The September 2018 Main Meeting
This month we had OPPO and The Vodafone Foundation drop by.
First up was OPPO
Mathew Ho and Ash from OPPO. Mathew started with a look at what he called OPPO’s four pillars of sponsorship photography, fashion, music, and sport. In sport, they are major sponsors of FC Barcelona and the International Cricket Council - the ICC.
We then heard a bit of history. OPPO came to Australia in 2014 with products retailed through Opus, AllPhones, and Dick Smith.
Neither Allphones or Dick Smith shops exist now, although Dick Smith’s name and e-mail list was sold to Kogan Online. Then in 2016 OPPO partnered with JB Hi-Fi
Along with JB Hi-Fi, the other big carriers Woolworths, Vodafone, and Telstra have come on board. Also the range of retailers selling unlocked or dual sim OPPO models has increased, with Officeworks and the Good Guys stocking most models.
Mathew then directed our attention to the range of OPPO models available.
They fall into three groups. The Find X the R and the A series.
Mathew defined them as the flagship models in the X series, the R series the everyday models and the A series being the entry level.
First off we looked at the Find X. which OPPO announced only a few weeks ago.
So what makes this their flagship product? There are two models, the Find X and the SuperVOOC.
We started with the battery. One of the reasons the Find X SuperVooc is a flagship device is its rapid charge, 0 to 100% in 35 minutes. Both come with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 8 GB of onboard RAM. The storage has not been left out of the equation either with 128 or 256 GB available.
Photography is one of the pillars of OPPO and the Find X is unique in that the camera is hidden. Most people will be familiar with the notch at the top of a smartphone which creates a space for the lens housing.
The idea of the notch came from the iPhone and allows more screen real estate to be made available.
With the Find X it disappears inside the phone. Press the camera control and it pops up.
Now you see it
Now you don’t
The phone has dual cameras, one on the back and one on the front. There is a 20 and a 16 Megapixel camera with the 20 megapixel camera on the front. They are backed up by AI software which senses the backgrounds and light and adjusts the light, speed and sensitivity or ISO automatically.
The AI scene sensor in action
The Find X has a large 6.4-inch arc screen
And with security in mind the Find X has 3D biometric scanning. Along with passcodes, the Find X has “O-face” recognition. To quote the site “It uses 15,000 facial dot recognition points” to map your face and give instant unlock and it can do it in the dark using infrared scans.
The infrared means you can answer a call in the middle of the night without having to blind yourself turning a light on.
Mathew then moved on to Color OS, the OPPO overlay of the Android system
Its designed to make the User experience ‘simpler and easy for the average user’.
There are no hidden menus, again to quote Mathew, “What you see is what you get” making it intuitive and simple to find what you are looking for. Color OS has OPPO Smart Assistant.
A simple swipe right for example reveals your calendar and agenda for the day.
And the OPPO smart assistant integrates with Google Assistant and Google Lens.
In summary The Find X has a core processor and 8 GB of RAM.
It comes in two versions with 128GB storage for $1099 or 256 GB for $1299. It’s only available from JB Hi-Fi and Mobile City (online).
Both models come with a case and a screen protector.
The Find X is not waterproof due in part to the hidden camera but the R series is. So we moved on to look at the R series,
featuring the R15 Pro. This phone has the familiar notch on the front for the camera. Unlike the Find X it’s water resistant. Starting on the outside, the phone has a 20 MP camera, a 6.28 inch screen with full HD display and gorilla glass for scratch and impact resistance. The phone comes with screen protector and a case included in the box.
Inside it has 6 GB of RAM and a 128 GB storage. Mathew noted that the larger RAM enabled a much smoother operation and more apps to be running at the same time. On the back we find dual cameras, a 20MP and a 16MP camera both with a 1.7 f stop. There is a finger print scanner and facial recognition is also available. The back is tempered class.
Mathew continued with more details of the main features.
Starting with the cameras. The 20 MP camera has an F2 aperture and is great for selfies with AI backlighting available. The 20 MP also allows for a good zoom without loss of detail. Both cameras have AI and scene recognition like the Find X. The glass front and back gives a unique feel, with 3D gradient colours giving the phone a depth and vibrance. Inside you can add a micro SD card for more storage on top of the 128 GB. It has NFC or near field contact for things like PayPass and the phone is run by a Snapdragon 660 processor. Its water resistant with an IP rate of 67. Our President Alex suggested at that rate you could wipe it with a wet towel if need be.
