Interview: Oppo’s Tasleem Arif talks Reno Glow, rollable phones, and future plans

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Oppo is introducing the Reno6 series in India next week, and before launch we spoke with Mr. Tasleem Arif – Vice President and R & D Leader of Oppo India – to learn more about the Reno Glow design used to make the Reno6 Pro 5G, the rollable smartphones, and the company’s future plans. You can read the interview below for full details.

Mr. Tasleem Arif – Vice President and Head of R&D of Oppo India

What were the key challenges to be overcome during the development of Reno Glow?

Oppo’s exclusive Reno Glow effect has been a central part of the overall design of the Reno series and has evolved with the series through each iteration. The Reno Glow design was first introduced on the Reno5 Pro 5G, where it brought a subtle sparkling surface to anti-reflective glass thanks to Oppo’s unique etching technique. On the brand new Reno6 series, Oppo’s exclusive Reno Glow effect has been enhanced to make it even brighter and more sparkling.

Now, for the first time on the most anticipated Reno6 series, all available colors in the series are decorated with the sparkling Reno Glow effect, including the Aurora and Stellar Black color finishes. Through a manufacturing process that takes more than 14 hours, the phone’s back cover is created to achieve two seemingly paradoxical features of the exclusive Oppo Reno Glow effect – matte structure and shiny appearance.

The complete manufacturing process involves about 50 complex steps, including glass cutting, 3D forming, ion exchange, etching and more. Among these steps, etching is one of the most crucial in creating the desired properties for Oppo exclusive Reno Glow. Several variables need to be controlled during the process, such as the angle, temperature, and duration at which the glass is immersed in the proprietary etching solution.

Meanwhile, most steps in the manufacturing process must be performed in a fully dust-free room with manual checks performed on each piece of glass between each step to guarantee the high quality of the glass back cover. To check for complete and uniform coverage of the coating, spray the glass with a mist solution and examine to see how droplets collect on the surface. If the coating is applied correctly, the water droplets look fine on the surface.

Why did you decide to introduce Glow with the Reno6 series rather than a flagship from e.g. Find the X family?

Innovation has been the key to Oppo’s growth history, and our Reno series has been a testament to our first approach to innovation. The Reno series is known for the rich and long heritage of mastering innovation with the industry’s first features. The Reno series has always been a favorite among millions of our users globally.

Since the introduction of the innovative Reno Glow process on the Reno5 Pro 5G, the unique design language that the Oppo Reno series is sustainably maturing allows the series to establish a special niche among consumers. Also with the Reno6 series, we have tried to create the same premium design that the series is known for. Through the upcoming devices in the Reno6 series, we strive to achieve leadership in the premium device category.

Does the new finish have an impact on durability – either being more or less resistant to scratches or breaks?

Reno Glow not only gives the phone its first-class feel and spectacular look, but also helps give the Reno series the comfortable, carefree feel it has become known for, with fingerprint and stain resistance features enabled by Reno Glow on all Reno6 Series products. Thin and light are two more features that all Reno smartphones offer. On the Reno6 series, Oppo has strived to find an optimal balance between weight and thickness that better suits users’ habits better. With over 20 patents filed globally, Oppo’s exclusive Reno Glow process is central to the design appeal of the Reno6 series, as it creates a subtle glittering effect on anti-reflective glass, while making it fingerprint-resistant.

In the past, Oppo was very eager to experiment with bold designs with moving parts like those with the Find X or Oppo N series long back in the day. Were they discontinued due to inefficient internal space usage, durability concerns, production costs or something completely different? Is it a closed chapter for you, or can we expect to see more of them in the future?

At Oppo, our belief is that for a design to be unusual, it must satisfy three different levels of criteria. The first and most fundamental of these is that the design must attract people – through appealing colors and unique shapes or forms. Second, the design must satisfy the needs of the users when it comes to providing a comfortable user experience throughout the life of the product. And finally, once these two conditions are met, the design must then deliver extra value to its owners – one that makes them feel excited every time they interact with the product and feel empowered by the value that the brand brings.

A thin, light and first-class body is a basic feature of all products in the Reno6 series. To ensure these, Oppo has continuously optimized the use of components and their layout in the device to achieve a thickness and weight for better handheld experience and overall user experience. The result of all these improvements is a range of devices that can be easily held with just one hand, can fit comfortably in a pocket and can be used for long periods without feeling tiring. Based on technology research and consumer research, Oppo has identified a range of 7.0-8.0 mm as the optimal thickness to deliver a better user experience on smartphones. Meanwhile, a weight of around 175 g is seen as an ideal lift, giving the user a feeling of high quality and durability when holding it in the hand without overloading them by being too heavy or causing them to accidentally drop the phone .

