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Oppo experimenting with optical-zoom smartphone; to pack F1 Plus with a 'first-of-its-kind' front camera

Oppo experimenting with optical-zoom smartphone; to pack F1 Plus with a 'first-of-its-kind' front camera

The Oppo F1 Plus is a higher-specced version of the F1 smartphone, and is coming in April 2016.

Ankit Tuteja
  • IBNLive.com
  • Last Updated: February 17, 2016, 10:59 AM IST
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Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, which aims to launch a wide range of camera-focussed phones this year, is working on optical zoom-enabled camera phone - similar to something that we have already seen in the Asus ZenFone Zoom, that was recently launched in India.

In an interview with IBNLive, Marton Barcza, global community manager and product expert, Oppo, shared some of the company’s future plans. “I can say that we are certainly experimenting with all types of technologies including optical zoom,” he said, but added “whether or not we will launch a phone with optical zoom is something we are yet to figure out.”

Besides this particular camera technology, the company says to have two other breakthrough camera innovations up its sleeves, which will be announced at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. On being asked to shed some more light on it, Will Yang, brand director, Oppo India, said, “We will announce two breakthrough (camera) technologies at MWC 2016 - one of them will be a new camera technology, which I can not name yet. But it is going to be used in Oppo phones later.”

Emphasising on the camera innovations in the F series, which the company says will be its core product series in 2016, Oppo intends to pack the F1 Plus - a higher-specced version of the F1 - with an all-new front camera. While the company has already divulged some details about the phone including a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 4GB RAM, and the price tag of Rs 26,990, it is yet to disclose other specifications. However, Marton revealed to IBNLive that the F1 Plus will have “a front-facing camera that you haven’t seen before”. The phone will come to India in April 2016.

Over the course of two years in India, in spite of its efforts (including signing up big brand Bollywood names as brand ambassadors), Oppo still has less than 1 per cent market share in India. Explaining the reasons behind the slow growth in the country, Will said, “I think the basic problem is about the offline sales channel. Because as the feedback from the market comes, they say the camera is good, the design is good, but they can not find a way to buy it. So that is a critical problem. But now we have fasten this bit to expand more offline sales points.”

But for now the company is still non-committal to the offline route. “It should be in our long-term plans, but not now,” said Will.

Explaining why the company so far has stayed from the online strategy in India, Marton elaborated, “we try to focus on things that we are good at. And we have had a tremendous success with the offline sales model in China and a lot of our other markets before. And that is why we have decided to first focus on the offline sales channel in India.”

Unlike other tech companies, which have been trying their hands at different product categories, Oppo is keeping its focus narrow. The company only wants to concentrate on the smartphone market, and has no plans to venture into other categories in India - for now. And that includes the current rage - wearables. Oppo has no plans to launch any wearable product in the near future.

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