Hands-on review: Try OPPO N3 and R5 smartphones for something different

A curved, protruding bottom edge makes the Oppo N3 phablet easier to grip. Photo: Hannah Francis Oppo’s Color OS with custom theme. Photo: Hannah Francis
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The Oppo R5’s hand-polished aluminium chassis, right, is slightly rougher than that of the iPhone 6. Photo: Hannah Francis

The ultra-slim Oppo R5, top, next to the iPhone 6. Photo: Hannah Francis

Oppo has released two new smartphones. Photo: Supplied

Chinese electronics manufacturer OPPO has traditionally dealt in top-notch BlueRay players, though more recently it has been dabbling in smartphones.

It began testing the waters in Australia last year with the Find 7, Find 7a, N1 Mini and Neo, with very little in terms of marketing and hence very little fanfare.

Initially OPPO phones were only available at its Australian website, but now you can get your hands on one and try before you buy at Allphones stores.

Now come two new devices, the N3 and R5 – charmingly different to the more popular Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy or Note, yet considerably more affordable.

Color OS

Both new handsets are fitted out with OPPO’s own Color OS. Based on the Android Kit Kat 4.4 operating system, the user experience is more or less like Android but with a bunch of playful extras.

At its heart, Color OS is all about customisation.

A wide range of theme options lets you change not just the wallpaper but the appearance of icons, too.

A suite of screen-on, screen-off, and even hands-free “air gestures” can be assigned to different functions and apps – for instance, drawing a circle on the lockscreen to launch the camera app.

Some of these gestures are a little pointless – air gestures, for instance, can be used to browse your photo album or desktop hands-free, but a finger swipe is quicker and you’ll still need to touch the screen for other functions.

In addition to the standard Google apps, the OPPO phones also come pre-installed with an OPPO-branded browser. It’s visually appealing, with a range of easy-to-navigate options including full-screen mode, “untrackable browsing” and “night mode”, which inverts to soft grey text on a black background.

The inbuilt, retro-style music player lets you spin tunes by dragging a needle onto a record. It’s cute, but the player itself has limited functionality. There are no EQ functions to tweak the sound for different musical styles, and on the lockscreen you’re restricted to stopping, starting and skipping backwards or forwards, track by track. You could also make these commands with finger gestures, but that adds little value.

Also included are Kingsoft Office, an open source app suite compatible with Microsoft Office, and messaging app WeChat.


An upgraded version of the N1, which also sports a rotating camera, the dual-SIM N3 is the premium – and pricier – of OPPO’s new handsets.

I have small hands so I’ve never been a big fan of phablets, but the bottom edge of the 5.5-inch N3 has an ingeniously curved extension that balances neatly along your pinkie as you reach across the screen with your thumb.

I have trouble with this action on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus – both only marginally wider – but no such problems here.

The device’s curved, smooth plastic back also slides easily in the palm of your hand, which you’ll probably need in order to reach the on/off switch, which is awkwardly located on the top left edge.

At 16 megapixels and with f/2.2 aperture, OPPO has improved the camera specs on this model, and claims it’s the best there is for taking quality selfies. There are some great “beautify” filters but they lose a lot of definition.

Despite the iPhone 6 (rear-facing) camera only being 8 megapixels, I still find it takes better shots than the N3. .

Still, the N3’s rotating camera is great for taking panoramas, while photography nerds can switch to “expert mode” and toy with exposure, shutter speed and more.

Camera rotation can be controlled via the touch-screen, or using the included “OTOUCH” bluetooth remote. The OTOUCH also controls the music player, and has a handy Find My Phone feature – two clicks and the N3 starts crowing from where it fell down the back of the couch.


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Bali Nine ringleaders Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan to be executed this month

Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Photo: Anta KesumaSukumaran, Chan plead for moratorium on death sentence
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Bali Nine ringleaders Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will be executed this month, Indonesia’s foreign affairs spokesman has confirmed.

“Yesterday afternoon we received notification from the Bali prosecutor’s office that the execution of the two Australian males will be held in February,” Arrmanatha Nasir told Fairfax Media. “We forwarded this to the Australian embassy.”

