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Oppo unveils 5G phone, 48-megapixel camera phone with 10x lossless zoom

The 5G phone will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor.

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The prototype for Oppo's first 5G phone, launching in the first half of 2019.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Oppo has officially become the next Android brand to announce a 5G phone for 2019. At an MWC 2019 press conference, Oppo said its first 5G device will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset and X50 modem to latch onto 5G networks. Four carrier networks -- Swisscom, Australia's Telstra and Optus, and Singtel in Singapore -- will sell the unnamed 5G Oppo phone first, launching in Q2 2019, a quarter that spans April through June. It'll come to China Mobile this summer.

The phone-maker announced last December that it had built a 5G prototype phone based on the Oppo Find X.

5G is widely seen as a turning point in the mobile phone industry. The next-generation network technology promises to make phones between 10 and 100 times faster than 4G speeds, and to connect to the internet in 1 millisecond. Carrier and phone makers are scrambling to ready their devices, hoping that being a first-mover will give their brand the advantage.

Oppo also took the opportunity to announce another unnamed device for later in 2019, which will use three cameras (wide, ultrawide and telephoto lenses) to take photos with 10x lossless zoom. That means your photos will retain much more detail and crispness even when you zoom in at extreme levels. Lossless photography is most prized when you're taking shots from afar, say of a deer in the woods, a statue on top of a domed building or a performer on stage.

The future Oppo phone will have three cameras -- wide, ultrawide angle and telephoto lenses, to reach a total range of 16-160 mm. It'll also use a 6.76 mm-thick camera module, which makes room for a larger sensor that can let in more light and improve overall image quality.

Oppo may not be as well known in the US, but its sister company, OnePlus, is. Its portfolio includes high-end devices with features that frequently show up on OnePlus phones. Oppo's Find X from 2018 grabbed headlines for its unusual camera design, which mechanically rises from the phone body to allow for an all-screen design without the need for a notch. Deep, rich colors with eye-catching gradients are another recent Oppo hallmark. The brand operates in over 40 global markets and has designs on breaking into the US.

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At MWC 2019, Oppo announced plans to launch its first 5G phone.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Published Feb 3 at 6:01 a.m. PT
Update: 7:23 a.m. PT with details about the 5G phone's China Mobile launch.

Update: Feb. 24, 5:33 a.m. PT with new headline.

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Oppo Find X (128GB, glacier blue)
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