OPPO has been very aggressive here in the Philippines. With heavy focus on their selfie cameras, they have even enlisted the help of “popstar royalty” Sarah Geronimo in advertising their phones. They’ve even taken over the market in the Philippines with 48.5% share in the mid-range portion of the market.
But have you ever wondered how their phones are made? Well, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek on how their smartphones are made.
OPPO has 38 motherboard production lines and 25 small plate production lines that has the capacity of producing 7.5 million motherboards and 25 million sub-boards each month. It all starts in the SMT Center where OPPO prints out the motherboards for their smartphones. In this particular assembly, however, the motherboards they are producing were for the dual rear camera OPPO R11, which has yet to arrive here in the Philippines.
The SMT Center is a mix of automation and manual work. The printing and the installation of firmware are handled by automated machines, while the final motherboard is checked individually by workers for any kind of defects such as soldering defects and physical defects and a final check by computers are made before they are installed into OPPO R11s.
Once the motherboards are out of the SMT Center, they arrive in the assembly line to meet other components to complete the smartphone such as the display, camera modules, battery, chassis, etc. Much like the SMT Center, the assembly line is a mix of automation and manual labor.
Currently, there are a total of 26 assembly lines that can produce 300 smartphones per hour individually to meet the demands of the consumers. After the smartphones are done in the assembly line, 12% of the smartphones are taken off the assembly line and goes to the QE Lab for quality testing.
The QE Lab tests every component of the smartphones to ensure that it will not fail any standard stress that the regular consumer enforces on the smartphone. These tests can be divided into structural tests, electrical performance tests, environmental aging test, which totals into more than 150 tests.
Courtesy of OPPO.
First up is the micro drop test where the smartphones, which in this case are OPPO R11s, are thrown from a 7cm height 20,000 times. They also test the other four sides of the smartphone for a total of 42,000 drops.
OPPO also tests the smartphones for a regular drop test where the handset is subjected to falling at a height of 1 meter in six surfaces, eight corners, and 12 edges from each surface. If the smartphone is successful in enduring the 1 meter drop, they will raise the height to 1.5 meters.
Courtesy of OPPO.
The brand also includes a tumble test that places the smartphone in a roller that rotates 3 – 5 times per minute and tumbles the smartphone 75 times (which is equivalent with falling from a height of 1 meter 150 times). The smartphone passes the tumble test if it doesn’t show any structural deformities such as detached modules and cracks. If there’s no physical damage, the handset is disassembled to see if there are any internal damage.
Courtesy of OPPO.
Power and volume keys of the smartphones are pushed up to 100,000 times with 1kg of force while the fingerprint key is pushed 1 million times to test the smartphones’ durability.
Environmental tests include subjecting the smartphone into temperatures that reach 85°C for 500 hours. They will also subject the smartphone in rain testing where the handset is based on the IPX2-grade test (60 liters of water per hour, also known as moderate rain), the smartphone is angled at 75° at any of the four sides. The smartphones will pass the test if all functionalities are normal and the RF index parameters are within a specified range.
More subtle tests are also included such as salt spray test where the surfaces of the handsets are sprayed with water with salt concentration of 5% in a hot and humid environment (55°C and 95% humidity). Other tests include sweat test where the smartphones are wiped with artificial sweat to see if there are any damages. These tests also include drink (such as beer), coffee, and floral water, usual environments where the smartphone might be used in a day-to-day basis.