An overwrought Brintha Sukumaran, the sister of Myuran, was outside Bali’s Kerobokan prison on Friday begging the Indonesian government not to kill her brother.

“We love him so much. Please don’t kill him, please,” Brintha pleaded, her hands clasped together in  a gesture of prayer. “He is scared, I can see it in his eyes. Please don’t do this. He is doing everything he can do for others.”

His mother Raji also pleaded for mercy saying Sukumaran and Chan were “good children”.

“We don’t know how long,” she said.

The two men were told on Friday by Australian embassy officials that they would die this month.

News of the time of the execution comes as Robert Myers, the barrister who asked the Australian Federal Police to intervene and prevent one of the Bali Nine committing a crime overseas, says there is no excuse for their “deliberate lies” and “unlawful actions”.

Sukumaran’s and Chan’s Indonesian lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, said he was yet to receive any official notification of the execution date.

“We are preparing another legal action in the next couple of days,” Mr Mulya said. “In the circumstances there are not many avenues to appeal.”

Asked if the news came as a surprise, Mr Mulya said: “Well, the attorney-general said it would be in February. Anything could happen.”

The chilling announcement comes as nine fellow Kerobokan prisoners wrote to Indonesian President Joko Widodo pleading with him to spare Sukumaran and Chan. Two even offered to be executed in their places.

Rico Richardo said Chan had helped him when he almost died inside Bali’s Kerobokan prison on January 23.

“It was Andrew Chan who insisted I got taken back to hospital,” Richardo wrote. He said he did not have enough money to pay the hospital bill but Chan asked his lawyer to assist.

Richardo said when it came to Chan the president was “seeing with just one eye”. “Even though Andrew Chan is on death row … he never thinks of himself. This could be taken into consideration of your conscience, honorable Mr President,” Richardo wrote.

“If you still insist on executing Andrew Chan, I, Rico Richardo, an Indonesian citizen, am ready to take his place and be executed.”

Fellow prisoner Inyoman Andre has worked as a translator for Chan’s bible classes for the past three years. On Thursday Chan asked him if he would take over running the classes.

“He told me: ‘You must be ready to be used by God,” Andre told Fairfax Media.

“He is strong. If you study the bible you don’t fear death because we learn in the bible this life is temporary. After that we have eternal life in our heaven.”

Andre was a methamphetamine user when he was imprisoned four and a half years ago. A former Hindu, who converted to Christianity in jail, he said Chan had taught him to appreciate life. “Andrew is a good person who has done much for us in here.”

Will he take over the bible classes? “I will,” Andre says simply.

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House of Hancock: In defence of Gina Rinehart

Note: At the time this story was written, Gina Rinehart was a shareholder of Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website.
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As a relatively young, slightly left-leaning journalist with only a rudimentary understanding of the business world, I might not be your typical Gina Rinehart sympathiser.

Maybe sympathy is the wrong word, but it seems to me there’s a culture of “Gina-bashing” out there, when I’m not sure it’s entirely warranted.

Is it just my generation? Is it just my fellow West Australians? Is it a classic case of tall poppy syndrome?

Sure, she inherited a lot of money from her late father. Whatever your thoughts on how she has managed her fortune, she hasn’t squandered it, but rather built on it and earned her place among the world’s richest people.

For a whole host of reasons, there are fewer women at the top of the corporate chain, never mind those who are mothers as well. That’s something to admire, right? Or at least, not hate on her for?

Strip away the fortune and there’s a lot more. This is a woman who has lost her parents, a husband and has a difficult relationship with some of her children.

Other than that, we don’t know her. The only interaction the public seems to have with her, rightly or wrongly, is when she’s in court battling with family members, if there’s an incident at one of her company’s mine operations, or if she says something unpalatable to the average Australian.

Rarely, we hear something nice about scholarships in some faraway land, or some other philanthropic effort which doesn’t immediately spring to mind, but they must be out there – you tell me.

Opinion is divided among my little circle. The prevailing feeling, without ever having had anything to do with the woman, is that she’s ruthless, litigious and difficult to work with, to put it politely. Others I have spoken to describe Mrs Rinehart’s kindness, selflessness and passion for the country she calls home.

