Home Home Tech LAUNCH VIDEOS: Oppo's R11s and R11s Plus, its best ever iPhone clones, are ready to rock

LAUNCH VIDEOS: Oppo's R11s and R11s Plus, its best ever iPhone clones, are ready to rock

With an interface shamelessly "inspired" by iOS, Oppo's new smartphones give very familiar yet Android powered smartphone experiences, with mostly ultra-premium features, but at much lower prices than other flagship models.

UPDATE: Two videos of from the Oppo launch are now embedded into this article, with the first being the actual R11s and R11s Plus launch, which also includes a runway show and excellent live singer. 

The second video is of the press briefing and Q&A session, which also included an update on Oppo's business in New Zealand, as a range of New Zealand journalists were in attendance at the launch event, presumably as guests of Oppo, and covers a range of topics including future Oreo 8 Android updates, the cameras, zooming, the user interface and more.

Original article continues:

Oppo has launched two new smartphones, the R11s and R11s Plus, with high-end features at upper mid-range pricing as you can see below. 

With Apple's 64GB iPhone X starting at $1579, the 64GB iPhone 8 starting at $1079 and the iPhone 8 Plus starting at $1229, let alone other Android flagships at similarly higher prices, Oppo is challenging with  the most iOS-like Android experience but with much keener pricing, at A$659 for the 64GB R11s and A$779 for the 64GB R11s Plus.

Of course, Apple's ultra-premium flagships have the best of the best in terms of processing speeds, augmented reality, neural processing, screen quality and more, but with Android having caught up to many of Apple's OS features, Oppo's user interface so closely copying iOS, and with Android having all the top apps you'd expect and millions more besides, the fight for Android supremacy rages fiercely.

As you'd expect, Samsung rules the Android sales roost with its ultra-premium flagships too, along with a range of phones underneath, from upper-mid range through to entry-level.

Google has its own and purest Android experiences, Huawei challenges all other Androids and Apple itself at the high end while having a range of models at a range of prices too, Motorola seeks mid-range mastery, and there are plenty more Android challengers, including Sony, LG, HTC, ZTE, OnePlus, Xiaomi and many others.

In this mix as one of the bigger smartphone makers in the world is Chinese brand Oppo, which has made a name for itself as being one of the world's other top Android makers and has grown bigger and bigger since breaking through to retail at Dick Smith Electronics a few years ago, to now being available direct from some telcos and top retailers. 

Now comes Oppo's latest range to take it all to the next level, the R11s and R11s Plus.

Here's the launch video, the article continues below – please read on!

The R11s has a 6.01-inch Full HD+, 18:9 display, with 18:9 displays now all the rage for ever smaller bezels, and with the R11s Plus offering the same Full HD+ resolution on a larger 6.43-inch canvas, also at 18:9, retailing outright for A$659 and A$779 respectively.

It's easy to see that Oppo's latest and greatest are vastly more affordable, even at their upper-mid-range pricing, than Apple's, Samsung's, Huawei's and Google's flagship price points. 

Now, I've had the chance to preview the Oppo R11s over the past few days, and it is both a very impressive phone, and a very impressive Android phone in very iOS-like clothing.

Very slim, lightweight, large screen, the ability to swipe up from the bottom of the screen like an iPhone X (or have traditional on-screen buttons that can be hidden or set to appear permanently), with a truly shameless and very iOS-like user interface, 64GB of storage, dual-SIM capabilities, MicroSD expansion (taking up the second SIM card slot), AI for advanced and a claimed 0.08 second face unlocking, rear-mounted fingerprint reader, 20MP+16MP dual cameras with 2x rear zoom via the second camera (but apparenrly not via optical means as seen in the Oppo product briefing video below) and more, and you have an excellent looking and performing smartphone.

The processor on the R11s is a Qualcomm 660 series Octo-Core processor, so while it's not the most powerful 835 or 845 series processor available from Qualcomm, it's still more than powerful enough for all of the everyday browsing, gaming, mapping, emailing, Facebooking, Twittering, Instagramming and other everyday app usage.

And, with 64GB storage, of which 48GB is available, and the ability for MicroSD expansion, Oppo's new models will be fierce Android challengers.

Of course, iPhone users are generally locked in to the Apple ecosystem thanks to the range of apps, services, Apple Music, iCloud and other iOS features, and they're often very happy to be there and aren't likely to switch so easily, but I know people who have had older iPhones who upgraded to earlier Oppos (with similar iOS-clone UI experiences) and they've been very happy, so it's really a horses for courses situation.

