This means that under bright light the aperture moves to F2.4 (small aperture), so the image is sharper. In a dark environment, the lens automatically uses the F1.5 (large aperture) to allow more light through, making the image brighter and clearer.
The main sensor is a 12MP shooter that is capable of 2x optical zoom, while the 20MP secondary lens is designed for portraits with bokeh effect. However, unlike some other premium smartphones, background blurring can not be adjusted after a shot is taken. The front has a 25MP shooter with, of course, "AI selfie beautification".
Powering cameras is an AI system that will automatically set the camera on optimum settings according to the scene. We have seen AI in some other smartphone cameras consistently identify the themes and scenes, produce photographs that are worse in normal auto mode, then we'll see how the R17 camera fares once we have an opportunity to put it through the steps.
Oppo also added other smart software to produce a clearer image, especially at night, from increasing detail in dark areas to optimize color performance.
While Huawei uses the third lens to take ultra-wide shots, Oppo takes a different approach. It uses a custom space made 3D depth sensor that the company will allow will allow R17 Pro to exploit new AR applications in the future.
One of the examples cited is a partnership with JD.com – the largest retailer in China – that will allow customers to drop furniture almost to their living room to see how it looks and enters their space before buying. We've seen this technology before, as in the 2016 Phab 2 Pro, which implemented the Google 3D depth sensor called Project Tango. But it never really took off with limited support to both retailers and smartphone manufacturers and vendors. With the support of JD.com, the version of the R17 has the potential to be useful in the country of at least Oppo.
There are other cases for use for 3D depth sensor as well. An upcoming software update from Oppo will allow users to scan 3D objects and print them using a 3D printer, similar to 3D cameras on some Sony phones. The camera can also be used to map facial expressions to classic emoji icons by just pointing to the camera on a subject similar to the memoji feature of the iPhone.
Oppo always put great emphasis on hardware design and the same is true with its latest handsets. Again taking inspiration from the 2018 Huawei flagship ships which turned heads for their distinctive metallic color and color scheme that finesse color shifts under light, the R17 pulls out a similar effect and it looks amazing to a person.
Both models come with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, but the cheap R17 comes with a slightly slower processor and also nixes a triple lens setting for a dual camera array. No resistance to water gradient IP, wireless charging or stereo speakers on both models.
R17 and R17 Pro will be available in Australia from November 12 for $ 699 and $ 899 respectively, or on a contract via Vodafone from November 14. The price point puts it directly in competition with other "premium" cell phones in the mid-range such as the 6T from the Chinese competitor OnePlus competitor.
The author traveled to Milan as a guest of Opa.
Krishan is a multi-award-winning Australian technology journalist.