OPPO F5 launches in Kenya, F5 Youth to follow later

As expected, OPPO has launched its latest smartphone, the F5 in the Kenyan market.

For Kshs 31,990, Kenyans will be getting a device with a near-bezel-less design, OPPO’s first 6-inch HD+ display on a smartphone (thanks to the F5’s unique 18:9 display aspect ratio), a camera billed by its makers as having “the best selfie experience ever” (quite a claim to make) as well as other features and specifications (see here). In fact, the camera in question is said to use Artificial Intelligence for its “beauty mode”, “a technology that identifies shapes and facial structures based on a global database emulating skills that help selfies look more real and natural.”

A look at those features reveals the true intentions of the device: to bring the technology that is much hyped on high-end devices that cost twice or even thrice as much as the F5 to the mid-range market segment. These are features like the near-bezel-less design, the camera’s AI smarts and the 18:9 display. AI has been a preserve of Google’s Pixel smartphones and Huawei’s Mate series devices while the almost bezel-less design incorporating 18:9 displays is one of the most standout features on top smartphones from Samsung, LG and other device makers.

Another notable feature of the OPPO F5, the facial unlock mechanism, is inspired by similar features on the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 which are themselves improvements of a similar feature that has been available on Android since version 4.0 in 2011 in various crude forms. Of course, the party solely responsible for the rise in popularity of the feature this year is Apple whose iPhone X shuns a fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) in favour of superior facial recognition system (Face ID) that captures even the depth of a person’s face just to avoid security lapses that the implementation on Android devices has been blamed for. However, as it has been continually shown, impersonation is still a good way of fooling these technologies.

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Pre-orders for the OPPO F5 opened today and are running for the next one week before the device goes on sale on the 28th.

According to OPPO Kenya, the F5 will be joined in the market, at a later date, by another device in its series, the F5 Youth, as well as the 6 GB RAM variant that we initially thought we would never get to hear about this side of the world (that one will cost Kshs 39,000). Surprise!

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com