Oppo N1 puts a 13MP camera on a hinge, comes with CyanogenMod extras

Oppo's been prepping its photography-centric N1 for quite some time, but at last, the teasing stops today as the company unveils its first N-Lens series device in Beijing. We're looking at a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 phone with a 5.9-inch 1080p display, an "O-Touch" backside touch panel (for scrolling and taking photos) and a generous 3,610mAh battery, but the focus is obviously on the camera. Not only do you get a 13-megapixel imager with an f/2.0, 6-element lens plus dual LED, but it's also rotatable over 206 degrees! While THL's W11 beat the N1 to being the first phone with both a front and back 13-megapixel cameras, it's not as versatile as the latter's implementation, and it's ultimately all about the image quality.

In case you're wondering, Oppo said the N1's swivel camera has passed a 100,000-time rotation test, which works out to be seven years of usage if you rotate it 40 times a day. This is quite reassuring, given that you can also activate the camera -- which takes just 0.6 seconds -- with a rotation of over 120 degrees. Oppo also boasted that its camera's been tested in over 100 scenarios, which is apparently the highest in the industry. Other features include long exposure of up to 8 seconds, an updated version of Oppo's beautification algorithm, and support for video beautification in China's popular IM app, QQ.

Oppo N1 puts a 13MP camera on a hinge, comes with CyanogenMod extras

On the software side, the phone will come with Oppo's new ColorOS, which is the result of a 10-month development involving 243 developers, 20,000 testers and 43 new patents. Some of the coolest features include live weather themes that interact with the icons (such as snow settling on top of them, or lightning bolt reflecting on them), as well as a drop-down board for drawing patterns to trigger specific apps (the default actions also work when the screen is off, as with the Vivo X3), plus a notification of your call recipient's weather for a more personal touch.

In addition to ColorOS, Oppo's also bringing CyanogenMod on board, making the N1 the first collaboration product since the formation of Cyanogen Inc. (its founder and CTO Steve Kondik was at the event). This ROM will be available later for the N1, but there'll also be a limited edition of the device that will come with CyanogenMod pre-installed -- the first such product in the world.

The price? From CN¥3,498 or about US $570 for the regular N1, and both the 16GB and 32GB versions come with an O-Click Bluetooth pebble that can be used as a camera trigger, an incoming call indicator or a proximity alarm. Folks who are already using China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network can head to Oppo's Chinese website to pre-order, and expect full availability in October.

Update: According to Oppo, the WCDMA (850/900/1700/1900/2100) version will arrive in early December.

Update 2: Our hands-on is up!

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OPPO N1 – Return to Innovation
OPPO N1 Redefines Smartphone Photography with 5.9" Screen, Rotating Camera, and Rear Touch Panel

BEIJING – September 23, 2013 – OPPO today announced the launch of the OPPO N1, the first smartphone from their new N-Lens flagship series. The OPPO N1 was revealed to a crowd of over 600 international press, fans and developers in a stunning visual presentation at the AOYA Exhibition Center in Beijing. With the groundbreaking OPPO N1, the large screen, rotating camera, rear touch panel, and incredible design come together to create a whole new smartphone experience.

World's First Rotating Smartphone Camera
The OPPO N1 realizes new possibilities in smartphone photography as the world's first smartphone with a rotating camera. Its revolutionary camera rotates 206-degrees, and will securely lock at any angle.

To help you capture breathtaking and vividly realistic images, OPPO N1 comes with Pure Image, a hardware and software photography solution. Pure Image on OPPO N1 features six physical lenses, an upgraded type 1/3.06 imaging module and f/2.0 wide aperture. Furthermore, OPPO partnered with leading optics companies to tailor make an image-processing solution for improved white balance, exposure and focus.

OPPO N1 has a special light-diffusing LED flash design consisting of a normal flash for back facing shots, and a softer, diffused light for front facing shots, with brightness tunable from the OPPO N1 camera software. Your front facing shots will not only be just as good as back facing shots, they will also be perfectly lit. Easily accessible, the OPPO N1 camera will boot from a sleeping screen in just 0.6 seconds via a simple 120° rotation. The OPPO N1 camera also supports long exposure photography of up to 8 seconds.

Beautiful Technology
The OPPO N1 is wound by two finely cut chamfers running along the sides of the device which guard the immersive 5.9-inch display. More than a year of work and over 20 different designs ultimately led to the simple brilliance of the OPPO N1 and the small but intricate camera, tested to last through 100,000 rotations. Its full metal aluminum alloy frame is produced over a 20-day period, during which it undergoes a 14 step polishing process involving more than a dozen suppliers. Strengthening the core of the phone, the frame adds an air of solidity and style to the OPPO N1. The OPPO N1 phone body is made with a smooth, ceramic-like material designed to keep your device free of fingerprints and smooth to the touch.

O-Touch Panel
O-Touch is an entirely new way of using your smartphone. A 12 cm2 rear touch panel makes one handed use for the large N1 screen comfortable and easy. With O-Touch you can scroll, tap, or snap photos – all without your fingers blocking the display.

O-Click Control
O-Click lets you remotely operate the N1 camera even when you're away from the device. Simply position the N1 and step back. If you misplace your device, find it by setting off an alarm on the phone. O-Click fits on your keychain and supports a range of up to 50 meters, staying connected to your OPPO N1 via Bluetooth (BLE).

Innovation in Choice
OPPO is committed to serve the smartphone market with an open attitude. OPPO N1 ships with Color (based on Android 4.2), a unique Android operating system with over 400 unique features and improvements over stock Android. CyanogenMod is the world's most popular aftermarket Android operating system. International versions of the N1 come with Color, and also the ability to flash CyanogenMod directly from stock recovery. A limited OPPO N1 CyanogenMod Edition will ship with CyanogenMod preinstalled, the first CyanogenMod hardware product in the world.

Available in 16GB or 32GB internal storage, the OPPO N1 is set to launch in early December.

OPPO N1 Specifications:
Color: White
Dimensions: 170.7 x 82.6 x 9 mm
Weight: 213 g
Operating system: Color, based on Android 4.2
Processor: 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad Core
GPU: Adreno 320
Storage: 16 / 32 GB
Battery capacity: 3610 mAh
Screen: 5.9-inch, 1080p Full HD IPS display (1920 x 1080 pixels), 377 PPI, 16 million colors
Touchscreen: Multi-touch, capacitive screen
O-Touch: Slide up or down, left or right, tap, double tap and long press for different functionality
Rotating Camera: 13-megapixel sensor with dedicated ISP, Dual-mode LED, Aperture f/2.0
Scene modes: Normal, Panorama, High Speed, Rewind, Beautify, and Slow Shutter
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
WCDMA: 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz
USB OTG, Bluetooth 4.0, 5G Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, GPS, Distance sensor, Light sensor, G-sensor, 4D Gyroscope
In the box: OPPO N1, O-Click Bluetooth Remote Control, In-ear type earphones, Micro USB cable, Charger, SIM ejector tool