With the launch of Find X, Oppo wants people to know that the company is capable of creating a premium smartphone that can challenge the supremacy of Apple and Samsung in the top-end of the market. While not cheap at Rs 59,990, Oppo says the Find X is less about driving volumes and more about showcasing its hero product to the world. “We definitely have the capability to come with a flagship, which means the price of the phone will also go higher,” Will Yang, Brand Manager at Oppo India, told indianexpress.com on the sides of the launch of the Find X in India. “This product [Find X] is not made for everyone,” Yang said.
“We were planning to launch this [Find X] at least one or two years back… we discussed the prototype whether we need to launch another flagship after we launched the Find 7 four years back,” he added.
Unlike previous years, a lot of companies are unable to come up with fresh ideas when it comes to phone design. For instance, after the arrival of the iPhone X late last year, a slew of smartphones was launched with a small cut out, or notch on the top of the screen. While the iPhone X’s notch has some purpose as it houses the TrueDepth camera system, others simply aped the design for the sake of it.
“The Find X was designed without a notch, because two years back, there was no concept of a notched screen,” he says. According to Yang, all the major brands want to produce a notchless, all-screen smartphone. The problem is how you break this limitation. In Oppo’s case, the team of designers has managed to come with the Find X with a notchless display, which he calls a milestone.
Oppo is impressed with its use of the motorised slider that pushes up to reveal three cameras — 25MP selfie snapper + dual 20MP and 16MP — as well as 3D facial recognition. To create a notchless smartphone, the Find X’s entire top side comes out, which seems to be a more sensible solution to achieve a nearby bezel-less smartphone.
While the idea may be similar to the one used by the Vivo Nex which has a pop-up selfie camera, with Oppo Find X the implementation was way more complicated and totally different. While Yang didn’t explain how the motorised camera works, he did narrate a backstory: “There are only two vendors in the world that can provide such kind of technology and we decided to work with one of them. This solution is fully customised. We are confident and proud to say that no competitor of ours can actually have a similar technology, at least for the next six months.”
The high-end smartphone segment in India has suddenly become crowded. Apple and Samsung now have competition from Huawei, OnePlus, and Vivo. Oppo is the latest entrant in this premium mobile phone segment.
Sales of premium smartphones have been gradually surging in India due to rising disposable income and availability of cheap 4G data. According to Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, the premium phone market contributes to 4 per cent of the overall smartphone market in India. In India, the top three players that dominate the premium smartphone segment are Samsung, Apple, and OnePlus. OnePlus, owned by China’s BBK Electronics which also controls Vivo and Oppo, was the fastest growing brand in the high-end smartphone segment capturing 25 per cent of the share in Q1 2018.
“There are people in the market who want to have a premium smartphone experience,” he says, “and for sure the volume will be lesser, but like other brands there is a target audience for the Find X.” Oppo held a market share of 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, according to Counterpoint Research.
In the coming months, Oppo plans to launch yet another high-end smartphone in India, which Yang says will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Without revealing details he said the launch might happen as early as the second half of 2018.