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