Oppo F1: A surprise package

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Oppo F1Oppo F1
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Oppo phones, such as the R7, have always offered good specifications for a low price. The newest instalment, the F1, is being advertised as a “selfie expert” and houses decent hardware under the hood.

The phone has a metal back and a curved-edge front and many might mistake it for an iPhone 6s. The F1 is slimmer than its counterparts in the mid-segment range and also pretty lightweight. Though Oppo was going for the premium look, smartphone enthusiasts will notice the F1 uses plastic instead of glass for its edges and sides. Basically, at Rs 15,990, you can get your hands on a mid-segment smartphone which resembles an iPhone.

The phone has soft touch buttons below the screen, a rarity these days. These buttons are not backlit, which further adds to the non-premium look. Also, one can’t switch to on-screen buttons like in the Moto G. The F1 has a 5-inch 720p screen which is quite decent and also nothing new. But given its price tag, people would rather spend a couple of thousand rupees extra and go in for a 1,080p display instead.

The F1 houses a Snapdragon 616 processor and has 3GB of RAM, which is quite sufficient even for a heavy user. RAM-management is pretty effective and even though I installed various apps, the phone’s performance satisfied me especially when I tried to have them all open at the same time. It runs Oppo’s Color OS, which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop.

The show-stealer is the eight- megapixel (MP) front camera, however. It has maybe raised the bar for front cameras. It has a wide f/2.0 aperture lens and a sensor size of ¼ inches, which allows more light to enter, resulting in clear selfies even in low light conditions. The selfies are clear and intricate. Of course, that’s bad news for people who want to hide their blemishes. But you win some and lose some.

The best thing about the output selfies is that they’re pretty lifelike, which surprises you given the price tag. On the other hand, the 13MP rear camera falls short because of the lag one can experience while switching to certain modes such as the HDR.

However, the output pictures are clear and have sharp colours. Low-light photography might give you some trouble; the pictures I took were a bit grainy. But then again, you can’t have it all.

At Rs 15,990, the Oppo F1 brings together a great front camera, good hardware and almost-premium looking design to deliver a smartphone, which is sure to attract many.


Processor: Snapdragon 616
OS: Android 5.1
Camera: 8MP (front); 13MP (rear)