China's smart invasion

China's smart invasion

Oppo?

Redmi?

Huawei?

You may not immediately recognise the brands. But these Chinese phones are making a mark on the local market.

According to tech research firm IDC Asia/Pacific, Chinese brands have a 30 per cent share of the total smartphone market here - a whopping increase from a mere 4 per cent a year ago.

Senior market analyst at IDC Kiranjeet Kaur says: "For some who have been using the Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone for some time now, the entry of new phone brands that offer a differentiated experience for less money should be rather appealing." BUZZ Ms Kaur explains: "In the emerging markets, these players have already started challenging the position of stalwarts like Samsung.

"In more mature markets like Singapore, they have started to create enough buzz that they won't go unnoticed any more."

She adds: "On the one hand, consumers are thinking if they need to pay the premium for a flagship phone and on the other, they are evaluating the budget phone options from Samsung or HTC with those from a Xiaomi or Oppo."

Oppo recently opened a 2,200 sq ft flagship store at Suntec City Mall to cater to what their managing director Sean Deng calls "the young at heart who are adventurous and have an insatiable curiosity to explore".

About 8 in 10 Singaporeans carry a smartphone, according to research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres, making it one of the world's largest smartphone markets. Companies want a slice of the pie.

So how do the phones from China compare?

We check out three hot models.

Oppo R5

Screen size: 5.2 inches
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Storage: 16GB
Front camera: 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Battery life: 8 hours
Price: $669

I am a selfie queen. My current phone's front camera is probably overworked from all the group shots I take.

Naturally, the camera was the first thing I checked out on this device, which Forbes termed "the world's thinnest smartphone".

My reaction? Wow.

And not just at the quality of the cameras, both front and back.

It is thin and sleek but does not feel fragile. The elegant design turned a number of heads in the office.

This mobile has full high definition resolution, is easy to use and has great sound and image quality.

Not to mention a selection of selfie-friendly filters for the front camera function.

But the battery drains at a disturbingly fast rate.

Oppo has countered this with its rapid charger, which promises a recharge of 75 per cent in just 30 minutes.

CUSTOMER SAYS:

Mr Vish Upadhya chose Oppo for one reason - rapid charging.

"As soon as I wake up, I charge my phone. By the time I leave for work, it's almost at full capacity," says the 25-year-old site surveyor.

"The audio quality and high resolution screen makes it a clear-cut winner," he adds.

"I use the front camera a lot, even though it drains the battery faster than normal."

Who: Oppo Electronics Corp
Headquarters: Dongguan, in Guangdong, China
Founded: 2004
Entry to Singapore: March 2014
Where to buy: Suntec City Mall, Tower 3 or www.oppomobile.com.sg

Next: Huawei Ascend Mate 7

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