This year the mobile phone market saw the rise of many new trends - from high refresh rate screens through 108MP image sensors to periscope cameras. The first foldable phones went on sale, charging speeds went through the roof, displays got curvier and grew punch holes.
Some brands used these trends to their advantage and grow in the market, others missed the mark. In this series we look at what each company got right in 2019 and where their efforts came short.
Oppo is one of the most innovative smartphone manufacturers for the past few years and is constantly pushing the envelope with its phones. We saw no successor of the Find X this year, but there was still no shortage of things to get excited about.
Winner: Oppo Reno 10x zoom
A huge 6.6” screen with no holes or notches - the company implemented the shark-fin elevating mechanism to host the selfie camera. There is also VOOC Flash Charge, relatively big battery and a 48 MP main camera - what is there not to like?
It was advertised with 10x zoom and even named after the technology and with the Huawei P30 packing is to this day the only smartphone to come with the technology and a 2019 flagship chipset albeit the non-plus version of the Snapdragon 855.
The camera didn't quite top the P30 Pro for image quality, but with the recent trouble Huawei has had and the company's late 2019 flagships being barely present in the west the Reno 10x zoom found itself in a great position to boost both the brand's image and sales.
Loser: Find series
The shark fin pop-up was interesting, but brought nowhere near the same excitement levels as the Find X when it arrived. Arguably the prettiest phone to date, the 2018 flagship got no successor in 2019, leaving the Reno series to soak up the spotlight.
At least the end of the year brought us some good news - the Find X2 is coming in early 2020, so maybe this time next year the lineup will be in the winners section.
Winner: Oppo Reno2
The Oppo Reno2 is the logical successor of the Oppo Reno - an upper midrange chipset with plenty of cameras and screen real estate. It has the Snapdragon 730G chip, the new 48 MP sensor by Samsung and keeps the fancy pop-up shark fin for the 16 MP front-facing shooter.
The Oppo Reno2 is available across many major markets, which makes the phone even more popular and desired. Currently, the Reno2 is €499 in Europe and ships with ColorOS 6.1, but the next version of the customized interface is right around the corner.
Loser: Oppo Reno Ace
The Oppo Reno Ace is a great phone that comes with Snapdragon 855+ and 65W Super VOOC Flash Charge, but it failed to make a big impact. The reason is simple enough - only one market has it and that's China.
The Reno Ace not only performs splendidly, but is also very attractively priced - it would have surely been a welcome presence in many markets, but Oppo decided against a global rollout.
Winner: SuperVOOC Flash Charge
One thing Oppo does well is the fast-charging. Yes, it is proprietary for its smartphones, but in this era where every manufacturer tries to lure you into its ecosystem, it is an excusable offense. Back in September, the company introduced the Super VOOC 2.0 which brings 65W charge to a smartphone and as we established in our Oppo Reno Ace review, a 4,000mAh power cell tops in exactly 28 minutes.
The regular VOOC Flash charging is also improved - it is 12% faster and should fill up a 4,000 mAh battery to 67% in 30 minutes and 100% in 73 minutes. There is also the 30W Wireless Fast Charge that we are yet to see beyond the prototype stage, but at least it is Qi-compatible, so even non-Oppo smartphones can use Oppo charging pads when the company releases them.