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World’s second thinnest phone set for UAE debut
February 3, 2015, 12:52 pm

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo showcased the thinnest phone to be launched in UAE — the R5 — as manufacturers focusing on new features rather than faster processors to steal attention. The 4.85mm thick R5 was briefly recorded as the world’s thinnest smartphone in October before another Chinese vendor Vivo launched its Vivo’s X5 Max at 4.75mm in December. The iPhone 6 by comparison is 6.9mm thick.

Henry Tang, sales manager for Gulf region, told Gulf News that many Chinese manufacturers focus on cutting costs to win market share by focusing on the low-cost smartphones but not Oppo. “We don’t go after market share but instead produce attractive phones that bring profit to the company and value to the consumers. Oppo has an advantage when compared to competitors as we focus from mid- to high-end models,” he said after unveiling the R5 — and the mechanised rotating camera model — the N3 — in Dubai on Monday.

The R5 has a 5.2-inch super AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display and is powered by a 64-bit octa-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage capacity. Oppo is the first manufacturer to produce a device capable of taking an ultra high-definition (4K) snap with its 13MP camera and saving it as 50MP.

It is priced at Dh1,899 and will be available from next Monday. Tang said that despite its thinness, the R5 does not have bending issues such as the ones that plagued the iPhone as it is made of titanium. The Oppo N3 is a 5.5-inch device with a 2.3GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage capacity.

The 16MP motorised rotating lens via on-screen gestures with 206 degree rotation. It will be available by end of this month but the price is not yet fixed. It is also capable of taking 4K snaps and saves it as 64MP.

Tang said that the UAE has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world at 76 per cent and there is still room for growth. According to IDC’s fourth-quarter stats, after Samsung and Apple, the other three rankings are held by Chinese vendors like Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi.

Tang said that high-end smartphone market may be getting saturated but it is dynamic. Some brands rise and some others drop. Oppo has a proven track record in China and in some other markets in South East Asia.

Tang said that the brand has already surpassed Samsung as the largest 4G smartphone brand in China. He said that Oppo’s strategy will work well in this region as people in the Middle East are pursuing the true high-quality life and enjoy high-end products. “We want to bring real technologies into the hands of the consumers. Innovation is what is going to keep us forward and stay ahead in the smartphone market,” he said.

The battery life of the smartphone has become a main concern for consumers. So instead of boosting the capacity of the battery, Tang said that Oppo has added a fast-charging feature which can boost the battery life from zero to 75 per cent in 30 minutes.

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