Get closer: New smartphone camera tech from Oppo zooming to MWC

Oppo F1 Plus
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Oppo, the Chinese smartphone brand known for its camera phones, will be at Mobile World Congress at the end of this month, to show a new technology it’s calling “5x.” What’s 5x? Oppo’s not telling us, but from the way the firm describes it, we’re looking at a new technology, rather than just a new smartphone called the 5x. Probably best, as that’s just going to get confusing.

“Go 5x further,” says the Oppo invitation to see the tech at MWC, adding that it’s, “smartphone photography technology that will give users unprecedented ability to capture highly detailed images.” It has been in development for a year, and is now ready to be shown off to the public. Oppo has a strong photographic background, after it captured many headlines with its rotating camera modules and massive-megapixel selfie cams, and the company even takes the dubious honor of being the first to feature a pre-installed beautification mode on a smartphone.

What could 5x be? Its name — and the “So close you can feel it” tagline — suggests something to do with camera zoom, a hot trend in smartphones at the moment. If it refers to a 5x zoom on a phone, and is optical without a massive lens extension, then it would surpass Apple’s 2x zoom on the iPhone 7 Plus, and Asus’ 2.3x zoom on the Zenfone 3 Zoom. However, this is only speculation, and we’ll have to wait and see what Oppo reveals on the day.

Last year Oppo also used Mobile World Congress to showcase some exciting technology. It demonstrated the next generation of its proprietary battery fast-charging system, which could take a cell from zero to 100 percent in just 15 minutes, plus a new image stabilization system for smartphone cameras. However, neither of these have since been made available in an Oppo smartphone, despite the intention to have them available before the end of last year.

While we’re excited to see Oppo’s new 5x technology, whatever it may end up being, we’re also wary that it may be an early prototype — and therefore not something we should expect to use in the real world any time soon.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

The Cat S48c is the phone designed for construction workers (or the clumsy)

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.
Mobile

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.