Pop goes the camera: Oppo unveils bezel-less smartphone in UAE
Oppo has somewhat brought slider phones back, but for a design-specific reason - and a hefty price.
The Chinese smartphone vendor unveiled its high-end Find X smartphone in Dubai on Monday, which comes with a bezel-less display, challenging design convention made popular and mainstream by Samsung Electronics and Apple.
With a 93.8 per cent screen-to-body ratio - beating the 84.2 per cent of the Galaxy S9+ and the 82.9 per cent of the iPhone X by a mile - Oppo is trying to push the limits of design in the crowded smartphone race with its pop-up mechanism on the Find X.
Front cameras have become the biggest issue on the discussion of truly bezel-less displays. While Samsung has opted keep a bezel on top and the likes of Apple and Huawei using a notch to house their front cameras, Oppo took it a step 'deeper': the snapper is concealed behind the screen and slides up when it needs to be used, most prominently for taking pictures or unlocking the device via facial recognition - and automatically retracts after use.
Here's how the camera on the @oppo Find X slides up: just swipe up or fire up the camera app and watch it creep up above. Interesting. By the way, it's priced at Dh3,999. ?? pic.twitter.com/YwTgKtAY6E- Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) September 10, 2018
The Dubai event served as the regional launch for the Middle East and Africa.
"We are focusing on the region," Andi Shi, Oppo's managing director for the MEA, said at the event.
"This region is full of exciting opportunities and innovation."
Dongguan-headquartered Oppo is among a slew of Chinese brands that have crept up the rankings in global smartphone sales, posing a challenge to the dominance of Samsung, Apple and Huawei, which had recently displaced Apple as No.2.
Both Gartner and the International Data Corporation have ranked Oppo fifth in this metric as at the second quarter of 2018, right behind another Chinese peer, Xiaomi.
"Growing competition from Chinese brands and consumers' greater expectations for phone value is putting immense pressure [on market leaders]," Gartner research director Anshul Gupta said in the second-quarter report.
However, the biggest question would be how consumers would react to the Find X's price: at Dh3,999, it is at par with Samsung and Apple's premium devices, and Dh1,000 more expensive than Huawei's latest flagship, the P20 Pro, which has a triple-lens camera system - all of which have established market share and following.