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Oppo launches N3 flagship phone, surprises with R5 in Singapore

October 31, 2014 By:
By REGINA LAYUG-ROSERO

A grand launch event at Marina Bay Sands. Over 1300 attendees. And not one, but two new mobile phones: the N3 and the R5. 
 
There has been much speculation over Chinese brand Oppo’s newest offerings, especially since the N1 made waves with its rotating camera. The N3 was rumored to be released in two variants, one with a lithium-aluminum alloy build, and the other a stainless steel build. 
 
N3: the selfie camera phone
 
Oppo N3

In a very Apple-esque presentation on October 29, Oppo Singapore CEO Sean Deng demonstrated the N3’s features, primarily the automated swivel camera, allowing the user to take panoramic shots in both landscape and portrait mode. The camera can be controlled by the on-screen button, the O-click remote control, or the Touch Access sensor on the back of the phone. The multiple options for controlling the camera rotation make taking selfies much easier, according to Deng.
 
Powering that nimble camera is Oppo’s Pure Image processing software, PI 2.0 plus. PI 2.0 plus can adjust white balance settings, brightness adjustment, auto focus, face recognition and other actions intelligently. Speaking at the launch event, New York-based photographer Brian Derballa shared photos he had taken using the N3. “It’s a lot easier than carrying around a five thousand dollar DSLR,” he said, noting the images’ clarity and focus.
 
The photos should be easy to view on the 5.5-inch Corning Gorilla Glass screen. Also notable was the 3000 mAh battery, which is powered by rapid charging technology VOOC. A 30-minute charge will bring the battery up to 75%. The N3 is operating on ColorOS 2.0, highly customized from Android 4.4.
 
The N3 is priced at US$649, perhaps a little out of reach of the selfie-taking market. 
 
N5: World’s thinnest smartphone

Oppo N5
 
A few weeks before the launch event, rumors began to circulate that Oppo would also unveil a mystery phone alongside the N3. Some reports claimed that this mystery phone would be the world’s thinnest smartphone, rivalling the 5.1mm thickness of the Gionee Elife S5.1. 
 
At yesterday’s launch event, the rumors proved true as Oppo Product Manager Bakarrik Azeri announced the R5. At 4.85mm, it is now the world’s thinnest smartphone. It shares some features with the N3: the VOOC rapid charging system, ColorOS 2.0 and the PI 2.0 plus. Beneath the 5.2-inch AMOLED screen is an octa-core Qualcomm MSM8939. 
 
A concern with previous thin smartphones was overheating, but the R5 features a patented heat dissipation technology called “Cool Element,” protects its octa-core CPU. The R5 is priced at US$499. 
 
But will it bend? Oppo Philippines Operations Manager Garrick Hung explained that they subject their phones to various tests of temperature, water, and drop impact. Despite the highly publicized bending of the iPhone 6 Plus, it seems the bend test is not yet part of standard testing for ultra-thin mobile phones.
 
Both phones are tentatively set for release in early 2015. No announcements have been made about which telecommunications companies will carry either phone.GMA News