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Oppo N1 'Cameraphone' Set for September Launch

Most people will agree that modern smartphones are plenty fast. What else is left? The camera. Picture and video taking capabilities can always be improved. Does the Oppo N1 have what it takes to go toe to toe with Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom, Sony's i1, and Nokia's Lumia 1020? Find out inside!
August 19, 2013
Oppo N1 Lense Close up Press Render

I remember braving the journey to Beijing at the beginning of December last year, to meet a company that I wasn’t previously familiar with. With rumors swirling, I was curious to see what sort of quality a relatively little known player could bring to the table. Having travelled the world for the past several years attending technology events across the globe, I’ve been very privileged to witness first hand the very latest, most cutting edge consumer electronics created by the biggest consumer technology companies on the planet.

I was blown away by the world's first smartphone with a 1080p display - the Oppo Find 5.
I was blown away by the world’s first smartphone with a 1080p display – the Oppo Find 5.

With this in mind, I ventured far East. Shocked to see snow in China, I had caught a bad a very serious fever on the plane, and found myself at -10 degrees in the snow as I attempted to find the location of the launch party. Luckily, I made it. I was in!

After the well conducted launch, I was given substantial hands on time to experience one of the world’s first 1080p smartphones – the Oppo Find 5. The sharpness of the display blew me away, and the use of quality materials left me impressed.

Bringing us forward to today, we have Oppo lusting for more, and for good reason. The Oppo Find 5 is still one of our favorite devices of 2012/2013, and I’ve had dozens of people ask me more about it, every time I’ve brandished it. This, my friends, is a good sign.

We were the first to break the Oppo N1, and have recently discovered that it will be launched towards the end of September.


What is the Oppo N1, you may ask? It’s Oppo’s answer to 2013’s obsession with higher quality imaging. Samsung has their Galaxy Zoom series. Nokia has their Lumia 1020. And now even Sony is rumored to be releasing some serious looking lenses for their upcoming Honami / i1 series, which we believe we will see at IFA 2013, in Berlin. But what- there’s more. HTC has their Ultrapixel, and Motorola has their ‘Clearpixel.’ While some might argue that today’s smartphones capture great pictures already, there is always room for improvement. There must be a market here, right?

While few will see the Oppo N1 outside of China, it’s likely that Oppo will continue to earn good favor in the hearts and minds of millions if it continues on its trajectory that it embarked on with the debut of the Find 5.

So, what makes this the real deal? Today, Oppo announced the N1 via their official Weibo account, thereby legitimizing it to the world. As with all rumors and leaks, official details are sparse. The most credible rumors point to a 13MP ‘Owl’ image sensor, and Xenon flash. The ‘Owl’ sensors is reputed to offer best-in-class low light performance (a claim we’ve heard before – so take it as it were). We’ll be digging deeper in the days ahead to find out the technology behind this alleged ‘Owl’ sensor.

Would you ever buy a lens for your smartphone?
Would you ever buy a lens for your smartphone?

While there’s no word on specs, processor, or any of the other ‘meat and guts’ we look for as mobile technology enthusiasts, we do know that the N1 is supposed to be launched at a $480 price point. If Oppo can pack great technology, an amazing camera, and deliver it to consumers at a good price point, then they’ve got a winner on their hands. The 13MP camera in the Oppo Find 5 was an absolutely first rate image sensor from Sony, and the 1080p display was from JDI, so it’s unlikely they will skimp on the components this time around.

How much does photography on a smartphone matter to you? Any serious photographers in our midst? How much better can low light photography get in such a small sensor? As always, we love to hear your thoughts! Oppo is up against some very serious competition from Samsung, Sony, and Nokia. Does it have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the majors?