Back in April I picked up the Oppo Find 5. A solidly built 5-inch Android phone with a 13 megapixel camera, large battery capacity, and high resolution screen. At first glance, it looks something like a model out of the Sony Xperia line with its clean, sleek look with bold lines and all glass face plate. This substantially large phone is out to impress with a big risk in carrying an unknown brand.
For a new player to launch this kind of offensive on the crowded smartphone market is more than brave, perhaps even foolish, but the Find 5 doesn’t seem to break a sweat on the challenge.
So here are the six Oppo Find 5 photos that didn’t get uploaded yesterday. There’s a bunch of annoyances on the software side which takes points off from an otherwise great device.
Oh, and the camera isn’t impressive. Red tint galore when in relatively low light and the sensor produces photos inferior to the Galaxy SIII, which makes it even far more inferior than the Lumia 920. Although I think the SIII may have had a camera software upgrade over the past year. Photos from the SIII never looked so sharp before. Btw those photos of the Find 5 were taken using iPad mini.
Unboxing Oddo… I mean Oppo Find 5
I haven’t seen a packaging this well done and this stylish in a long time. Oppo might be considered a rookie in this space but the company certainly knows how to make a first impression. Haven’t played with the phone much but it does feel pretty decent to hold. Still, I can’t get over the fact that it’s just big. I mean it is a 5” phone. Huge. Taller but thinner and feels lighter than my Lumia 920. Good placement of the power and volume buttons. Not keen on the custom icons and theme though.
Will write a review in the next several days.[update] I have no idea why the other six photos failed to upload.
Steve Kovach for Business Insider:
Apple also isn’t nearly as versatile at adding new software features to its devices. Apple usually makes users wait a year or more for a new version of iOS, and even then some older devices can’t access all the latest and greatest features.
As opposed to Google which releases major updates to Android on roughly a yearly basis with more than half of the devices currently still running versions from three years ago and cannot be upgraded even to the version of Android released back in 2011.
This morning I found out that Google is removing support for Exchange Active Sync. This essentially cuts off proper Gmail services to Windows Phone. As the creator of Exchange, Microsoft isn’t keen on supporting the open alternatives to Exchange services but without such support, all consumers considering Windows Phone will hear is, “Windows Phone doesn’t do Gmail” or “Gmail sucks on Windows Phone” and then they’ll go running to iPhone or Android.
To be honest, WP8 isn’t a burning ship. It’s more of a ship under construction. I agree about BB10, though. It’s burning badly, even before construction.
In comparison, Android is a huge ship with a large but badly disorganized population. iOS is a ship that’s well polished but keeps shooting torpedoes at the ships around, screaming “YOU COPIED ME!”."
Of all the phones that I’ve ever had to use, I’ve never had one anywhere near as large as the Samsung Galaxy S III. At 4.8 inches, the S III is the largest phone I’ve ever held in my hand, but it’s also the thinnest. The screen is simply enormous and it is quite a sight to behold. It is also very clear and very sharp. This new flagship phone from Samsung runs Google’s latest version of Android, called Ice Cream Sandwich, and comes in two colors which it calls Marble White and Pebble Blue. It officially retails for Rp 6,999,000 (USD 740).
I hardly ever use the telephone function on these so-called smartphones. As far as I’m concerned, these are data pads, mobile devices that take advantage of the high speed cellular connections for various Internet-reliant apps and services, and for this purpose, the S III simply screams. It’s clearly up there among the best, if not the best Android phone I’ve ever used.
The S III comes with several Samsung-exclusive apps and features including the S Beam, S Memo, S Planner, S Voice, Smart Stay, Direct Call, and an early beta version of Flipboard through the Samsung Store. Owners of the S III are entitled to receive 50GB of Dropbox storage for two years, which is double that of the offering from HTC.
The S Beam allows you to exchange files with other Samsung phones that carry this app by only bumping the phones together over a special wireless network that needs to be activated from the phone. Unfortunately at this moment this means the feature works only among S III phones.
The S Voice is Samsung’s answer to Siri. Voice recognition on this device is pretty decent but you’ll probably still find it faster to just type things out because it would sometimes dictate the words wrong, even if you don’t have a thick accent.
While S Planner and S Memo sound pretty explanatory, Smart Stay is one feature that Samsung seems to be very proud of. It lets the screen to remain bright and active by tracking your eyes through the camera. Unfortunately even though it does have a disclaimer that it needs a bright environment to perform properly, this is one feature that rarely works and therefore falls under the category of plain old gimmick.
