The innovative Oppo is one of the manufacturers that is developing a foldable smartphone. At MWC 2019, the Chinese manufacturer showed a working prototype of a device that can be folded outwards. In terms of design, the smartphone was very similar to the Huawei Mate X, both have a sidebar when folded.
The President of Oppo, however, was of the opinion that the device, especially when folded, still offers too little added value compared to a regular smartphone. Although no further explanation was given on this, you can assume that this meant the side bar. Finally, such a sidebar provides a lot of unused space, making the mobile phone unnecessarily wide and leaving relatively little screen space. Hard work is being done in the background to ensure that the foldable smartphone does offer sufficient added value.
In February this year, LetsGoDigital reported on a patent for an Oppo folding phone with a pop-up camera. By opting for an extendable camera system, the sidebar can be omitted, creating an almost full-screen smartphone design. To get a better picture of this design, LetsGoDigital had a series of 3D renders designed. A new patent shows that Oppo has also had production renders made of the same model.
Foldable Oppo telephone visualized in 3D renders
At the end of October 2018, Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications filed a design patent with the Global Design Database of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office). The patent was published on 7 June 2019 and shows no fewer than 42 color renders of the folding device. In addition, a further 51 sketches have been added to the patent.
Since it is a design patent, the description is very brief. The description states that it is a folding telephone with a telescopic camera. Although we quickly think of a zoom camera, I believe that Oppo is referring to the pop-up camera, which is telescoped out of the housing. This opinion is based on other patents that I have come across from the Chinese manufacturer over time.
Nevertheless, it is, of course, possible that Oppo sees the opportunity to provide her folding phone with a zoom camera. Finally, the company was among the first manufacturers to introduce a smartphone with a zoom camera. The Oppo Reno 10X Zoom has been available in our country since yesterday.
The patented telephone folds out to a tablet format. When you fold the smartphone, the display is on the outside. By using a pop-up camera on the left side of the housing, the user can take photos when the device is folded and when it is fully unfolded. The camera system seems to consist of a double camera with flash. The camera is slightly convex in shape, as soon as the phone is folded it falls seamlessly into the housing. The design looks very stylish.
The top side, next to the extendable camera, seems to offer space for an on / off button. The receiver is placed directly under the pop-up camera. A microphone is also visible at the top, which is incorporated in the right-hand side of the device. A second microphone is visible on the bottom of the phone. We also see a connector here to charge the device. Also, a 3.5mm headphone connection is not missing on this model.
An elongated button is visible on the left, probably serving as a volume button. The SIM compartment is placed directly above it. The right side is completely free of buttons. The wide hinge ensures that the smartphone can be folded completely shut – without visible seams.
Foldable telephones in 2019
Apart from the Royole FlexPai, there are currently no folding phones available. The Samsung Galaxy Fold should have been in stores for over a month. However, the launch was postponed at the last minute, after several review copies broke within a day. The defects had to do with the flexible display. Since then it has been remarkably quiet from the Samsung side, a new release date for the Fold has still not been announced.
The Huawei Mate X will be launched in the summer of 2019, this should be the world’s first 5G folding smartphone. Huawei, however, has recently suffered heavy blows, after America has decided to blacklist the company. The Chinese manufacturer would be guilty of espionage. The result is that Huawei is no longer allowed to manufacture Android smartphones. Various retail sites report a drop in sales of Huawei smartphones of no less than 40%.
Although Huawei is working hard in the background on the development of its own HongMeng operating system, the question is how this OS will be experienced in practice. Various companies, including Twitter and Facebook (which also includes WhatsApp and Instagram), have already indicated that Huawei can no longer pre-install these applications on its smartphones. All these negative developments could lead to the launch of the Mate X being postponed. Because who is willing to pay € 2300 for a smartphone where the operation of the OS is still unknown.
Oppo Reno smartphones
Oppo, on the other hand, seems to be going well. The company released its new smartphone series at the end of April, consisting of three stylish models. The Oppo Reno, the Reno 10x Zoom and the Reno 5G. The new models are mostly received positively. The new series will be expanded further in the near future, as last week the cheap Reno Z has launched in home country China. A Reno Z and Reno F also appear to be arriving in Europe.
The company shows innovation in innovation. Oppo and Xiaomi gave a video demonstration of a smartphone with an under-screen camera last week. This means the definitive end of the notch. It is also no longer necessary to make a hole in the screen, as we see for example with the Galaxy S10. In November last year, LetsGoDigital already reported on a patent for an Oppo smartphone with a camera under the display. When this device is ready for production is still unknown.
Oppo was, together with sister company Vivo, one of the first smartphone manufacturers to introduce a full-screen phone last year. The Oppo Find X had a slider camera through which a full-screen design could be realized. Incidentally, the company has much longer experience with special camera systems.
Oppo was able to release the N1 in 2013, this was the world’s first smartphone with a rotating camera. Although it was not yet possible to buy Oppo smartphones in the Netherlands at the time, the latest devices are all available in our country. The first shop-in-shop in Media Markt was also opened in March this year. The company is also making good progress in other European countries.
Chances are that Oppo also wants to be one of the first manufacturers to launch a folding phone. So do you want to buy a foldable smartphone? Then be patient, this will undoubtedly be a device that is worth waiting for.