Ahead of Mobile World Congress 2019, Chinese phone maker Oppo gave us a glimpse at the key technologies headed for its next flagship phone; an incredible 10x lossless zoom triple camera array and the promise of 5G connectivity.
Henry Tang, Director of Standards for Oppo took the lead on the company’s 5G plans on stage during its pre-MWC ‘Get Closer’ press conference. “5G is set to be a game changer,” Tang said. “For Oppo, we’re fully aware of this trend.”
Tang made mention of Oppo’s global research centres and announced that the company plans to invest some $1.5 billion (US) in research and development during 2019, with a focus on 5G, AI, imaging, crowd and platform designs.
Related: What is 5G?
Oppo initially embarked upon its 5G research as far back as April 1, 2015, when it established a standardisation team. Fast-forward to December 6, 2018, and the company had a working 5G prototype based on its current flagship phone, the Oppo Find X, in testing.
During the pre-MWC keynote, Oppo also brought out Qualcomm’s Cristiano Amon, who praised the partnership between his company and Oppo. Amon also confirmed that the chip-makers latest flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 855, was going to man the helm inside the Chinese company’s next top phone, while the device would also be able to support 5G by way of Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem too.
Qualcomm’s more well-rounded X55 modem isn’t ready for to make its debut just yet and it’ll be a little while before we start to see chipsets with integrated 5G modems too. Until that point, the first wave of 5G phones, including the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Oppo’s forthcoming handset will all sport large batteries and large designs, in order to afford the extra space and power needed for a standalone modem.
Oppo also brought representatives from its initial wave of 5G carrier partners up on stage to help launch the company’s ‘5G Landing Project’.
As Tang explained in a Q&A session after the company’s keynote, “The 5G Landing Project is a collaboration with the goal to enable a timely and high-quality experience [for consumers]. By setting up this Landing Project we’re set up to make this good experience happen.”
The company currently has Swisscom, Telstra, Optus and Singtel onboard as 5G carrier partners but Tang wasn’t able to confirm whether additional carriers with 5G capabilities (such as EE in the UK) will join the fray before the company’s next phone launches.
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