Oppo debuts R11s: a phone to improve your looks

Smartphone maker says its new phone uses AI to improve selfies

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has brought its latest smartphone, the R11s onto the New Zealand market; a phone that it says uses artificial intelligence to enhance facial portraits.

The new model, launched simultaneously in New Zealand and Australia, was unveiled to a crowd of over 100 guests at an event in Sydney that was more fashion parade the phone launch.

Oppo describes the phone as the latest addition to its “camera-focused” R-Series and the R11s is likely to appeal to those who want a camera as much as a phone, especially the selfie-generation: it has 20MP front camera, a higher resolution than the main 16MP rear camera. There is also a second 20MP rear camera.

Terence Tan, sales director at OPPO New Zealand, said: “Camera experience is one of the main ways we will continue to separate ourselves in the New Zealand market. You no longer have to pay so much for a phone that will take great pictures.”

Oppo says the 16MP camera is used for normal, everyday conditions while the 20MP HD camera is designed for low-light conditions, specifically “to excel in capturing high-quality images, especially for low-light portraits.”

Release of the R11s follows release of the Oppo R11 in August 2017.  The two phones are similar in many ways; the key new features are the upgraded second rear camera, Oppo’s “self-learning AI Beauty Recognition technology,” in the R11s, and a larger screen in the same physical package. Both phones run Oppo’s ColorOS 3.1, which is based on Android 7.1.

This is designed to make facial photographs look better. According to Oppo it “identifies over 254 facial recognition points of the subject and references them against millions of facial images to make subtle, natural enhancements,” and “intelligently applies treatment from over two million different beautification effects to every photo.”

Oppo says this feature “uses a massive database of facial images to analyse personal features based on gender, age, skin texture, skin color, expression and environment scenarios before making enhancements, customised for each subject.

Tran said, jokingly: “It could help you get more dates on Tinder.”

The facial recognition technology also gives users quick access to their device. Once a face has been registered, “The camera instantly recognises key facial feature points and swiftly unlocks the device in 0.08 seconds,” according to Oppo.

The R11S has a 6.01 inch (15.3cm) AMOLED screen in a 155.1 x 75.5 x 7.1mm package, the R11 has a 5.5 inch (14.0cm) AMOLED screen and measures 154.5 x 74.8 x 6.8mm.

Oppo also announced the even larger R11s Plus with a 6.43 inch (16.3cm) screen, but is not offering that model in New Zealand. Tan told Computerworld: “New Zealand “it is a new market for us so we want to stick to our core range. If there is a need to tap into new segments we will look into that at a later stage.”

The R11s goes on sale on 8 February for $799 at Noel Leeming, 2degreesmobile, JB Hi-Fi, PB Tech, Smiths City and online at The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery.

It will be available on a 2degreesmobile $40 Carryover Plan ($29 Upfront + $32 per month).

Tan said Oppo phones were now available from 350 outlets throughout New Zealand, and the company planned to add more. “Through 2018 will add more partners, places and ways for Kiwis to get their hands on our phones offering premium without the price.”


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