when you’re zoomed in as well. We couldn’t grab the photos from the prototype, but they were definitely cleaner than the competition beside it.

Competition Forces Innovation

After sitting in a session with some of OPPO’s personnel and top brass, one thing was made abundantly clear to us and the rest of the media in attendance — the tech is still being tested and won’t be released until they feel it’s ready to go to market; no timeline was given and no device was named that would receive their new dual camera system. Despite the fact, the Chinese company seemed unafraid that competitors would catch on to their tech and were focused on what they had to achieve to bring the tech to consumers.

This definitely makes for pretty exciting times when it feels as though the tech we can cram into our smartphones are starting to reach a certain plateau. Competition forces innovation and OPPO has pretty much laid down the gauntlet to other phone manufacturers with this announcement.

While we are a disappointed that they didn’t release a phone, as Mobile World Congress is usually one of the best places to announce new devices, this was a solid announcement for the Chinese phone manufacturer and, while they weren’t clear on the timeline to deliver a device with this tech, we hope that we’ll see one sooner than later.


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