The truth is, we don’t know, but I suspect the real Gina lies somewhere in the middle. Everyone wants to love and be loved, and I can’t imagine Mrs Rinehart is any different.

Do I like some of her business and political decisions? No. Do I like the fact that money can buy influence? Absolutely not. But I haven’t walked in her shoes and can’t help but cringe when some think to judge Mrs Rinehart for her looks, rather than her actions.

By all means, no one is perfect, but the devil incarnate does not walk among us either.

Even the actress tasked with playing the mining magnate in House of Hancock doesn’t have a lot to work with in bringing her “character” to life.

“Here’s a woman who was basically her father’s business partner since she was 12. She hasn’t really had the childhood or the backpacking experience that most of us have to discover who we are,” actress Mandy McElhinney told Perth radio station 96fm.

“[Rinehart] lived an incredibly rarefied life, it’s hard to really understand. Most of us have normal lives where we discover our own destinies and have to scrape a bit of money together to get ahead.”

“I’d be really interested to hear what [Rinehart] thinks… but don’t worry, I’ve checked with my lawyers.”

And so, I’d urge viewers to watch House of Hancock with a grain of salt. As thoroughly researched as the production is, some creative licence would had to have been used when it comes to the intensely-private Mrs Rinehart.

While it would be disrespectful to gloss over her joys and her sorrows, there is something a little odd in knowing that a human being’s life (and dirty laundry) is being aired for the enjoyment of others.

No doubt, it’ll be a ratings bonanza, but I’m a firm believer that there’s no true delight in recounting someone else’s misery.

Just a disclaimer, too. No one asked me to write this article, so if you think I’m part of some wider pro-Gina conspiracy, please think again.

House of Hancock will screen on Channel Nine this Sunday, February 8.

At the time this story was written, Gina Rinehart was a shareholder of Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website.Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Architecture award winners shun conventionphotos

Architecture award winners shun convention | photos Building of the Year 2015 Winner: : Commercial Architecture. Cultura Bookstore / Studiomk27 – Marcio Kogan + Diana Radomysler + Luciana Antunes + Marcio Tanaka + Mariana Ruzante. Photo: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG.
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Building of the Year 2015 Winner: Interior Architecture. Wieden+Kennedy NY / WORK Architecture Company. Photo: Bruce Damonte.

Building of the Year 2015 Winner: Educational Architecture. Farming Kindergarten / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Photo: Gremsy.

Building of the Year Winner: Healthcare Architecture. Livsrum Cancer Counseling Center / EFFEKT. Photo: Quintin Lake.

Building of the Year Winner: Hospitality Architecture. Nine Bridges Country Club / Shigeru Ban Architects Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai.

Building of the Year Winner: Offices. The Building on the Water / Álvaro Siza Vieira + Carlos Castanheira. Photo: Fernando Guerra | FG + SG.

Building of the Year Winner: Public Architecture. Twin Stations / Spora Architects. Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky.

Building of the Year Winner: Housing. The Iceberg / CEBRA_architecture + JDS Architects + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Photo: Mikkel Frost.

Building of the Year Winner: Industrial Architecture. Carozzi Production and Research Food Center / GH+A Guillermo Hevia. Photo: Nico Saieh.

Building of the Year Winner: Houses. Sambade House / spaceworkers Photo: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG.

Building of the Year Winner: Cultural Architecture. Fogo Natural Park Venue / OTO. Photo: Fernando Guerra | FG + SG.

Building of the Year Winner: Sports Architecture. Arena do Morro / Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron. Photo: Iwan Baan.

Building of the Year Winner: Religious Architecture. Sancaklar Mosque / EAA-Emre Arolat Architects. Photo: Thomas Mayer.

Building of the Year Winner: Refurbishment. The Number 6 / Building. Photo: Piero Ottaviano.


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Marathon medallist Jess Trengove learns from brother Jack’s resilience

Whenever Jess Trengove is having a bad day, she only has to look as far as her brother Jack for inspiration.
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The resilience of the luckless Melbourne Demons midfielder to battle through persistent foot injuries shows the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist what it takes to succeed at the elite level.

