Speed 7 GP vs The World – The year of Special Edition Sport Smartphones
Shenzhen, China – October 23rd – This year saw a particularly interesting trend rise within some of the major Chinese smartphone manufacturers: sport themed dedicated special edition phones. The likes of Huawei Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition, Oppo R7 Plus FC Barcelona Edition and Meizu MX5 Hengda (Guangzhou FC). ZOPO in the other hand, instead of doing a football orientated special edition, produced the Speed 7 GP Jorge Lorenzo Collector's Edition, inspired by the brand ambassador and two-time MotoGP World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo.. Let's take a quick look at all of these models...
Speed 7 GP Jorge Lorenzo Edition
The Speed 7 GP is, at its core, the same smartphone as the Speed 7 Plus. A 64-bit octa-core device with a Full HD 5.5” inch display, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 64GB with microSD) and a 3000 mAh battery. The rear camera has 13.2 MP while the front one is a 5 MP shooter. What truly sets it apart are its special presentation details and package: the charger, cable and earphones have all been upgraded to have a more premium look and feel. The back cover has been autographed by Lorenzo with the prominent “99” logo above. The interface has been updated with Jorge Lorenzo wallpapers as well.
Global sales of the Speed 7 GP will start in late October at €269.99 and will be limited to a 5000 unit run. This is an extremely exclusive collector's item that will certainly become very valuable in the future.
Huawei Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition
Huawei released a limited run of its former flagship Ascend P7 totally dedicated to the British football team, Arsenal F.C.. The device came in the first half of 2015, with a price tag of £349.99. The phone itself is considerably outdated by today's standards of a flagship, and, arguably, it was already when it came out. Spec-wise, the Huawei Ascend P7 Arsenal Edition is a Full HD 5” inch quad-core smartphone with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable with microSD) and a 2500 mAh battery.
What makes the Arsenal Edition Special however, is the presence of the official Arsenal badge in the back, as well as the inclusion of special Arsenal themes, wallpapers, images and bespoke menus in the device software. For hardcore fans of the London based club, the Arsenal Edition is a must-have, specially now that its price has come down considerably, and if it can found to buy. Yet, it is an outdated machine that works best as a collector's item kept in display at home, and not really an everyday use device.
Oppo R7 Plus FC Barcelona Edition
More recently, in early September, Oppo announced a new product that would be born to celebrate the already long partnership with Spanish elite football club, FC Barcelona. The Oppo R7 Plus FC Barcelona Edition is essentially an Oppo R7 Plus with an exclusive Barcelona coating produced in a very limited 5000 units run, and priced at $549. The special edition includes the club logo on the back cover of the phone, plus a water bottle, a selfie stick, a leather case and a VOOC power bank, all Barcelona themed.
Spec wise, the Oppo R7 is a very capable device: 6” inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB RAM, 32/64GB of storage, a 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera, a fingerprint scanner on the rear and a 4100mAh battery.
Meizu MX5 Hengda
Deviating from the more international flavor brought by ZOPO, Huawei and Oppo, Meizu decided instead to remain local and create a special edition smartphone for one of the best football clubs in China – Hengda. The Meizu MX5 Hengda edition is themed and dedicated to the major football club from the city of Guangzhou, in southern China (also know internationally as Canton).
In the same vein as the other models mentioned, the Meizu MX5 Hengda is a special edition built in a regular MX5 model. The phone itself is a very good machine: 5.5” inch AMOLED display, octa-core CPU with 3GB of RAM, fingerprint scanner and storage capacity up to 64 GB (no miscroSD slot available), 3150 mAh battery. The design however, is obviously inspired by the iPhone, and the product definitely has a cheaper “feel” to it thanks to that lack of inspiration.
As for what makes the Hengda special edition unique, the Meizu MX5 Hengda has the logo of the club in the back, as well as some software related customization. The package of the special edition includes an official shirt of Guangzhou FC and special earphones.
Similar efforts have been made in the past - such as the recent case of ZTE with its NBA partnership initiative in 2014 – and more will probably continue to rise in the future. These are indubitably niche products, aiming and catering at a very specific group of consumers. Special Edition smartphones are essentially a way for brands to show their charm and dedication, beyond and besides the obvious mass market hunger and demands. At the end, the consumer is always the winner, with more options to choose from. The Speed 7 GP being definitely an amazing option for all Jorge Lorenzo and MotoGP fans, or simply for those looking for a rare collector's item that is sure to become highly coveted in the near future. Even if you don't fit into any of those groups, The Speed 7 GP still represents great value for its price, boosting high specs and excellent performance.