Fo­cused on self­ies

Oppo’s lat­est en­try is an An­droid that has been tuned for self­ies.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - By DI­NESH KU­MAR MAGANATHAN bytz@thes­tar.com.my

LET Me Take A Selfie. Re­mem­ber that 2014 elec­tronic dance mu­sic hit by the Chainsmok­ers? It’s not the most so­phis­ti­cated of songs – if you can even call it one – but it did high­light a preva­lent so­cial trend. Self­ies. And we know the rest of the story. The world went crazy with self­ies and smart­phone mak­ers have been scram­bling to pro­duce the best selfie smart­phone.

Chi­nese smart­phone maker Oppo an­nounced in Jan­uary this year that it’s work­ing on a new range that’s fo­cused on self­ies. Be­hold the Oppo F1, the first of the F se­ries of smart­phones which the com­pany has chris­tened “selfie ex­pert”.

For a mid- range de­vice, it has a sleek stylish de­sign and, most im­por­tantly, a front cam­era which prom­ises flaw­less self­ies.

Hold­ing the 5in F1 is an er­gonomic de­light – at 7.25mm thick, the de­vice eas­ily fits into one’s hands as it’s slim. Also, the curved edges al­low the smart­phone to rest eas­ily on the palm, giv­ing a bet­ter grip.

An­other good move in the de­sign depart­ment is the place­ment of the power but­ton – it’s within easy reach of the thumb.

The 5in screen is sharp and clear but, sadly, it’s only 720p. We feel only a 1080p res­o­lu­tion can do jus­tice for a screen of this size.

Also, the ca­pac­i­tive but­tons below the screen are not back­lit prob­a­bly to save cost. It’s not a deal breaker as you prob­a­bly don’t have to look to know what the but­tons do but it just feels odd not to have it.

Sharp shooter

The F1 has an 8- megapixel front cam­era which is great for a mid- range model, as even flag­ship smart­phones usu­ally fea­ture a 5- megapixel cam­era.

The higher res­o­lu­tion cer­tainly helped as the phone de­liv­ered sharp and crisp self­ies with good colour ac­cu­racy.

Also, as the f/ 2.0 aper­ture al­lows more light to en­ter the front cam­era, you’ll get a bet­ter pic­ture whether you’re in a dark al­ley or en­joy­ing a ro­man­tic din­ner in a dimly lit restau­rant.

Not only that, you can turn on the Screen Flash fea­ture – as the name sug­gests, the F1 will use the screen as the flash, with the bright­ness ad­justed and en­hanced for nat­u­ral- look­ing shots.

We tested it in a pitch- black room and were able to cap­ture a well- lit selfie. But then again, why would you want to take a selfie in a com­pletely dark room? Un­less, of course, you’re hunt­ing ghosts in an aban­doned build­ing.

The F1 also comes with an im­proved selfie mode called Beau­tify 3.0. It has thre modes to brighten skin and re­move blem­ishes – even fa­cial stubs were gone when we tested it.

The rear cam­era on the F1 is 13- megapixel with an aper­ture of f/ 2.2. The cam­era also pro­duced clear and sharp im­ages, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that it’s a mid- range smart­phone.

It also comes with sev­eral use­ful func­tions such as slow shut­ter, HDR, an­i­mated GIF and even au­dio photo which al­lows you to record and at­tach a short voice clip to the photo.

How­ever, when it comes to video record­ing, the F1 didn’t pass with fly­ing colours. Al­though the videos were sharp and vi­brant, they turned slightly blurry when the phone was panned.

pow­ered up

The F1 is pow­ered by Qual­comm’s Snap­dragon 616 oc­ta­core pro­ces­sor and Adreno 405 graph­ics chip, and has 3GB RAM, which is more than enough fire­power for this phone to han­dle daily tasks flu­idly.

We didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence any lag when us­ing pop­u­lar ser­vices such as Twit­ter, Face­book, Spo­tify and YouTube.

The phone comes with 16GB of stor­age but sadly only 7GB is avail­able as the rest is taken up by the op­er­at­ing sys­tem and apps. Luck­ily, the Oppo has a mi­croSD card which will al­low you to add as much as 128GB of space.

The F1 is a dual SIM phone so it can han­dle two phone lines at the same time which is great, es­pe­cially if you use a sep­a­rate line for work.

The phone is pow­ered by a non- re­mov­able 2,500mAh bat­tery – it lasted for nearly a day when used mainly for so­cial me­dia and watch­ing videos on YouTube.

How­ever, Oppo seems to have left out the fast charg­ing fea­ture – the phone typ­i­cally takes nearly 2.5 hours for a full charge which feels like an eternity in this day and age.

Con­clu­sion

The Oppo F1 is a min­i­mal­is­tic but stylish smart­phone with a metal body that gives it a pre­mium feel even though it’s just a midrange phone.

The stand­out fea­ture of the F1 is un­doubt­edly its su­pe­rior front cam­era – you can say good­bye to grainy and poor self­ies thanks to the 8- megapixel sen­sor.

The phone pretty much has ev­ery­thing you would ex­pect from a mid- range model ex­cept a full HD screen and fast charg­ing fea­ture.

If that doesn’t bother you then the F1 is def­i­nitely worth a look.

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