Oppo N1 Proves Lesser-Known Smartphone Makers Also Innovate
Image Credit: @adidroider

Oppo N1 Proves Lesser-Known Smartphone Makers Also Innovate


There aren’t a lot of Chinese smartphone manufacturers who have managed to establish themselves in the Western market, and among those few who have, Oppo is by far the most ambitious. The company in question is rather new to the smartphone game, but regardless, Oppo managed to turn some heads in the past and continues to do so. The company’s latest smartphone is probably its most ambitious yet, delivering innovative technologies and new takes on older concepts. Dubbed the “Oppo N1,” the gadget took the mobile world by storm shortly after its official unveiling. Delivering a clever design, the N1 is a prime candidate for one of the most interesting releases of the year.

Now that we’ve got your attention, we should move on and dig a bit deeper. Gadget enthusiasts are not easily impressed by vague  descriptions, so let’s deal with the facts instead. Below, we will discuss all there is to know about the Oppo N1 and deliver a detailed overview of the product.

Camera Overview

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Over the past several months, the “cameraphone” concept has gained a lot of grip, and whether or not the Oppo N1 should be considered a camera-centric smartphone depends on your personal view or expectations. Regardless, it’s undeniable that Oppo has focused greatly on bringing innovations in the mobile camera department.

The N1 features an intriguing 206-degree rotating camera module which can be securely locked at any angle. This means that the N1 features only one camera which can take the role of a rear-facing or a front-facing shooter.

The unit itself consists in a 13 MP camera with f/2.0 wide aperture, a 1/3.06″ CMOS sensor and a Fujitsu IPS imaging chip. The N1 is also the first Android smartphone to deliver a 6-piece lens design. The camera is accompanied by a dual-LED flash, one of which has been designed specifically for front-facing shots. The LED’s brightness is tunable through the camera software, giving its user the opportunity to take the perfect (or at least the best possible) selfie.

Additionally, Oppo claims that the N1′s camera is able to boot in just 0.6 seconds and that a 120 degrees rotation of the module will immediately bring the smartphone out of sleep mode and into the camera mode. And that’s not all – the N1 also supports long exposure photography (up to eight seconds), a feature extremely hard to find in a smartphone.

After learning these details, some of you may be eager to see the N1′s camera in action. While we haven’t had the opportunity to test the handset ourselves, Oppo has published a handful of images captured with the device, to give us an idea of what to expect. Although not perfect, the photos look very promising. Nevertheless, you can choose to remain skeptical, given the fact that the photos have been published by Oppo, and not by an impartial reviewer.

Raw Hardware / Software Specs

While the camera of the N1 is a very impressive piece of technology, that doesn’t mean the N1 is only about its shooter.

Under the hood, the Oppo N1 packs a Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, and either 16 or 32 GB of storage.

As far as the software goes, Oppo has managed to innovate yet again with the N1. Oppo’s N1 main operating system will be the Color OS, a highly modified skin of Android 4.2. Overall, the OS is said to deliver 410 design improvements over stock Android, as well as 37 unique patents. However, now comes the interesting part: The manufacturer has also announced a partnership with the recently formed CyanogenMod Inc (yes, the makers of the famous custom ROM) which will materialize in the possibility to flash CyanogenMod on the device – without rooting it, of course. Even better, according to the manufacturer, the CyanogenMod files will already be found on the device. They’re even considering making a CyanogenMod exclusive version.

The device features a 5.9 inch IPS display boasting a resolution of 1080 x 1920. The panel itself is also very touch-sensitive, allowing the use with a pen or while wearing gloves.

Taking it One Step Further

Speaking of touch-sensitivity, Oppo continues to innovate with the N1, creating new opportunities for the mobile market. To be more precise, one of the hottest features of the N1 is “O-Touch.” It is basically a 12 square centimeter rear touch panel that allows the user to scroll, tap or snap photos without touching the display.

Last but not least, the Oppo N1 is accompanied by a small remote control dubbed “O-Click.” This small trinket can act as a remote for the camera, or as an alarm for when the owner misplaces the device. O-Click has a range of up to 50 meters and it makes use of Bluetooth (BLE) in order to remain connected to the smartphone.

Closing Words

In our opinion, the Oppo N1 is a smartphone that deserves its moment under the spotlight. Regardless of whether or not this is the smartphone for you, Oppo seems to be trying to push the mobile boundaries a bit further than simply bumping the CPU’s performance up a notch. This is definitely something to appreciate and it’s something that many smartphone manufacturers out there should note.

In any case, the Oppo N1 is expected to go on sale sometime next month at the price of 3,498 CNY (roughly $571). The exact launch date and additional details concerning availability outside of China will be announced soon. Until then, we invite you to share your thoughts on the Oppo N1 by leaving a comment below.

Vlad Andrici is editor for and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.

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