Trengove will scale back in distance from the marathon, after having stood on the podium in Glasgow last year, to contest the Australian cross-country championships in Canberra on Sunday.

It’s the first time the 27-year-old has contested the eight-kilometre event since taking out the title in Brisbane in 2010.

Since then, Trengove has been a revelation in the longer distances, finishing a respectable 39th in the marathon in the 2012 London Olympic Games before winning Commonwealth bronze in Glasgow last year.

Younger brother Jack – the second pick in the 2009 AFL draft – has been beset by crippling foot injuries which restricted him to just two games last year. He was on the verge of being traded to Richmond before scans detected he required further surgery to repair damage to the navicular bone. It is unclear if Trengove will play at all this year.

A physiotherapist by trade, Jess has a big interest in bone stress injuries. “I love chatting to him and see what he’s been doing,” Trengove said. “It’s taught me a lot as a physio and a lot as an athlete about staying positive and being patient, resilient.

“He’s got an incredible attitude towards it all and it’s really put it in perspective for me.”

Trengove managed a toe injury in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games and is looking forward to Jack being able to leave the moon boot behind and walking again.

“I’ll be really interested when they start looking at drills and gradually getting back into running,” she said. “My background in running is different to the type of running he’ll be doing as a footballer.

“The training we do is very different. The one thing I will be able to probably help is the early days of retraining his gait, because he hasn’t run for so long.”

Trengove said growing up there was a healthy rivalry between herself, Jack and sister Abbie, who represented South Australia at rowing.

“It sort of inspired me to have a crack at the running,” Trengove said. “Rather than competing against each other because we were in such different sports, it was more of a I’d see what they were doing in training and it would fire me up to pursue my goals.

“When Jack got drafted, it made me think I want to have a real go at running and see where that could take me.”

Trengove is aiming to qualify for the world cross country championships in China in March.

She said the course at Stromlo would make for a fast race. “There’s pretty even grass, so you can take it on pretty hard and I think the pace is generally on,” she said.

“I remember finding it very challenging the last time I raced there. It’s more of a race course with a few little inclines.”

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Pyne’s pitfalls, and the wind from the west: How the Liberal leadership crisis unfolded

January 15: The government backs down on its $20 Medicare cut. The reduced rebate had been widely criticised by doctors. Labor said the Coalition’s health policies were in a “shambles”. Only 24 hours earlier, Tony Abbott had been robustly defending the cut.
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January 26: Abbott announces that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh will be knighted, a move which was widely ridiculed and raised internal questions about his judgment. He later confirmed it was a “captain’s call”.

January 28: Rupert Murdoch tweets that Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin should be sacked. “Tough to write, but if he won’t replace top aide Peta Credlin she must do her patriotic duty and resign …” he wrote.

January 31: Campbell Newman’s Liberal government suffers a massive backlash in the Queensland election. Meanwhile Queensland MP Mal Brough reveals he could challenge Abbott.

Feburary 1: Abbott meets Julie Bishop in Sydney to discuss leadership

February 2: Abbott delivers a speech at the National Press Club, admitting that he had made some mistakes, but he was not considering resigning.

Jeff Kennett says the Liberal Party’s leadership was now “terminal”. “It needs to be resolved as quickly as possible so that the party can move on,” he said.

February 5: Abbott tells the media he is “confident” that he will be leader next week, but news of a secret leadership meeting with Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull emerges. February 6:  A motion is called for a leadership spill by WA MP Luke Simkins. Tony Abbott says Julie Bishop and he will stand together during the motion on Tuesday (10 February). 

February 6: 6am: Christopher Pyne says he “hopes” the Prime Minister still has the numbers in the party room, raising speculation Abbott’s support in the cabinet is waning.

1pm: Bishop refuses to quell rumours of the spill motion, saying she does not have any advice for her colleagues because they are elected members of Parliament and “they take whatever action they see fit”.

1.30pm: West Australian MP Luke Simpkins writes an email to his colleague, announcing he will move a spill against Abbott. Fellow West Australian MP Don Randall supports it. Both are supporters of Bishop.

