Supremely svelte Oppo R5 claims 'world's thinnest smartphone' crown

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It’s usually screen size and monster specs that make news for smartphones, but the Oppo R5 is conquering a different category: thinness. 

Oppo’s latest is staking claim to the “world’s thinnest smartphone” title. The Oppo R5 comes in at 4.85mm (0.19-inch) thick, beating out the current king, the 5.15mm Elife S5.1. Sure, the Chinese manufacturer isn’t selling it here in the U.S., but it’s at least worth seeing how manufacturers are pushing smartphone design to more extreme limits. (For a more common comparison, the iPhone 6 measures in at 6.9mm.)

To compensate for that razor thinness, the Oppo R5 needed to make some compromises on the spec sheet. There’s only 16GB of internal storage and no microSD expansion slot, so you can’t splurge on too many of those Humble Bundles

There’s also no headphone jack. To make up for this, Oppo bundles in a micro-USB adapter so you can plug in, though that means making sure you grab it before going out for a run. Instead, the most practical solution is a set of Bluetooth headphones.

The other specs are respectable, as the Oppo R5 has a 5.2-inch HD AMOLED screen, a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera (5MP for the front-facing, selfie cam), a 2,000 mAh battery, and LTE radio. 

Why this matters: One company’s innovation is another’s next idea. Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola—which make the bulk of Android phones sold in the states—are always looking for the latest edge. The current race is for the largest screen, with the Note 4 and Nexus 6 screen sizes close to six inches. It would be a win for consumers if someone went against the grain and focused on making a phone with less instead of more.

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