Oppo has been teasing specs for its next flagship, the Oppo Find 7, since late last year. We won’t know everything until the phone is finally unveiled on March 16, but what has been confirmed so far is very interesting. Among those facts are a 5.5 inch 2K display, a removable battery and a miroSD slot. The interesting thing about the battery is that it’s been strongly established as 4000mAh, which is huge to say the least.
The Find 7 is also confirmed to come in two versions: one with the 2K display and another with 1080p. It hasn’t yet been stated if these are aimed at different global markets, or if they will be available side-by-side for different prices.
Packing in the pixels
Oppo was the first smartphone manufacturer to release a 1080p smartphone when the Find 5 hit shelves in February 2013. Now, it’s in the running to be the first with a 2K handset (1440x2560) after the Galaxy S5 was revealed with ‘just’ a 1080p display.
As expected, the announcement of a 2K display, which occurred in December last year, sparked a lot of comments stating that it is unnecessary. 1080p screens are brilliant, so much so that you can’t see the individual pixels at regular viewing distance, so why would you need more? More pixels just means a bigger drain on the graphics processing unit (GPU) and more power required from the battery.
The argument is understandable but unjustified. Exactly the same concerns were raised when Oppo upped the game from 720p to 1080p, and less than a year later we had flagship phones like the Moto X being ridiculed for boasting ‘only’ a 720p display.
On top of that, whether or not you can see individual pixels on a display is not the sole measure by which you end up judging its quality. Sit at regular viewing distance from any TV and the pixels will not be evident, yet there is a clear cut difference between 720p and 1080p, and a world between 1080p and 4K.
It may end up being true that 2K makes no difference to the viewer, but we won’t know until we see it in action. If it’s a viable addition then the competition will likely follow suit within a few months. If not then it’ll sell poorly and everyone will learn a valuable lesson.
Leading the (battery) charge
If the Find 7 does boast a 4000mAh battery we’ll be very happy. By comparison, Samsung has announced that the Galaxy S5 comes with a 2600mAh and the Nokua Lumia 1320, which has 3300mAh, lasted a good 4 days on average when we reviewed it.
A 4000mAh battery should give the Oppo Find 7 at least a two-day charge, no matter how battery-hungry its first-generation 2K display may be.
We desperately want 2014 to be the year of the battery, among other features. If the Find 7 does hit the shelves with a 4000mAh monster then it could go a long way to changing the game going forward.
50MP camera (rumour)
Oppo released a few photos supposedly taken by its new Find 7 camera. The photos themselves looked pretty good, if a little standard. Then someone broke them down and realised they were 50MP. This is a ridiculous figure on its face. 50MP is a huge number of pixels to cram in to a single photo, especially one taken with a smartphone’s tiny lens system.
Yet, the Lumia 1020 demonstrated the virtues of its 41MP camera. It used the larger number of pixels to generate a smaller, clearer 5MP photo, which consistently beat every single camera we threw at it. It’s still our pick of best smartphone camera on the market. By using 41MP, the Lumia could generate a 5MP photo that beat a 13MP one from the Galaxy S4 any day of the week.
If Oppo followed a similar path then we can see a 50MP camera being useful.
Unfortunately, this rumour is losing ground. The 50MP photo apparently shows signs of being generated from a smaller 13MP photo. 13MP sounds about right for an upcoming smartphone (the GS5 has 16MP), so we wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends up falling flat.
Don’t get too excited over hardware
It’s important to keep things in perspective when dealing with forerunning tech. The first generation of any new leap is often quite poor in comparison to the ones that lag behind. The Oppo Find 5 was a prime example of this. In order to support its then-leading 1080p display the Find 5 had huge battery requirements and needed higher end specs to even keep up with less-powerful phones.
The same fate could befall the Find 7. Its 2K display may be great, or it may not. It may be the best, most-clear and beautiful smartphone display ever to hit the market. Alternatively, it could be laggy, battery-hungry and ultimately indistinguishable from 1080p.
We’ll be wanting to get our hands on one for review before we make up our minds on the Oppo Find 7, but for now you may at the very least colour us intrigued.