1.50pm: Phillip Ruddock, the chief government whip, writes an email confirming a motion will be moved by a secret ballot that the “senior positions of the federal parliamentary Liberal Party be declared vacant” on Tuesday.

3.10pm: Social Services Minister Scott Morrison says he will not contend the leadership.

3.30pm: Abbott fronts the media in a short conference, where he confirms the spill of the two positions, but says he and Bishop will stand together to defeat the motion.

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Liberal Party Tony Abbott spill: Twittersphere awash with reactions

Bring it on: Tony Abbott, with insets Luke Simpkins (top) and Don Randall. Photo: SuppliedLive: Tony Abbott faces leadership challenge’We must bring this to a head and test support’Julie Bishop refuses to quell unrestAbbott’s leadership enters the killing zone#libspill spills into ‘political protest’
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West Australian Liberal MP Luke Simpkins has emailed his colleagues, announcing he will move a spill motion against Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

In his email he said: “In the last two weeks I have been inundated with emails and walk-ins to my electorate office all questioning the direction the government is being led in.

“The knighthood issue was for many the final proof of disconnection with the people.

“I have therefore submitted to the Chief Government Whip [Philip Ruddock] a motion to spill the leadership position of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party… “

It was seconded by fellow West Australian Liberal MP Don Randall.

The motion has been listed for discussion at the Liberal Party meeting on Tuesday.

The Twittersphere is awash with quips and pictures of reactions to the spill, especially on the hastag #itson.  BREAKING: IT’S ON! Here’s @JuliaGillard watching @ABCNews24 as we speak… #itson#libspill#auspolpic.twitter上海龙凤419m/4VkfxyReWh — Chris Chamberlin (@popculturechris) February 6, 2015 Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott debate the republic. Pic from The Australian Moment’s gallery of rivals. #itsonpic.twitter上海龙凤419m/kutARysGz8 — George Megalogenis (@GMegalogenis) February 6, 2015 Bet you’re regretting making this tweet #itsonpic.twitter上海龙凤419m/GfFKnurGWa — James Mc9 (@cashbonez) February 6, 2015 Fairfax and Sky News reporting of the #itson story has been first class. They’ve been slaking my thirst for stories. — Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef) February 6, 2015  

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News Corp revenue boosted by book publishing, digital real estate

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire News Corporation has posted a 2 per cent lift in revenue, with its chief executive Robert Thomson trumpeting “high quality journalism attracts high quality revenue”.
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But journalism had nothing to do with News Corp’s revenue rising to $US2.28 billion in the quarter ending December 31, beating analysts estimates of $2.27 billion.

The bulk of their growth came from book publishing and digital real estate sales, the revenues of which rose $78 million, or 20 per cent, and $51 million, or 50 per cent, respectively.

But revenue from its newspaper business, the titles of which include The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and The Times of London, slumped 6 per cent or $89 million.

Its Australian papers, which include The Australian, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph, reported a greater revenue decline, shedding 8 per cent. The company attributed the decline to “negative foreign currency fluctuations and modest advertising revenues”.

Advertising revenue across its entire newspaper business plunged 9 per cent “driven primarily by weakness in the UK print advertising market”.

Citi analyst Justin Diddams was concerned about the British slump, asking Mr Thomson during a conference call how the company planned to flip the 16 per cent advertising revenue fall in that market.

“I don’t think we can sustain that kind of decline for much longer, so I’m wondering what the strategy is for the UK business,” Mr Diddams said.

Mr Thomson said: “There’s no doubt that the advertising market in the UK is a volatile one, the winds are flukey.”

He said New’s UK chief executive Mike Darcey was focusing on digital advertising “where we do believe there is room for growth”, and circulation revenue.

Mr Thomson said the sales team were arguing the value of News’ British mastheads, particularly The Times which he said was the only UK paper to increase its print circulation.

“At a time of media transformation with a flood of low-grade listicles and cheesy charticles, it is clear that high quality journalism attracts high quality revenue and reader engagement across all platforms.

“The Times is doing very well, and that message when advertisers hear it and understand it, will resonate not only with advertisers but with potential consumers.

