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Oppo's R15 features, yep, an iPhone-esque top notch

The company has a history of mooching Apple's designs -- but it also has a history of making great phones. The newest one will be available from April.

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Oppo

Here's a basic rundown of Oppo, a company you may or may not have heard of: It's the fourth biggest phone brand in the world and it makes some great phones -- but they usually look way too much like iPhones.

The Chinese giant's newest phones, the R15 and the R15 Dream Mirror Edition, were officially unveiled on Tuesday. In another example of the worst of Apple being taken up by Android phone makers, the phones sport conspicuous, iPhone X-esque top notches.

The R15, with no regard for chronology, is the successor to the R11.  Both models have 6.28-inch screens with resolutions of 1,080x2,280 pixels, giving them a 19:9 display ratio. The R15 is powered by an octa-core Helio P60 processor, according to GSMArena, while the Dream Mirror Edition runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset. By the sounds of it, the R15 phones won't be as fast as devices with high-end Snapdragon processors, like the Google Pixel 2 or Samsung's new Galaxy S9 phones, but they'll have more than enough power for the average user.  

The phones will be available in China from April 1, with the R15 selling for 2,999 yuan (which converts to about $475, AU$615 or £340) and the Dream Mirror Edition for 3,299 yuan (about $520, AU$675 or £370). International availability is not yet known. 

Key specs

  • 6.28-inch, 19:9 OLED screen
  • Helio P60 processor in the R15, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 in Dream Mirror Edition
  • 3,450mAh battery in R15, 3,450 mAh battery in Dream Mirror Edition
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB onboard storage
  • 20MP + 16MP rear dual cameras
  • 8MP selfie camera

Oppo isn't the only Android phone maker to co-opt Apple's top notch. Asus' ZenFone 5, announced last month at MWC, takes it too. Huawei's upcoming P20 phone is rumoured to also feature a top notch. 

It's not all Chinese companies: Xiaomi's Mi Mix beat Apple and Samsung to the bezel-less design, and there was no top notch in sight there. Vivo, owned by the same parent company as Oppo, showed off a concept phone at MWC with minimal bezels. This one didn't have a top notch -- instead, the selfie camera popped up from the top of the phone. 

For OnePlus enthusiasts out there, the R15 is likely our first glimpse at what the OnePlus 6 will look like. The two brands are at least partially owned by the same company, BBK Electronics, and their recent designs have been almost identical