Oppo is quite popular in India and managed to grow 96 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same quarter in the previous year. It acquired a 12 percent market share in Q4 2019 - falling closely be Samsung's 19 percent. Oppo was one of the three fastest-growing smartphone brands in India in the said quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. Oppo has every intention to keep up the same momentum in 2020 and the all-new F15 could be of help.
Oppo launched F15 smartphone in India a little over two weeks ago. The handset is priced at Rs 19,990 to target consumers looking to buy a mid-range smartphone. Our first impressions of Oppo F15 were fairly impressive and most of the credit goes to the design. Oppo F15 went on sale in India last week and if you've been puzzled whether or not to buy this phone, this review is going to help you out.
Before we get to the review, here's a quick look at the key features of Oppo F15:
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 Review
Oppo F15 is a solid presenter with its appealing looks. It is one of the most stylish phones on can buy in its price range and not regret it. But the phone meets a few roadblocks along the way. Is Oppo F15 really worth 20 grand? If this is the question you're asking yourself right now, read on.
How's the design?
Oppo F15 is certainly dressed to impress. With its sleek ergonomics, perfect gradient hues that we so loved in Huawei P30 Pro and elegant touch of perfection to the overall design, Oppo F15 stands out in the crowd. We spoke in length about the design in our first impressions, but we would like to stress that Oppo F15 must be felt in hand to truly understand its form factor. As much as we would have wished for a premium glass back, there are some benefits to a polycarbonate back like it is less likely to break and get scratched or smudged often.
Oppo F15 is so sleek and light and has the right amount of everything in the design to impress any user. This is where Oppo's strength lies and offline presence of the smartphone maker could really add to those sales of Oppo F15 in India.
Is the display good?
The display is good enough for day-to-day use without compromising much. It's an AMOLED panel with punchy colours. The display brightness works well under all circumstances, including direct sunlight without much strain. The automatic adjustment also works well depending on the surroundings. Overall, there isn't much to complain nor there's anything extra-ordinary about the display. But there is no need to fix something that isn't broken - especially at this price point.
Oppo F15 display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, which should protect against minor scratches, but don't test it for falls. The notch is very 2019 and we wish there was a cutout camera instead. The tall aspect ratio makes it hard to pull down the notification panel and we wish there was a shortcut or gesture designed for the screen.
Oppo also added fingerprint scanner under the display, which worked perfectly.
What about those cameras?
There are a handful of cameras on the Oppo F15 and one might have a lot of expectations. On the back of the phone, there are four sensors stacked vertically and the LED flash sits beside. Oppo F15 truly surprised us with the camera performance, which may seem artistic to some users who like raw natural forms. But the photos produced by the F15 are good enough for social media.
Oppo F15 can do a fairly decent job with landscapes with proper detailing. There's less noise in the pictures and colours appear punchy. But Oppo has managed to impress its users with its camera and it has an audience it cannot ignore by shifting its photography formulae. The handset can also do good portraits and macro shots are particularly impressive.
Oppo F15, however, failed to impress in wide-angle shots and shifted colours in challenging lighting conditions. The handset worked best in outdoor light conditions. The camera automatically cramps images to 12MP shots, and 48MP shots can only be taken after enabling 4:3 48MP photo ratio in camera settings.
The 16MP front camera is pretty much the same as F-series, but the artificial retouching appears to be slightly more in the F15.
Then, there's video, which maxes out at 1080p at 30fps. Given how the focus is shifting towards video, it would be interesting to see Oppo really make some improvements here. It is much called for - especially in 2020.
How does the phone perform?
This is where we feel Oppo really hadn't missed an opportunity to be great. For some odd reason, Oppo went with Helio P70 when there are far better options in the market. The chipset is found in phones half the F15's price and it is just disappointing.
For day-to-day usage, Oppo F15 seems to work fine. No major glitches or noteworthy issues, but things like high-end gaming could be challenging on the phone. Oppo's lack of judgement in the chipset was partially made up by 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage. Multitasking was definitely better and not having to worry about storage was a boon on F15.
We tried PUBG Mobile and the automatic graphics setting was selected for medium. It worked fine but upping the graphics caused frames to drop in the middle of the game. If you can settle for the medium graphics settings in high-end games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty, Oppo's decision to choose an older chipset shouldn't be bothersome.
Part of the performance experience was hindered by the ColorOS. Besides the fact that Oppo F15 runs Android Pie-based ColorOS6.1.2, the UI is something we have never been fond of. There's too much bloatware and navigating about isn't as easy as it is on other non-Oppo phones. As a matter of fact, the ColorOS 7 could be really worthy upgrade for F15 users.
How's the battery?
Oppo F15's battery is one of the good things the phone has to offer. The lightweight of the phone makes it hard to guess there's a 4,000mAh battery inside. With a full charge, users can easily go about a full day without having to worry about plugging in the charger.
And when you do plug in the charger, the 20W VOOC fast charging comes to the rescue. In 2020, fast charging should become a mandatory feature on all mid-range to high-end phones. It saves a lot of time waiting and allows for more doing. Phones without fast charging and huge batteries will lose major points in reviews, but the F15 earned some brownie points with Oppo's proprietary feature. Oppo F15 can fully charge to give a day's worth use in little over an hour, which is better than 90-120 minutes you might have to wait with 10W chargers.
Also, the F15 uses a USB Type-C port instead of a microUSB port. It is also the first time an F-series smartphone is using USB Type-C with VOOC fast charging.
Should you buy?
Oppo F15 has many pros and the company offline presence is definitely going to convert a lot of smartphone buyers towards this new phone. At first glance, there's nothing you won't like about the phone. But upon comparison with other phones in the sub-Rs 20,000 category, you'll see the F15 falls short on certain aspects.
Oppo F15 pros
- Compelling and sleek design
- Lasting battery with fast charging
- Good main camera
- Bright display
- 3.5mm jack
- Accurate fingerprint scanner, face unlock
Oppo F15 cons
- Outdated chipset
- Still on ColorOS 6.1.2 (Android Pie)
- Poor video recording, low light camera performance
- Artificial effects in photos
- Not ideal for high-end gaming
Even though there seems to be a balance in how Oppo F15's pros and cons weigh, the competition in the market doesn't favour Oppo. For instance, Redmi Note 8 Pro is cheaper than the F15 and Realme X2 presents a better option at the same price as the Oppo smartphone. If you're particular about the Oppo brand, the F15 is a good choice, but we'd suggest you pick the phone during some sale or with a price cut.