Oppo is making somewhat of a name for itself in China as a smartphone brand, with some ‘unusual’ notch-less designs. Now it is stepping up to tackle Apple’s accessory business too: the Oppo O-Free is the latest competitor to Apple’s $159 AirPods.
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The O-Free are truly wireless earbuds with a carrying case roughly the same size as the AirPods case, touting 4 hours of usage between charges. The case can recharge the buds three times over, for a total ‘carry life’ of 16 hours.
This is significantly less longevity than what Apple touts with AirPods, which are advertised to last up to 29 hours total across the earbuds and case batteries. Obviously, Oppo’s offering will also lack the seamless pairing and set up that the W1 chip provides Apple users.
The O-Free are not a direct ripoff of AirPods with a bud design that fits deeper inside the ear canal, whereas AirPods sort of ‘rest’ on the outside. They will also include translation features similar to the Google Pixel Buds, integrated volume controls, and a voice assistant for controlling music ala Siri.
The Oppo O-Free buds are slated to go on sale in August in China for 699 Chinese Yuan, which equates to about $106. Wider availability has not been announced. To date, AirPods continue to be an unrivalled offering, and Apple is reported to be readying a second-gen model later this year with integrated ‘Hey Siri’ capabilities.