“So Mike [Darcey] and the team are very much on the case and they certainly have levers to pull”.

News’ book publishing revenue surged 20 per cent to $469 million. The company attributed the increase to the inclusion of Harlequin, the world’s biggest romance book publisher, which it bought for $415 million in 2014.

Revenue from its digital real estate business jumped from $103 million to $154 million because of the inclusion of third ranked US property site Move, which it bought with REA Group for $950 million last October.

“Although we don’t yet have a full quarter performance, it is fair to say that the expansion of our digital real estate portfolio should provide a firm foundation for future growth,” Mr Thomson said.

Profit for the entire company, excluding some items, was 26¢ a share in the fiscal second quarter, compared with the 24¢ analysts estimated on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Revamped V8 Supercars television coverage to start on Sunday

As well as having to pay for live TV coverage of every race for the first time, V8 Supercars fans will also have to get used to new commentary teams.
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Some familiar names have been replaced in V8’s switch from Channel Seven to an AFL/NRL-style split broadcast deal with pay TV’s Fox Sports and Channel Ten.

The $241 million six-year agreement begins on Sunday with live coverage of the final day of the two-day pre-season V8 SuperTest at Sydney Motorsport Park by Fox Sports and delayed highlights on the Ten Network.

The key casualty of the change is V8 legend Mark Skaife, who makes way for former Ten Network motor sport presenter Greg Rust.

Returning to the V8 commentary team after an eight-year absence, Rust takes over as the lead caller.

Also missing from the new-look line-up is popular pit lane analyst and ex-V8 racer/team owner Mark Larkham, replaced by four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy.

New Zealander Murphy, an outspoken observer famous for his Bathurst 1000 heroics, has retired from co-driving in the V8 endurance races to become a full-time commentator.

Skaife, winner of five V8 championships, is expected to have a role on Fox Sport’s new weekly V8 Supercars discussion panel show, which may also feature regular appearances by Larkham.

Staying on as the expert commentator is veteran V8 analyst and former racer Neil Crompton, with Riana Crehan also returning as the other pit lane reporter alongside Murphy.

Fox Sports and Channel Ten, which will simulcast the six biggest events, are sharing the commentary across the season, adding their own hosts, experts and guests around the common coverage of track action.

Fox Sports will telecast every practice and qualifying session, and all races of the 14-event V8 championship series live, while Network Ten will simulcast the Adelaide 500, Townsville 500, Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000, Gold Coast 600 and Sydney 500.

Channel Ten will show delayed highlights of the remaining eight events following Fox Sports’ coverage.

V8 Supercars’ move to primary coverage on subscription TV is controversial because it is the first time fans have had to pay to watch every race since regular telecasts of major Australian touring car racing began in the mid-1970s.

While the split broadcast deal is good for V8 teams, which will receive more income from the much more lucrative arrangement, dedicated motor sport followers are upset that only six events will be screened on free-to-air TV.

It will cost $50 a month for a Foxtel subscription that includes Fox Sports’ wall-to-wall live coverage on all days of each event.

V8 Supercars and Fox Sports maintain that the improved and expanded coverage, which will include all supporting races, justifies the cost for hardcore motor sport followers while enhancing the service for existing subscribers.

V8 executives predict the total viewing audience will increase because Fox Sport’s coverage will be augmented by Ten’s free-to-air telecasts.

Fox Sports is expected to announce its additional V8 on-air line-up to supplement the shared commentary team, while Channel Ten will confirm its presenters later this month.

It is expected that Fox Sport’s motor sport presenter Jessica Yates will host the network’s V8 coverage. Former Channel Seven frontman Matt White will host Ten’s telecasts, joined by ex-F1 star Mark Webber at the season-opening Adelaide 500 and the blue ribband Bathurst 1000.

White will also host the return of the weekly RPM motor sport magazine show, which will feature V8 drivers as regular guests.

Fairfax Media understands that former V8 champion Rick Kelly has signed with Ten to provide behind-the-scenes insights during race weekends.

The pre-season V8 SuperTest this weekend will be a trial run for Fox Sport’s coverage, which is produced by V8 Supercar’s own broadcast production unit.

