--By Sanjeev Sharma
Cameras have become central in any smartphone these days. As the photography frenzy, especially the ‘selfie’ craze, has gripped the users, the more powerful the imaging system of devices, the more chances for smartphone brands to get recognition. This is what the Chinese handset maker Oppo is experiencing at present. In a relatively short span of time, Oppo has strongly established its footholds in the global gadget market. The innovation-driven smartphone brand after the successful Find and ‘R’ series smartphones has come up with the ‘Selfie Expert’ phones that have become a big hit in the Nepali market.
The F1s of the series can be termed as a true camera phone. Unusual from other handsets in the market, it has higher capability front facing camera. The reversal came as a 16MP front snapper and 13MP rear camera in the smartphone. The front camera is one of the most impressive selfie cameras we have seen. Selfies are sharp and detailed and the colour saturation is outstanding. The camera easily managed to snap remarkable shots even in low light environments. The smartphone’s camera app has a number of features including the Beautify 4.0 which is just praiseworthy. Using this mode, users can enhance their skin tone while taking selfies. The camera app hosts an array of filters and plug-ins allowing users to capture innovative and shareable pictures. The wide-angle selfie feature is another noteworthy feature enabling users to take wide angle selfies by simply rotating the phone from side to side. Meanwhile, the 13MP back camera is also descent capturing photos with good amount of colour depths and sharpness.
F1s is near flawless design-wise. The metal-clad slim bezel smartphone is enclosed in subtle curves that give it a premium look and feel. Nevertheless, the phone feels somewhat disappointing when it comes to the display. It comes with a 5.5 inch IPS HD display with just 267 ppi pixel density which is lackluster compared to smartphones of other brands in the same price segment. Oppo should have put a full-HD display with higher ppi pixel density to substantiate the phone’s potential. Due to the lower resolution, the sunlight legibility of the handset is not that exciting. We can hope that Oppo will overcome this shortcoming in the upcoming editions. Nonetheless, users need not to worry about the phone’s screen as it is well protected by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 covering.
Powered by 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT 6750 octa-core processor, the 160 grams F1s comes with 3GB RAM and Mali-T860MP2 GPU. Given these specifications, the phone runs pretty smooth and is able to do an array of computing tasks including multitasking with an ease. We tried some power hungry games such as Modern Combat 5: Blackout and found that the game runs without any hitch even in high graphics. Some heat dissipation issues were felt though which are common while playing such types of games in mid-range phones.
The fingerprint sensor is another impressive hardware of the phone. Fingerprint recognition is fast and unlocks the screen instantly. The activation speed, according to Oppo, is 0.22 second which the company claims to be the fastest fingerprint activation speed in world.
F1s run on Android 5.1 based Colours OS UI which is in fact Oppo’s proprietary operating system. Like UI’s developed by other Chinese handset brands, app drawer is also absent in this operating system.
Space won’t be an issue for many as the phone comes with an ample 32GB on-board storage which is expandable up to 256GB via a dedicated microSD card slot. It houses all modern day connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0, A-GPS, microUSB 2.0, USB Host and sensors including fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity and compass. On the battery front, the phone’s Li-Po 3,075 mAh battery provides pretty descent power backup. Oppo F1s carry a price tag of Rs 33, 890 in the Nepali market.
(The print version of this review has some errors which were published inadvertently. The errors are regretted. - Editor)