This phone also has Color OS running on the Android 8.1 system.
With Color OS the R15 Pro has full multi-tasking.
As an example, if you are watching a video and receive a Facebook message you can respond to it without leaving the video. It also has gaming acceleration, again you can answer a call without interrupting you game.
Color OS also has “Kid Space”
Kids Space is about keeping your children safe and your data use protected. If your Kids have to use your phone you can control access and limit data use. To quote from the Color OS manual
“With Kids Space, parents can set limits specially for children's use of the phone, such as setting up phone usage time and apps allowed to be accessed. It does a good job in charge prevention, system modification, and addiction prevention when your kids use the phone.”
Mathew showed how you can limit the times the phone can be used, the applications children can access and limit the data use, so they can’t subscribe to high cost on line game sites.
You can add these features to your phone or simply buy a phone for the children’s use and set these restrictions on that phone.
The R15 Pro is available through most carriers and JB Hi-Fi have a dual sim unlocked version. However, all the OPPO dual sim phones sacrifice the Micro SD card for the second sim which in my opinion is a severe limitation on the storage and therefore the use of the camera.
Next we looked at the A series.
This time featuring the new AX5. This is considered the entry level OPPO. The first feature Mathew noted was the rear glass diamond pattern in either red or blue. The phone also has dual cameras and a huge battery.
The dual cameras are a 13MP and a 2MP.They are designed to work in combination to create a depth of field and quality with the lower res camera while the Hi-res puts an edge on the photo.
All this is enhanced by the use of AI similar to that of the Find and the R series.
The camera has a huge 4230 mAh battery.
That’s up to 2 days of use before you need to recharge. Its rated at 17 hours use before recharge. Then there’s the screen. For an entry level phone it’s a large size at 6.2 inch.
It has a wide aspect ratio for good video viewing with the notch to accommodate the cameras.
Under the hood
we have the Snapdragon 450 CPU with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. While not as large as the Find or R series, 64GB is on the large size for an entry level phone and it can be extended with a micro-SD.
Naturally the AX5 runs Color OS
It has facial unlock and while the AX5 has no inferred light the glow from the screen there will be enough to use facial recognition at night.
You can enjoy all the benefits of multi-tasking.
And the AX5 comes with Kids Space,
making it a great phone for parents to give the children.
It is available from Vodafone on a $35 plan
Or through JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, the Good Guys among others for $379.
After the break, Megan Retka-Tidd,
Head of The Vodafone Foundation, stepped up to detail how Vodafone is supporting health research in Australia.
So what does a phone company do to support the health of a nation?
Megan began by discussing the Foundation’s aims.
There are two institutions supported by the Vodafone Foundation: Hello Sunday Morning
“is a charity with a mission to change Australia’s relationship with alcohol, by helping Aussies to regain perspective on why and how they drink.” and Vodafone support an app to connect and support people gain a new perspective on their relationship with alcohol.
The other is the Garvin Institute
This is a medical research organisation with a focus on bone disease, immunology, neuroscience, diabetes, and cancer.
Megan spoke about the amount of computing power medical research needs. When Man landed on the moon, the guidance system has only 16 Kilobytes of memory. The average smartphone now has 4 GB while the sequencing of the human genome took around 800 supercomputers to calculate our human DNA.
So, what can a phone company do to help, apart from donating money? Vodafone’s chief resource is data, it’s what most mobile phone users buy. The foundation asked the question “How can we harness the computing power of all those mobiles to help crunch the numbers?” The Foundation’s answer was DreamLab.
Here’s the idea
The Gavin Institute downloads calculations to the app and it crunches the numbers and uploads the results. This page is from the Institute and explains just how the idea works.
Megan then showed us just how the numbers stack up.
This is a world-wide app with the Vodafone Foundation also in the UK and NZ.
Here’s how the app works. Once installed you can choose to use either mobile data or Wi Fi. If you are with Vodafone they donate the data. If not, you can choose the amount of data you would like to donate. When you download the app, you choose the project you want to donate too and the amount of data you are giving. Then when the phone is on charge the app starts crunching the numbers. You can see the results when you pick up the phone on your way out. The app is only available on Android and iOS, unfortunately you can’t crunch data on the PC.
Megan donated two Zagg Ignition 6 chargers with 6000aMh two USB ports and a LED light.
We also had a few other prizes.
Our Next Main Meeting is 23rd October 2018