Two of the weirdest smartphones accessories to surface last year were Sony’s QX10 and QX100 “lens-cameras,” devices that looked a bit like the interchangeable lenses you might attach to an SLR camera, but fully-contained cameras in and of themselves. They had their own power, storage, and connectivity, really lacking only a display. Users would clip them onto existing phones (and later, tablets) to take advantage of the photographic flexibility big sensors and optical zoom provided. While pretty cool (if questionably practical), relatively high prices kept them at arm’s length: you’ll pay about $200 for the QX10, or $500 for the QX100. Might someone develop a more affordable alternative? They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and tonight we check out a serious doppelganger from Oppo.
Word that Oppo was planning a device like this has been around since last fall, but this is our first opportunity to check out pics of the actual hardware, and it really is stunning the extent to which Oppo is mimicking Sony.
Functionality-wise, Oppo’s effort – its Smart Lens – looks like it should be nearly identical to the Sony lens-cameras. While what we see here apparently sports a 10x zoom, there’s also been a a 15x option rumored. Resolution has also yet to be confirmed, but we could be looking at a 16MP sensor – no word on physical size.
But really, it’s price that’s going to make or break the Smart Lens. Oppo may never convince users this is anything other than a knock-off (even if a well-done one), but if the price is right, Sony can keep its lens-cameras. So far, though, we haven’t got a sense for what Oppo might plan on asking.