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OPPOrtunity Network: Launch of the Reno 8 Series with food, football, and fun on the menu

OPPO has just returned to the purple haze pre-Covid-19 party daze with a stylish well-attended launch at the swanky Joburg North's Inanda Club. Bland and tasteless food aside, it was a simple launch of a money-worth smartphone (with fantastic innovations) that did not have to pretend to be smart and show the world it cares about the planet, writes Edwin Naidu.

While the rage against those super-smart hand-held machines is the Apple and its under-whelming iPhone 14, OPPO last night returned to the purple haze pre-Covid-19 party daze with a stylish well-attended launch at the swanky Inanda Club, better known for its equestrian heritage.

Launched under the theme #UnlockTheNight, the evening was about (some) sumptuous food, football, and fun, unveiling the new the OPPO Reno8 Series smartphones.

While Samsung and its bloated, expensive S22 range seem more hype, accompanied by poor public relations, the OPPO is a budget-beater with substance. When Samsung launched their latest foldables (Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4) at The Leonardo in Sandton two months ago, they appeared overawed, being in Africa’s tallest building. Information overload meant there was no key takeout to write home about. When I asked for information concerning a new fitness addition, their PR firm reacted with the zeal of a snail. Some stories are just not worth it.

That’s why I enjoyed this particular night at the Inanda Club. It was not ostentatious. This was a simple launch of a smartphone that did not have to pretend to be smart and show the world it cares about the planet. Hello to the Reno8 Pro, which was underpinned by several game-changers: including a  

  • Two-day battery life 
  • 50% charge in 11 minutes 
  • 4K Ultra Night Video with HDR 
  • 120HZ refresh rate and 1000HZ Ultra touch response

Of course, there’s a lot more; if you are into gaming, this screen is something else. The innovations they showed off came in a short, sweet, and telling manner. The presentations were crisp and simple without frills. Rivals can learn something from OPPO about the art of presentation. That overused cliché dubbed the KISS factor came screaming back to life now that the masks are off. Keep it Simple, Stupid! Savvy!

The innovations they showed off came in a short, sweet, and telling manner.

But a point they may want to ponder in South Africa, where diversity is imperative, I wondered why the dancing girls resembled only skinny blondes in outrageous colours you would typically associate in an advertisement for the Kia Picanto or one of the latest little Suzuki models. At least those funky brands reflect our rich, diverse tapestry. That was my non-smart moan of the night, even if the MC Loyiso Gola looked a bit off-colour with his unfunny jokes. Maybe he was peeved that the godfather of comedy Trevor Noah is on his way to show local comics how it is done with his Emmy in his hand.

OPPO must realise that they don’t get credits for colourful handsets. The Reno8 Pro 5G is available in just two tones, glazed green and glazed black. If price is a worry, perhaps, it is time to throw away the phone with the fruity name or the not-so-snazzy Samsung.

Granny Smith would choke on her pips. The Apple 14 ranges from R25 000 to R41 000 for the privilege. Samsung is not far behind. But the OPPO Reno8 5G sells for a not too inconsiderable R16 999, and the OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G is one rand under R20 000. If you’re on a contract with one of the networks, you will pay monthly in the region of R550 to R650.

OPPO Reno8 5G sells for R16 999, while the Pro 5G variant is one rand under R20 000.

Gone are the days when a phone was simply a means to say hello, send a message or play games like snake or brick breaker. These days smartphones set the new standard for night-time video and photography. It’s about the selfie generation. And then find it peppered all over social media. My selfie is better than yours. Here’s a game-changer -until the next one. The Reno8 Pro later this month (October), followed by the Reno8 in November, have what they call first in its class 4K Ultra Night Video with HDR, offering up to 20% faster image processing which treats users to incredible detail and colour accuracy in low light scenes. For those not so vain or into gaming, you can watch Netflix or Showmax in excellent quality.

Eskom should ask the regulator for permission to levy a tax each time its name is mentioned at functions when comedians are looking for a quick laugh. It happened again on this night. The long lasting 4500mAH battery is life changing for consumers looking to live their way through the unpredictable local energy supply.

The device is shipped with an 80W SUPERVOOC charger that is TUV (international battery safety accreditation) approved and enables 50% charge in just 11 minutes. The OPPO self-developed Battery Health Engine allows for more than 1600 charging cycles which is around four years of optimal battery health, double the industry average, and will allow even the most energy sapping users to get through the day. Not bad. Given that smartphones have become so smart, little surprise government fat cats have been mulling over how they can become fatter of the fat profits from mobile operators through ludicrous licensing schemes. Maybe it was an April Fool’s joke. Given that government coffers are running dry, one cannot dismiss such ideas lest they are sneaked in under the mattress.

The OPPO Reno8 Pro has much more than meets the eye. But the announcement that drew the loudest roar of the night was the company’s announcement that it has a partnership with UEFA, the hosts of the Champion’s League football tournament. Four OPPO clients will stand a chance to watch matches via a competition. As a Manchester United fan, one can only dream of such joys. At least OPPO not only has a fantastic gadget, they’re in touch with the sport that makes the planet tick.

The food was bland and tasteless, but OPPO do great phones. They’ve come a long way since its maiden “Smiley Face” gadget 14 years ago. Indeed, consumers have a great  OPPOrtunity to get something smart at a decent price – and maybe win a trip to a UEFA match of their dreams.

Communicator and journalist Edwin Naidu has launched a start-up Higher Education Media Services but cannot resist writing on a variety of subjects when time allows.

Edwin Naidu
Edwin Naidu
Jack-of-all-trades journalist Edwin Naidu talks about cars on Capricorn FM during the urban lunch adventure with King Bash on Friday.
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