Fox Sports is promising telecasts loaded with new technology that will enable viewers to select alternative in-car and on-track vision during the broadcasts of track action.

The free-admission SuperTest consists of three practice sessions on Saturday and one on Sunday morning, with the pre-season hit-out culminating with a shoot-out for the fastest lap time on Sunday afternoon.

All 25 cars will race one at a time against the clock over a flying lap.

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The battler of Point Piper: Labor plans its attack on Malcolm Turnbull

‘Tony Abbott in an expensive suit’: Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Nic Walker ‘Tony Abbott in an expensive suit’: Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Nic Walker
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‘Tony Abbott in an expensive suit’: Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Nic Walker

‘Tony Abbott in an expensive suit’: Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Nic Walker

Live: Tony Abbott faces leadership challengeLuke Simpkins’ email to colleagues calling for spill against Tony AbbottAnalysis: Abbott’s leadership has entered the killing zone

Tony Abbott in an expensive suit. New salesman, same government. The man from Struggle Street, Point Piper.

Labor is already sharpening its lines to greet a Malcolm Turnbull prime ministership – even before Mr Turnbull had indicated whether or not he would contest a leadership vote if one follows the spill motion to be considered by the Liberal party room on Tuesday.

According to a number of ALP figures who spoke to Fairfax Media, the weaknesses of Mr Turnbull’s they would seek to exploit include the perception he is out of step with the core of the federal Liberal Party on issues such as climate change, same sex marriage and the republic.

A shadow minister nominated Mr Turnbull’s Achilles heel as simply: “His big f–king ego.”

“He convinces himself that he is the smartest person in the room in every situation – and sometimes he is. But when you believe you are the only one who truly understands an issue it is pretty hard to listen to anyone else around you,” said the source.

“His big ego killed him before. What will his ego be like if he believes he is being called to the country’s top job?”

But the shadow minister also conceded Labor would have a tougher time opposing a Turnbull-led Coalition. “He’s smarter than Abbott, more grounded than Abbott and he’s an adult, unlike Abbott.”

Mr Turnbull is favoured as leader by twice as many people as Mr Abbott, a string of IPSOS Fairfax polls have found.

Another Labor source with experience of the Gillard–Rudd war said Mr Turnbull had weaknesses to exploit but said he would be a more formidable prime minister to oppose.

“Absolutely he is more popular in the middle ground with voters, the place where elections are won,” the source said.

“This whole thing has reminded me of Gillard vs Rudd. A party stuck with a leader it knows cannot win an election and an alternative leader who is not liked by the party. But in the end, MPs will vote for their own survival, which is why I expect Malcolm Turnbull PM by mid-next week.”

Bruce Hawker, the longtime ALP campaigner who led Kevin Rudd’s doomed bid for re-election in 2013, said Mr Turnbull would take the Liberal Party back to towards the centre ground but that would eventually expose divisions within his own party.

“For Labor, Turnbull is a much harder character to deal with, he won’t score the same own-goals that Tony Abbott has become famous for,” Mr Hawker said.

“The danger for him is that he will start with a burst of popularity and relief in the electorate and he will try to steer his party back to centre ground. But he will have to deal with the Cory Bernardis of his party who are not going to sit back and watch a small-L liberal like Malcolm Turnbull do what he likes. That will open up the divisions for Labor to exploit.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been relegated to a low profile since the government began to tear itself apart after Australia Day, but his language at his daily press conference has begun to dig away at any notion that a change of leader would mean a fresh start for the Coalition.

Mr Shorten said on Friday: “They all voted for the budget. On budget night when Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott brought down their budget, they were slamming the desks and cheering and that’s the issue.

“Malcolm Turnbull may wear nicer suits but he’s just Tony Abbott in a nicer suit.”

On Tuesday he said: “They should stop worrying about which sales person they put up the front of the queue, and all of them should actually go back and take their foot off the throat of families.”

A senior player behind Mr Shorten said there would be no great recalibration of strategy if a change occurs. “There’s been a lot of talk about the effect of Turnbull taking over but we’re actually not all that worried.”

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