Oppo Mobiles had some key technology announcements at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year. These announcements did not include the launch of new phone, but two key parameters which will be seen in Oppo mobile phones and hopefully phones from the brands some months or years down the line.
The two announcements were the SmartSensor image stabilisation technology and the SuperVOOC Flash Charging technology. To put it in a nutshell, the SmartSensor image stabilisation brings 3-axis image stabilisation capabilities on the sensor front, as opposed to lens based IS technologies that are seen on most mobile phones today. The SuperVOOC Flash Charging technology on the other hand adds more finesse to Oppo’s already popular VOOC fast charging technology.
Post the announcement, we had a chance to interact with Luma Lu, the technology planning director and head of Oppo’s DaVinci Laboratory. The obvious question was when would we start to witness these technologies in Oppo phones. While we would have liked to get an exact or even an approximate timeline, there was no real confirmation on that.
According to Lu, both the technologies were brand new and are still being tested. “We want to be absolutely sure about their working, before we launch it officially in the market. We cannot give you a time frame as of now, as after the testing of the SmartSensor module, we need to implement it in a smartphone camera and test that entire phone unit as well. So it will surely take some time for this technology to go under mass production of phones,” said Lu.
Considering the SmartSensor technology is the first of its kind on smartphones, we were curious to know if Oppo had any plans of licensing it out to other smartphone makers out there?
“The SmartSensor technology will first and foremost be used on Oppo smartphones. This technology has been developed by a company backed by Oppo called MEMS drive and our imaging laboratory. This technology has been under test for a couple of years. We do not rule out the possibility of it being used on other phones in the future,” said Lu.
According to Oppo, the SuperVOOC Flash charging technology will initially be seen on high-end devices, as there is cost component attached to develop the right kind of batteries and charging adapter, wire and connectors. “According to our company roadmap, it is possible to apply this technology to lower end handsets as well in the future. The SuperVOOC Flash charging technology is a combination of software and hardware, and it is processor agnostic – so it doesn’t matter what kind of chipset your phone has, Qualcomm or MediaTek, SuperVOOC will still work as long as it’s an Oppo phone and you have the right adapter, cables and connector. It will work with both USB Type C as well as microUSB ports,” said Lu.
Lu put to rest all fears of these technologies increasing the thickness of the handsets. According to him, the SmartSensor image stabilisation will occupy less space than a traditional lens based OIS configuration. As for the SuperVOOC Flash Charging, Lu said that there would only be an increase in the cost component initially, and not the phone’s thickness.
At the event, Oppo demoed the SuperVOOC Flash charging technology during the presentation itself. When Alen Wu, the vice president of the Oppo Mobile business came up on stage to talk about the SuperVOOC flash charging technology, the phone being charged was at 5 percent battery level. And by the time Wu was done with his presentation, which was easily under 15 minutes, the demo phone was charged to 100 percent. Oppo did not mention the exact capacity of the battery, but claims that with the SuperVOOC flash charging technology could charge a 2500mAh battery capacity phone fully in 15 minutes.
Going by Oppo’s VOOC charging technology as compared to Qualcomm’s QuickCarge, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it delivers on that promise. But of course, we will have to wait for an end product to see if SuperVOOC can indeed charge a phone by the time you finish your lunch.