Ever since Oppo entered the Indian smartphone market back in 2014, one thing has always been its key focus area - the cameras on its phones. And continuing with mission to offer a great camera experience on Oppo phones across price segments, Oppo has introduced its new F series, which has photography at the central focus. And the first phone in the series is the Oppo F1, which carries a price tag of Rs 15,990 (The company says it will launch the F1 Plus, which is a higher-specced variant of the F1 Plus, in April at a price of Rs 26,990). We got to play with the Oppo F1 at its India launch event in Mumbai, and here are our first impressions of the phone based on the brief period spent with it.
Encased in a metal body with elements neatly groomed, the phone offers a premium finish - but only from the back. The phone, from the front, doesn’t look as great as its rear. While the F1 offers a 5-inch display, the screen-to-body ratio is around 67 per cent, which, however, more or less is in line with the current standard, but appears to be a little less on a phone with a white-coloured bezel.
While the front of the phone may not be be as good-looking as the rear, the phone, as a whole, offers a good build quality. Not only it features a slim profile, the phone also has a light weight, which adds to the comfortable handling.
Talking about the screen quality, the HD display on the Oppo F1 produces good colours and offers great viewing angles. With Corning Gorilla Glass 4 atop, which is said to be two times tougher than its predecessor, the phone is claimed to be more protected from scratches.
Coming to its cameras, a feature the phone heavily banks on and the company has been bragging about, the Oppo F1 houses an 8 megapixel front facing camera with a f/2.0 aperture lens. Infused with a wide aperture, the front shooter on the phone generated bright photos, but they didn't have as much details as we had expected. Even the 13 megapixel camera at the rear couldn’t woo us in terms of details in the images captured.
As a demo zone is generally set up indoor and is devoid of good light, we usually give the camera performance on phones a benefit of the doubt in our first impressions. But the one at the Oppo F1 launch was properly lit up, and therefore, we were disappointed even more with the results produced by its front and rear cameras. As we are yet to test the camera on the F1 in different lighting conditions, we are holding the verdict on the same for our detailed review.
While its camera may not be rich in generating details, it is, indeed, affluent in terms of features. Some of the interesting features include Screen flash, which converts the F1's entire display into a camera flash for low-light photography; the RAW function to store the RAW format to maximise the possibilities in post-processing images, Double Exposure which lets you shoot twice and automatically overlay one picture over the other to create unique visual effects. While how well these features fare in making the most of the F1’s cameras is yet to be tested.
Given that the phone is touted as “selfie expert” and the first in the photographic-centric F series, we expected a little more from its camera than the ones on other mid-range phones.
The phone has a speaker at the bottom of the rear, which turned out to be a letdown. Neither it was loud nor impressive in audio quality.
Under the F1’s hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor paired with 3 GB of RAM. The phone offers an internal storage space of 16 GB with support for microSD card of up to 128 GB. The phone also support for OTG.
Going by the price tag, the phone will compete with the Moto X Play, which costs a couple of thousands more and is a great package as a whole. But if we go by specifications and design, the Le 1s, which will go on sale from February 2, could give the Oppo F1 a tough fight. The Le 1s is one of the two LeEco phones launched recently in India, and comes with a metal body, 32 GB of internal storage, fingerprint sensor, and a much lower price tag of Rs 10,999.