Great design isn’t a happy accident: technology that makes you smile takes an incredible amount of work.
That attention to detail – attention that romps over the line into the realm of obsession – runs all the way through OPPO's range. Take the R5 smartphone, for instance. Its unique manufacturing process for its 4.85mm-thick R5 handset leaves tiny marks on the phone’s frame, so the company hired trained craftspeople to hand-finish every single handset. The result: a flawlessly smooth handset with a touch of personal excellence.
Not only that, but the bespoke tools OPPO commissioned for the R5 are replaced every hundredth handset to ensure consistently high quality – a sign of the company’s relentless drive for comfort and quality.
Inspiration comes from everywhere
The reason for this no-stone-unturned approach to building the R5 is the handset’s unique design. Its asymmetric micro-arc frame means the phone is ever so slightly longer on the top (by a whopping 1.2mm) – that means it sits more comfortably in the hand. It’s the kind of detail that makes you smile when you notice it; someone had to sit down, think of it, design it and implement it – just so users are less likely to suffer the heart-stopping sight of their phone heading towards the ground after a slip.
The materials the R5 uses are similarly space-age. The R5’s aluminium alloy, 3D-welded body is designed to make the R5 the toughest ultra-thin smartphone in the world, with its internal steel frame giving it plenty of rigidity.
But it isn’t all about mere function – beauty is what really turns heads. When OPPO’s crack team of international designers were designing the R7 Series smartphones, they didn’t look to other handsets for inspiration. Instead, the lead designer – a trained violinist – took a musical cue: the R7 Series owes its smooth curves to the easy to hold shape of a violin’s neck. The result: an elegant, naturally comfortable piece of design.
Quality, materials and innovation
Good design benefits from the right materials, too. Take the R7 Series’s highly polished magnesium-alloy unibody: its production process (featuring anodic oxidation, science nerds) leaves the surface mirror-smooth, corrosion-resistant and ready for the ultra-fine layer of zircon-sand based paint that gives the R7 Series its stylish, refined finish.
The R7 Series and its Violin Arc design benefits from a 48-stage polishing process that leaves the finished result smoother and more comfortable in the hand.
But if a smartphone isn’t built properly, all that effort is for nought. That’s why OPPO’s diligence takes in quality testing and materials: build quality and premium design are at the heart of everything the company does. Take its N3, for example. Perched at the top is a unique, motorised camera that can rotate, allowing both photographers and selfie-shooters to snap either forwards or backwards. That motorised lens didn’t come easy, though: OPPO’s sadistic quality assurance team made sure the motor would pass 100,000 activations without a hiccup, meaning users will be able to rotate the N3’s camera 40 times a day for seven years. That’s a lot of selfies.
The phone's hollow section is made from 7075 aluminium alloy - which can withstand the countless drop-tests it's put through in OPPO's research and development department. Peace of mind, then, for the butter-fingered.
The battle for quality doesn’t end there: when you receive a notification on the N3, the Skyline notification light lets you know not by flashing a stark LED, but by glowing on both sides of the phone - so you'll know you've got something waiting whether it's face-down or face-up. It shines blue – but not just any blue. It’s the blue you get when the sky meets the water of a lake. Now that’s an obsession with detail…