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Oppo phones coming to New Zealand

Oppo says it will soon start selling Android phones in New Zealand.

At the time of writing there are few details on Oppo’s New Zealand plans. The company says it will launch phone models and announce New Zealand partners in the first quarter of 2017. It has already recruited local staff.

You can expect to see less expensive phones with features similar to those found on premium Android models. Overseas Oppo phones sell for around half the price of similar Samsung models.

The Oppo brand is almost unknown in New Zealand although you can find it on high-end Blu-ray players and headphones.

New name, big in Asia

Speaking at the Australian launch of the company’s R9s handset in Sydney, NZ head of marketing Kuan Li says Oppo is now the world’s fourth largest mobile phone maker.

Li says the company’s phone sales are strong in China and South-East Asia. Oppo also makes high-end Blu-ray DVD players.

Samsung may be the target, but Oppo’s R9s handset has more than a passing resemblance to Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus.

ColorOS software

It runs Android 6.0 with the company’s own ColorOS 3.0 software overlay that also pays homage to iOS. To the untrained eye it looks like an Apple. The home screen is almost identical to iOS 9.

The operating system could prove a negative with Android 7.0 now emerging. There was no word from Oppo about an Android 7.0 update.

Yet that may not concern Oppo’s target audience. The launch event focused on the phone’s looks with fashion models strutting to show off the phones and a presentation from a designer who talked about the phone’s style.

All about the camera

Oppo made a point of emphasising the R9s’ camera technology. 1 That means 16 megapixels on both the rear and front cameras. There is a Sony developed sensor with built-in autofocus, so the camera works fast.

A less predictable key point of difference is the phone’s fast charging. Oppo says it takes just a few minutes charging to give the R9s two hours of talk time.

While it may look like an Apple phone, it is more of a threat to Samsung and, perhaps, Huawei. The R9s specifications, see below2, are similar to those of premium Android handsets. Yet in overseas market the phone sells for around half the list price of a Samsung Galaxy S7.

Oppo in New Zealand

Oppo has yet to announce the R9s NZ price, but it is likely to be as competitive. In Australia is sells for A$600 at JB Hifi. In that country Oppo phones also sell with plans through Woolworths supermarkets.

While the company is not saying who it will partner with in New Zealand, local JB Hifi executives were at the Australia launch and there were hints of a Woolworths-like retail tie-up here.

  1. Just like every other phone launch for the past six years or so. In truth all high spec phones have great cameras, although the specific mix of features varies from phone to phone. In the phone business you need a great camera just to get into the game. ↩︎
  2. Specs:
Height 153 mm
Width 74.3 mm
Thickness 6.58 mm
Weight 147 g
Operating System ColorOS3.0, Android 6.0
Processor MSM8953 Octa-core
GPU Mali-T860 MP2
Storage 64 GB (support micro SD card up to 256GB)
Battery 3010mAh  Li-Po Battery (unremovable)
Size 5.5 inches
Type Amoled
Resolution FHD (1920*1080 pixels)