Asus announced the first smartphone with optical zoom without a prominent camera bulge at CES this past week. Now Oppo seems to be following suit as the company has announced that it will be launching a new U3 phablet on January 14th with a 13MP rear camera that features 4x optical zoom.
Oppo will be launching the device 1 day before Xiaomi shows off its new smartphone on the 15th. The U3 isn’t a flagship device though, but is still pretty impressive as far as hardware goes. It comes with a 5.9” 1920 x 1080 resolution display and is powered by the Mediatek MT6752 octa-core chipset clocked at 1.7GHz. The chipset includes the potent Mali T760MP2 GPU and also comes with 2GB of RAM. There is 16GB of storage built-in, which can be expanded further with a microSD card. The phablet comes with a dedicated AK4961 24-bit DAC manufactured by Asahi Kasei for excellent audio output. Oppo has been laying a lot of stress on audio quality with its smartphones lately, so we expect the U3 to be a great option for consumers who want the best audio experience out of their smartphone. 4G LTE connectivity is included as well, although it isn’t clear if it will come with LTE support in markets outside China.
The main highlight though, is no doubt the camera on the device. Unlike the Asus Zenfone Zoom that offers only 1080p video recording, the U3 comes with support for 4K Ultra HD video recording as well. The front-facing camera on the phablet is quite impressive too. It comes with a 5MP resolution and includes a front LED flash to help you take selfies even under extremely low or no-light conditions.
Pricing and availability information isn’t yet available, but we do expect to find out more when the phablet is launched on the 14th. Hopefully the company will also detail its plans for launching the device in other markets.