Oppo has revealed that the key component of its new strategy to build its smartphone brand is based on good cameras. The F1 Plus, which was launched in India this month, brings a lot to the table despite it being heavily promoted for its selfie camera capabilities. After using the handset for more than a week, we present a detailed review of what the Oppo F1 Plus offers.
Before we get started, it is worth noting that the F1 Plus is a premium mid-range smartphone priced at Rs. 26,990, which will be available this month onwards. The handset comes in gold and rose gold options, both of which complement the design completely.
Getting down to the specifications of the F1 Plus, Oppo offers an impressive 16-megapixel Hi-Light camera with f/2.0 aperture and features such as screen flash, Beautify 4.0 and Selfie Panorama, a 13MP rear-facing camera with PDAF and f/2.2 aperture and a beautifully-crafted chic metallic structure. The F1 Plus sports a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display with 401ppi and has ultra-slim bezels that give an edge-to-edge look. Simplicity is at the heart of Oppo F1 Plus, yet it makes a compelling statement.
The F1 Plus has suitable modes to adjust the display, such as an Eye protection display, which dims the blue light for night reading. The colours are bright and crisp and the display doesn't compromise readability even in bright sunlight.
We tested the camera of the F1 Plus and found it to be really impressive. Oppo F1 Plus justifies the "selfie expert" tag. Below are a few samples shot from Oppo F1 Plus (both front and rear):
The camera interface is identical to the iPhone 6 and 6s series, courtesy the Android 5.1 Lollipop-based ColorOS 3.0, which is overall a smooth and good looking UI. When we compared the F1 Plus camera against iPhone 6, the F1 Plus surpassed the iPhone 6 camera quality in well-lit areas as shown below and also low-lit areas.
Oppo F1 Plus is not just about the camera, but it also delivers on the performance, battery and usability fronts. Speaking of the battery, Oppo has incorporated its home-grown VOOC flash charge technology in the F1 Plus' 2850mAh battery pack. The rapid charging technology works just as promised and charges up to 90 percent in just 40 minutes. When you are in a hurry, charge the device for five minutes and it can last up to 2 hours on talk time.
At first, we were sceptical of the F1 Plus' battery performance due to obvious reasons of the small battery size in the handset's ultra-slim body. Oppo F1 Plus surprised us by surviving 12 hours of constant use, which included messaging on internet-connected apps, making calls, playing music and some level of gaming, and was still left with 18 percent at the end of the day. During the battery test, the handset was mostly connected to Wi-Fi, and using on 3G or 4G mobile data will reduce the battery life by a few hours.
Moving on to another important part — the performance — we had mixed feelings. The F1 Plus' benchmark scores were comparable to mid-range smartphones, but we did not witness any lag or stutter while using the handset for regular operations like calls or intense tasks such as gaming. Oppo's ColorOS may have a role to play in it as Oppo said the version 3.0 has been improved to deliver smoother experience and the app boot time is 25 percent better than ColorOS2.1.
Oppo F1 Plus packs a sensible combination of specs under the hood to ensure smooth operations. It is powered by a 64-bit 2GHz MediaTek Helio P10 processor, which is backed by 4GB RAM. The low-powered processor with eight cores of Cortex A53 does a great job in keeping the handset cool and lag-free at all times.
Oppo F1 Plus also packs a fingerprint scanner, which is extremely fast in recognising and unlocking the device. The company has truly said it takes 0.2 seconds to unlock the F1 Plus using the fingerprint scanner. The accuracy at which the fingerprint scanner works in the F1 Plus is equally appealing.
Oppo F1 Plus has a single speaker at the bottom left side, next to the microUSB slot. While it delivers great audio, thanks to the Dirac sound, it is challenging to get the same quality when holding the phone in the hand as it might cover the speaker. The sound quality in the earphones has no drawbacks.
Oppo F1 Plus is a complete bundle of great camera, battery, design and performance. The pricing of the handset might want some buyers to reconsider their options as there are more premium handsets like Xiaomi Mi 5 and others that offer much more at almost the same price.
But the F1 Plus is no less than any other flagship in the market. It has got the looks one needs in a premium smartphone, performance that gets the job done for your daily tasks without hiccups, a really impressive camera to capture life moments instantly, spacious 64GB built-in storage and a battery that keeps it running all day.
There are certainly some cons, such as the placement of the stereo speaker that could have been better to avoid blocking the sound while holding the F1 Plus in the hand. We also saw some pixels while shooting under challenging lighting conditions, but it makes up with great selfies any time.