For Oppo, a smartphone is no longer just a tool. Instead, it has become a companion for people and helps us record every single moment of our daily lives. It looks more like a friend who is young, imaginative and passionate about life. Therefore, we want to strengthen our products with emotions and thus give users the opportunity to express themselves in a natural and true way.

With the inclusion of OnePlus under the Oppo brand, can we expect to see the Glow finish on OnePlus phones?

Our current focus right now is on getting our customers to experience the wonder of Reno glow on our most anticipated Reno6 series. We will keep you updated on any further developments.

To what extent do you think people care about design when choosing their next phone? When almost everyone uses cases these days, do you think it’s a bit sad that all these exciting developments are a bit wasted when most people can not see them much?

Smartphones are more than just a projection of our personalities; it is an extension of what we represent and what we want to convey. Therefore, the design of the smartphone plays a big role in resetting the one to be purchased. And we have seen many ongoing experiments in terms of look and feel with all kinds of materials and finishes to ensure that the design of the smartphone catches the eye. Over the years, we have designed and developed some great smartphones that seamlessly combine humanity and technology together.

It is true that technical features and functionality play a significant role in how people perceive a smartphone, but design – from color, material, finish and shape – a phenomenal design is also able to create a refreshing first impression of the product as a lasting bond between the user and their phone.

Many design levels have always been the driving force behind our approach to the popular Reno series of smartphones, combining innovative technology with trendy design to update the consumer experience with each generation. “Slim”, “light”, “shiny” and “gradient” are all design identifiers that immediately think of the Reno series.

Looking to the future, Oppo continues its efforts to consistently improve the Reno Glow process and introduce more creative visual appeal to the foundation of its matte and sparkling appearance. Along with all these upgrades, the design language of the Reno series is passed on to the next generations of devices that incorporate more innovative advances with the key design features to create a better user experience through design.

Finally, but certainly not least, another hot design trend – how does the development of Oppo foldable phones come together? Can we expect to see anything on the market this year?

Our people-centered approach to innovation has produced some amazing results over the past year. The rollable concept handset Oppo X 2021 demonstrates our groundbreaking exploration towards a more intuitive and user-friendly interactive experience. With Oppo X 2021, we have already made significant advances in rollable technology. As a concept technology, it has been highly appreciated by tech experts and enthusiasts around the world. Our exploration and thinking in these future technologies is an ongoing process. Keep an eye on us for further development on Oppo X 2021.

Where should you stand on the vertical fold, the horizontal fold and the rolling telephone debate – do you have any favorites that you think will benefit users more than the others?

Compared to folding screens with fixed sizes, the roll-up screens can be steplessly adjusted between their minimum and maximum size, providing more options for productivity, entertainment and daily use.

Technologies for rollable device will be the trends of tomorrow. The scroll screen is a great concept, also because it gives the user the freedom to choose which screen size they want and not only depends on 1 or 2 sizes. This means that users only have to tap a video and the phone automatically adjusts the screen size to fit the image format, providing a full screen experience at all times. Alternatively, when reading an e-book or editing a document, the larger size provides a more enjoyable reading experience. Meanwhile, message pop-ups that appear while playing a game can also present the full message without interrupting the game screen.

Oppo introduced 125W flash charging technology last year. When can we expect it to arrive in India and other markets?

Oppo always strives to deliver newly upgraded technologies and products to its customers as quickly as possible. However, we have the highest standards for all our products and only launch them when they are completely ready. We share updates when we have a timeline for commercial use.

Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

Oppo Reno6 Pro and Reno6 are launched in India with two different color variants, Aurora and Stellar Black. Both of these have a humanistic design for a smooth and immersive experience, while offering a premium design and appeal.

Both devices deal with technology that uses crystal drilling technology to create millions of pyramid-shaped crystal structures on a microscopic level with Diamond Spectrum body, which is the combination of five core elements. The new Aurora color could shine a million colors while holding at different angles. The overall structure of the material has been improved (surface roughness decreased) by 30% to give the glass a smoother, cooler and more delicate touch. On a hot summer day, users can feel cool and refreshed when holding the phone in their hands.

Aurora, which is created using an upgraded version of the Oppo-exclusive Diamond Spectrum process that sits under the Reno Glow on the back of the phone. Thanks to its special properties unique to this color – Diamond Spectrum, it creates a constantly changing color effect when viewed at different angles and in different lights, which is further enhanced by the crystal clear luster of the Reno Glow effect. Black has been a fan favorite, and the Oppo-exclusive Reno Glow effect makes it premium and design savant, which is loved by consumers.

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