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Some lessons OnePlus can take from sibling OPPO's stellar smartphones

OnePlus has come a long way from being a midrange-premium player to a premium brand. But it still has certain weaknesses that do not let it deliver a comprehensive smartphone experience

OnePlus in India | Chinese smartphones | OnePlus

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

OnePlus 8

Until it decided to expand its product portfolio a few years ago, Chinese electronics maker BBK Electronics was parent to two successful smartphone brands — and Vivo. And then, in December 2013, Pete Lau and Carl Pie, both employees of OPPO, set up a third smartphone company under the wider BBK umbrella. This was called While the youngest of the trio always chose to call itself an independent company, a hint of its siblings’ influence on its smartphones was not imperceptible. Calling it a mere rebranding, though, would be a mistake. OnePlus, indeed, has been an independent story and none could deny it that.

Suffice it to say, therefore, that has borrowed some of OPPO’s features in its past smartphones, and they have only made it better. Now, as the company prepares to launch its new ‘T’-series smartphones, it would do well to imbibe some more of OPPO’s qualities to plug some gaps that have kept it from delivering a comprehensive smartphone experience.

On October 14, will launch the OnePlus 8T, a successor to the OnePlus 8 (review), which came earlier this year. While the company is expected to bring only some upgrades to features and specifications in this smartphone, reports suggest there would be no ‘Pro’ edition this time. That might come, if at all, later this year. The company has already confirmed a much-awaited improvement to charging in the 8T, using the technology seen in the Find X2 Pro, what OnePlus fans would now be expecting in the new smartphone is imaging process of the OPOO Find X2 Pro.

Why OnePlus should borrow from the Find X2 Pro

OnePlus has come a long way from being a midrange-premium player to a premium smartphone brand. And yet there have certain weaknesses that do not let it deliver the complete experience expected of a truly premium smartphone. The company’s latest flagship, the OnePlus 8 Pro (review), did have some premium features which were missing in earlier phones, even as rivals did — an AMOLED screen of 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging and ingress protection, for instance. The 120Hz AMOLED screen is going to be there in the OnePlus 8T, too, the company has confirmed, besides a flat screen.

Insofar as charging in concerned, OnePlus announced on September 24 that the 8T would sport its fastest charging solution ever, the Warp Charge 65.

The really fast fast-charging

The OPPO Find X2 Pro earlier brought a dual-cell battery with a total capacity equalling 4,260 mAh. You might suppose the battery to be underwhelming for a smartphone that is powered by performance-centric Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ system-on-chip and carries a power-hungry 6.7-inch AMOLED screen of 120Hz refresh rate. But, you will be surprised to learn that the OPPO Find X2 Pro still runs for a full day with a single charge on normal usage. It might not have the best on-battery time, but it makes up for it with its 65W superVOOC 2.0 flash charge —quick enough to replenish its completely drained battery in just about 40 minutes. Now that is the best charging solution you get in any smartphone available in the country at present.

The charging tech OnePlus 8T promises to have

The OnePlus 8-series shipped with WarpCharge 30T charger, with a peak power output capacity of 30W. But for the upcoming 8T, OnePlus has announced the Warp Charge 65, which could “more than double” the charging speed and fully replenish the phones 4500 mAh battery fully “in 39 minutes, and almost 58% in just 15 minutes”.

The Warp Charge 65’s twin-battery configuration, the company claims, allows the OnePlus 8T to charge more than twice as fast as Warp Charge 30T. “With this new setup, both batteries can charge at more than 30W simultaneously while staying cool even when using the phone”.

But OnePlus still lags behind competition in imaging capabilities, so it is only fair to expect the company to make a worthy upgrade in its upcoming smartphone by bringing a camera system that is as good as the one in the OPPO Find X2 Pro, if not better.

OPPO Find X2 Pro’s stellar imaging

The OPPO Find X2 Pro has a 48-megapixel (Sony IMX689) primary sensor of an f/1.7 aperture. It features all-pixel omni-directional phase-detection auto-focus (PDAF) and optical image stabilization (OIS). Its primary camera is paired with another 48MP ultra-wide sensor (Sony IMX586) of an f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field-of-view (FoV). This sensor does the double duty of a macro sensor for close-up shots. Complementing the wide and ultra-wide optics is a 13MP periscope telephoto sensor of an f/3.0 aperture, with OIS for up to 60x digital zoom and up to 10x hybrid zoom.

The OPPO Find X2 Pro does not have a pixel-rich primary camera sensor like some other competitors, but it does deliver stunning results in all light conditions. It is a capable sensor that fixes the focus quickly and captures detailed frames with accurate colours and contrast. The ultra-wide sensor is good, too, and has more megapixels than the ultra-wide cameras available on most smartphones in the market. While the number of pixels only tells half the story, here it adds up to the phone’s neutral post-processing for natural-looking detailed output. The wide and ultra-wide sensors are good, but it is the periscope telephoto sensor that adds zing to the OPPO Find X2 Pro’s imaging. It is capable of up to 10x hybrid zoom — that might not be perfect, agreed, especially with regard to picture quality, but it is still one of the best imaging solutions available on any smartphone at present.

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First Published: Fri, September 25 2020. 15:45 IST