While most Chinese OEMs targeted the budget and mid-range segments, OnePlus challenged giants like Apple and Samsung with its premium flagship smartphones. And to everyone's surprise, the brand did exceptionally well by selling a record number of devices in India, which helped it become the leading premium smartphone brand in the country.
While Xiaomi's Poco brand challenged the likes of OnePlus with its budget-friendly devices, there's a new player trying to grab a lion's share in the premium category. Oppo, which has enjoyed immense success in India with sales worth Rs 11,994 crore in FY18, teased the arrival of its critically-acclaimed R-series to its 300K+ Indian followers on Twitter.
The tweet simply shows a teaser video GIF of what appears to be R17 Pro from the side against the letter R. The company also mentioned "Something new is coming up. #Oppo R-Series" and that's how we are certain the Chinese company is ready to bring its lauded premium phone series to India. But the company doesn't straight out spell out R17 Pro's launch in India.
Even though there's room for speculation on which R-series phone might arrive in India, the R17 Pro seems like the right fit as it would not risk overshadowing its F-series phones like the F9 and F9 Pro by launching the R17 model. This the first teaser hinting R-series debut in India and more details like the release date will most likely follow in the days to come.
Oppo had launched the R17 and R17 Pro in China earlier in August. The phones then arrived in Europe and if the ongoing speculations are to be believed, India will be next on Oppo's list. The devices were well-received for their latest innovations.
Oppo R17 Pro is clearly the trendsetter. It offers 50W SuperVOOC fast charging, which allows the device to charge from 0-40 percent in just 10 minutes. The handset packs two 1,850mAh batteries serving as a single 3,700mAh unit. The R17 Pro also comes in a new fog gradient colour, which uses 3D fog glass and new condensing process, according to the company.
The cameras in the R17 Pro have an interesting setup. The rear-facing cameras include a 12MP dual aperture lens (f/1.5-f/2.4) – like the one on Samsung Galaxy Note 9, a 20MP secondary sensor and a Time of Flight (TOF) 3D Sensing camera as the third sensor. On the front, there's a 25MP f/2.0 aperture lens for selfies.
Oppo R17 Pro features a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with 91.5 percent screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Does it ring any bells? It should as the OnePlus 6T also has a similar setup. Finally, rounding off the spec-sheet, the R17 Pro comes with a Snapdragon 710 chipset, Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.2 skin, 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.
Should OnePlus worry?
There's a good reason for OnePlus to worry about Oppo's plans to introduce R-series in India. It is a stated fact that OnePlus phones have used Oppo R-series' blueprints as a design reference. If the R17 Pro's international pricing is any indication, the handset would be priced around Rs 45,000 – which is same as the OnePlus 6T.
While it is surely going to be a clash in the premium segment between OnePlus and Oppo, the former brand has some edge with features like OxygenOS, opting for better Qualcomm chipsets (Snapdragon 845 in the case of 6T), a strong community of fans and brand presence in India. It remains to be seen if and how Oppo breaks into the premium category and if it can echo the success of F-series with its R-series. Stay tuned for updates.