Attack of the Chinese Superphones – Brand Oppo

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According to Gartner, sales of Chinese smartphones grew 86.3% percent in 2013, and they’re on an onward march that must be unsettling for phones’ traditional big guns. The likes of Huawei and ZTE are already making moves into the developed smartphone nations, and they’re set to be followed by a legion of Chinese smartphone makers in the next year or so. The incumbent Chinese brands may not be making particularly big waves just yet, but with ferocious marketing campaigns and strong budgets from domestic success, it may not be long until the likes of Apple, Samsung and Sony are looking nervously over their shoulders. So we have taken a look at some brands you may not even have heard of, alongside a few more familiar manufacturers to pick out those that could be shaking things up in the next decade. Today we talk the Oppo!

Oppo is a little different from its peers in that it’s been selling in western markets for a few years, and it’s one of the forerunners in pushing new technology into smartphones. For instance, it’s one of only two brands with a Quad HD (1440×2560 pixels) display, something that the rest of the smartphone players are set to introduce in the next 12-18 months.

In May 2013 it launched a European web store called Oppo Style, that featured the Oppo Find 5 as the centrepiece for a very reasonable €399 – massively undercutting the similarly specified rivals around at the time. Since then, Oppo has launched disruptive handsets such as the Oppo N1. On the surface it’s a standard smartphone: relatively rectangular in shape with a full HD screen and the basic suite of competitive specs.

But Oppo has done its homework and come up with a truly unique swivelling top-mounted camera for super-selfies and a rear touch panel – both features you won’t find on the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, or any other 2014 flagship. With Oppo currently only selling direct to the public through its own site and a number of smaller third party partners, it makes it more difficult for it to get its products into the hands of potential customers, with network penetration worldwide still a distant dream. However, its ambitions are ramping up, and with a market of consumers desperate for the latest top-end tech no matter the cost or design, Oppo has an interesting niche to tap.