Apple also has the advantages of its privacy stance, and much faster availabiity of security updates for the latest iOS version, among many other features that distinguish it from Android, but while a clear opportunity exists to convert some iOS users, with Android an even bigger market than iPhone, Oppo's liberal borrowing of vast swathes of the clearly very popular iOS experience seeks to convert Android and iOS users alike. 

On a personal basis, I have a Mac, an Apple Watch, AirPods, an iPad and iPhones, so as a dedicated Apple user, iOS and macOS are absolutely my primary computing experiences, but as it's my job to know the market, and to support friends, family and readers, a range of Android devices and Windows computers are my secondary computing devices and thus I am as well aware of how the major and most minor players are doing everything they do to compete and provide service and services to their users.

So, what does Oppo have to say about its latest models?

Well, there's no surprise to see Oppo stating its R11s and R11s Plus are "much anticipated" and that they "continue to push the boundaries of its cameraphones, utilising the latest photographic innovations, Artificial Intelligence and an immersive screen".

Oppo proudly boasts that "both the front and rear cameras of the new R11s and R11s Plus have been significantly updated. They sport a brand new rear 20MP+16MP dual camera, as well as a front facing 20MP selfie camera, ensuring users capture crystal clear images every with every shot".

Michael Tran, executive director at OPPO, said: "For consumers, the smartphone is now their camera of choice. It's what they use to capture, enjoy and replay every moment of their lives. Our new devices build on this and offer consumers an exceptional photography experience, which will have them taking shots like a pro, thanks to the new innovations we've brought to the devices.

"From new software and hardware enhancements to artificial intelligence, OPPO is ensuring it delivers a superior photography experience."

Oppo tells us that "what makes these R11s cameras so special is they both operate as primary cameras, rather than the conventional primary/secondary camera format, where one camera takes the lead".

"The 16MP rear camera takes on the primary role of normal everyday shots in brightly lit environments, while the 20MP HD camera becomes the main camera for low light environments. Both cameras provide an f/1.7 aperture, allowing more light into the device, enabling consumers to capture the highest quality portraits, day and night.

"The front camera has also received a major upgrade. The 20MP front camera utilises OPPO's groundbreaking self-learning AI Beauty Recognition technology, that identifies over 254 facial recognition points of the subject and references them against millions of facial images to make subtle, natural enhancements.

"The AI facial recognition technology also enables users quick access to their device. The camera instantly recognises key facial feature points and swiftly unlocks the device in 0.08 seconds.

"Bringing these images to life is the immersive new display. The R11s comes with a 6.01-inch FHD+ screen with 2160 x 1080 dpi and 18:9 aspect ratio, creating a more immersive user experience. The 85.8% screen ratio is the highest for any OPPO phone to date.

"Exclusively on the Red version of the R11s, OPPO has introduced a 'starry sky' gradient effect on the screen, blurring the boundaries and bringing a wider view for users."

Tran added: "The R11s provides flagship quality features and hardware without the high price point. We want to continue to bring Aussies the best cameraphones without them having to break the bank.

"This is why Aussies have come to love our phones, as proven by our recent Canstar Blue Award for most satisfied customers. We take our time to make sure each device meets the needs and wants of our customers, delivering a premium quality device at a reasonable price-point. We expect the device to build off the success of the R9s, and the R11 to become a favourite amongst consumers looking for an amazing cameraphone experience."

Here's the video of the press briefing session, the pricing and specs are below.

Full specs for both models can be seen at Oppo here

Here are the pricing details:

R11s – RRP:
$659

Stockists:
The new device will be available from the 5th February, including JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Woolworths Mobile, RetraVision, Mobileciti, Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone.

On Plan:

  • Optus – $45 per month + $5 Handset repayment with 2GB (min total cost is $1200 over 24 months).
  • Virgin Mobile – $40 per month with 3GB (min total cost is $960 over 24 months).
  • Vodafone – $30 Red Plan per month + $15.80 interest free phone (over 36 months) = $45.80 per month (Total minimum cost $1648.80)
  • Woolworths Mobile – 5GB data for $48.30 per month on a 36 month handset payment plan (total min cost $688.80) plus a bonus 64GB Sandisk MicroSD card.

R11s Plus – RRP:
$779

Stockists:
The new device will be available from the 5 February, Exclusive to JB Hi-Fi. 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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