Flipboard is an app that has become crucial to my daily routine. If older people are attached to their newspapers, Flipboard is what I read every morning and whenever there’s a free time and to have the app available from the Samsung Store is almost a godsend. To get Flipboard from the Samsung Store you’ll have to sign up for a Samsung account, but it seems that the exclusive period has ended and you can get the app by signing up for a beta program directly through Flipboard’s website.
If you already have a Dropbox account, you won’t need to sign up for a new one as the Dropbox entitlement will simply be added to your account. While the promo says 50GB, it’s actually 48GB on top of the standard free 2GB, so if you sign in to Dropbox from the S III with your existing account, you will have 48GB added to your account. In other words, if you already scored 16GB from the referral scheme, you will now have 64GB of Dropbox storage. Just remember that the extra 48GB will expire after two years.
On the hardware side, the rear camera captures videos at 1080p high definition and photos at eight megapixels, while the front camera produces two megapixel shots and VGA recording. Both cameras take really good photos, especially the rear camera which takes amazingly sharp and detailed photos. Due to the position of the front-facing camera, which is a little bit off center, video calls can look a little bit off in terms of angle. Facial recognition isn’t much to talk about, probably best ignored because it would fail half the time.
The battery on the S III is pretty decent. From a full charge, the phone would last for 10-12 hours with significant Internet use thanks to the 2100mAh battery capacity. If you rely more on WiFi, it would easily last longer. Given the capacity of the phone, I expected more out of it but since the screen is quite large, getting up to 12 hours with my regular usage pattern is perhaps reasonable.
The phone is very thin, quite light, and easy to carry although it feels plasticky and hollow. Somehow this seems to be a trademark of Samsung’s as the Galaxy S, the Galaxy Y, and even the Tab, all have that same feel.
In short, the Galaxy S III is clearly a phone that’s ahead of the pack. A lot of the Samsung-exclusive apps may be not much more than gimmicks but the device itself does the job very well. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this phone on top of the Android line up, even ahead of the benchmark Galaxy Nexus.
On a personal level, this phone is a bit difficult to use due to its size. Having used to the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen and the N9’s 3.9-inch screen, going beyond 4 inches posed a lot of typing and usability issues. If you’re the kind of person who would use such a device with two hands, it might not be a problem but for those who are used to using smartphones one handed, anything beyond a 4-inch screen would require some palm acrobatics, or resort to using two hands.
Oh one last thing, the Motion feature set is certainly one that is worth checking out and what is probably my favorite Motion feature of the phone is the screenshot action. On other Samsung phones you press a combination of physical buttons to take a screenshot, but on the S III, you can swipe the side of your palm across the entire screen from one side to the other and it will capture it for you. It can be hit and miss from time to time due to your hand pressing too hard on the screen, but it’s certainly pretty cool.
Samsung Mobile USA put up a video this week showing several tasks that supposedly the iPhone can’t do but can be easily done on a big ass 5-inch Galaxy note with a stylus. A STYLUS! How 1994.
Of course, when Tap Magazine found out about it, they went to work on rebutting every point in the video by doing everything it said the iPhone can’t do, on an iPhone. Including shooting and editing the video.
I hate Android for the same reason that Severus Snape hates Harry Potter — the very sight reminds me of something so beautiful, that was taken from me. Except it’s worse. It’s as if Harry Potter has grown up to become Voldemort.
I can’t believe I forgot about Tizen, the MeeGo offshoot that Intel and Samsung had been working on since September after Nokia practically abandoned MeeGo to join the Windows phone camp. This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about in my earlier blog post.
Looks like Tizen is far enough in its development that Samsung is said to be ready to show it at Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona.
Given that Samsung has been delivering phones that have become hits among consumers, it’s only a matter of convincing them that these Tizen phones are as good if not better than its Android offerings.
Though Tizen right now looks like a poor copy of Android, things could change between now and launch time.
An important factor in delivering a mobile platform is the support of third party developers working on the most important apps for consumers. Right now, apps and web services are still the primary draw cards for smartphone platforms and if Samsung can convince developers to create the right apps for Tizen, consumers could be ready to pick up.
It’s never the number of apps available on a platform but which apps, games, and services are available. At the moment, social network services as well as photography apps are the major draw cards to smartphones in addition to productivity and games.
Put the right apps and payment system in a platform’s application store, and consumers will be tempted. Of course, this is if the phones and the operating system themselves are solid enough. Nokia’s N9 with MeeGo and Microsoft’s Windows Phone have the hardware and operating systems all set but neither have managed to convince developers of the most persuasive apps and web services to adopt their respective platforms.
Not having killer apps would kill a platform. All platform vendors know this and it’s something they have to deliver to ensure consumer adoption.