Oppo has kick-started 2020 with a mid-range smartphone for the Indian market that brings a refreshing aura to the segment. Competing in the sub-Rs 20,000 price category, Oppo's new entrant will see itself pitted against the likes of Redmi K20, Samsung Galaxy M40, Realme X2, Vivo V17 and others. But it's not just the price category where Oppo will be defending its honour. Let's find out.
Oppo launched its F15 smartphone in India for Rs 19,990, expanding the company's popular F-series line of smartphones. The new smartphone is one of the first phones to be launched in India this year, but we are just getting started with 2020. Even then, it strikes a compelling statement with its form factor, which is hard to ignore.
Before we go on to talk about Oppo F15, here's a quick look at the key features of the phone:
Display: 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass 5
Main camera: 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP
Selfie camera: 16MP
CPU: Octa-core Mediatek Helio P70
Storage: 128GB UFS 2.1, expandable via dedicated microSD card slot
OS: Android 9 Pie-based ColorOS 6.1.2
Battery: 4,000mAh with 20W VOOC 3.0
Add-ons: In-display fingerprint scanner, dual SIM, USB Type-C, face unlock & more
Oppo F15: First Impressions
Oppo F15 has some impressive USPs such as the quad-camera setup, sleek and attractive design, generous RAM and storage and lasting battery with fast charging support. But there are some poor choices like the MediaTek P70 processor, which is ageing and also seen in phones far cheaper than the latest F15, and ColorOS 6.1.2 when ColorOS 7 is already launched. As we are currently testing the phone, we will be sharing the full details of how well it performs and more in the detailed review. For now, here are our first impressions of Oppo F15.
Oppo F15 comes in two shades - Unicorn White and Lightning Black. Having seen both phones first hand, we can easily declare the Unicorn White to be the better choice. But those who want that classic black look without much glamour and shimmer, the Lightning Black is the way to go.
The Unicorn White version of Oppo F15, which we are currently reviewing, is worthy of extra credit. The subtle gradient shifting from purple to blue and white from bottom to the top gives an elegant look to the phone. It is bound to turn heads as it is not too shiny nor too dull. The placement of the vertically-aligned quad cameras on the top left corner is a safe choice and ideal for the phone. There's just Oppo branding at the bottom left corner, which isn't screaming for attention.
To recall, Oppo F15 bears an uncanny resemblance to the Huawei P30 Pro's rear design, which we liked a lot. But Oppo has gone with a polycarbonate back instead of glass, which doesn't feel cheap and it is less likely to break.
The decision to choose lightweight materials for the phone finally paid off. The F15 weighs 172grams with its 4,000mAh battery and it is only 7.9mm thick. Seeing how phones are getting heavier by the day, Oppo F15 is a welcoming change.
Oppo has given importance to the little details on the phone. Things like the power and volume controls are placed towards the centre and not too far high on the sides. This makes it a lot easy to reach the buttons without having to stretch hands awkwardly. Moreover, the aluminium chassis is slightly thickened on the top and bottom, which is aesthetically pleasing and helped accommodate the far-gone 3.5mm headphone jack along with USB Type-C port. That's right, there's a USB Type-C port with VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge support - first in the F-series to do so. More on the battery in the upcoming review.
Besides the compelling design, the standout feature in the Oppo F15 is the camera setup. There are four cameras on the back, featuring 48MP (f/1.7) primary sensor, 8MP (f/2.25) ultra-wide-angle lens, 2MP macro lens and 2MP depth sensor. By today's industry standard, there's nothing extraordinary about the setup, but it certainly makes a difference to those camera enthusiasts.
Check out some samples straight out of Oppo F15's rear camera:
The smartphone manages to get colours, details and contrast just about right in shots taken from the main camera, but the colour accuracy takes a hit in portrait and close-up shots. The bokeh effect is on point with single objects, but not so much when there are too many subjects in the frame. We will be digging deeper into the camera performance of Oppo F15 to see how the results vary in different light conditions.
We also set up the face unlock and a fingerprint scanner on the phone and found both features to be working perfectly fine. We are not sure if the fingerprint scanner is improved, even if it is then it won't be by a huge margin. There are fewer errors while scanning face or fingerprint, which is a good sign for the phone's upcoming review.
The AMOLED display, which measures 6.4 inches diagonally and has Full HD+ resolution with Gorilla Glass 5, is good for day-to-day use. It works well under direct sunlight and the automatic brightness efficiently adjusts to match the need of the surroundings. Oppo could have done away with the notch, perhaps used a punch-hole camera, but it looks like the notch is here to stay.
Things were Oppo could have improved begin with its OS. The ColorOS 6.1.2 is not only outdated, but it is also filled with bloatware. The ColorOS 7 looks clean, but it could be a while before the F15 gets it so you'd be stuck with the current version until then.
Oppo F15's full review is coming up soon. So if you wish to know more about the phone's performance, battery life, camera results and more, stay tuned.