Oppo R1

HWM (Singapore) - - Test - by Sid­ney Wong

For the most part, the R1 is un­de­ni­ably sim­i­lar to the Sony Xpe­ria Z se­ries of de­vices with its an­gu­lar stature and rear glass panel al­though both phone mak­ers dif­fer on the type of glass used. The 0.55mm Corn­ing Go­rilla Glass 3 on the R1 is pol­ished with 42 pro­ce­dures into a gleam­ing fin­ish while Sony uses tem­pered glass with a layer of anti-shat­ter film for their Xpe­ria phones. As ex­pected with any glass sur­face, the rear of the R1 is cov­ered in a huge mess of fin­ger­prints and smudges within min­utes of han­dling it.

While Sony’s OmiBalance de­sign uti­lizes a skele­ton frame made of tough glass fiber polyamide, Oppo de­ploys an alu­minum-mag­ne­sium al­loy frame on the R1 that is more solid and has a pre­mium look. Over­all, the han­dling of the R1 is good as it is rather slim at 7.1mm and weighs 141g. In com­par­i­son, the Mo­torola Moto G weighs 143g and has a side pro­file of 6.0 ~ 11.6mm. The 158g Xiaomi Redmi is also thicker at 9.9mm.

The 5-inch 720p dis­play is pretty stan­dard for a midrange phone. Its res­o­lu­tion is plenty dense enough for most us­age sce­nar­ios such as web brows­ing, watch­ing videos and view­ing pho­tos. The bezels are nei­ther too thick nor too thin, so you can rest your fin­ger at the side with­out in­ter­fer­ing with the nav­i­ga­tion.

Sim­i­lar to Xiaomi’s MIUI OS, Oppo took the time and ef­fort to de­velop an en­tirely dif­fer­ent in­ter­face. For the R1, the ColorOS V1.0.0i is based on An­droid 4.2. Its

more re­cent de­vices, the Find 7 Se­ries, are pow­ered by ColorOS V1.2.0i which is based on An­droid 4.3.

When queried on whether there are plans to stan­dard­ize all Oppo phones to the same ColorOS ver­sions, a com­pany spokesper­son told us that each ColorOS ver­sion is cus­tom­ized specif­i­cally to ei­ther en­hance the user ex­pe­ri­ence or rec­tify is­sues for dif­fer­ent de­vices. Hence, there are no plans to stan­dard­ize all ver­sions across all de­vices.

One of the key fea­tures of ColorOS is its use of ges­tures on the lock screen and home screen as short­cuts to open apps or carry out cer­tain func­tions.

To start things off, there are screen-off ges­tures that can be ex­e­cuted on the lock screen to jump straight into apps. By de­fault, you can ac­cess the Cam­era app by draw­ing a cir­cle. You can set other screen-off ges­tures of your own; you can draw an up­ward ar­row to call home or swipe left to ac­cess Face­book.

The ges­ture nav­i­ga­tion is ex­tended to the home screen where you can swipe down from the top left cor­ner of the screen. Known as the Ges­ture Panel, you can cus­tom­ize your own ges­tures to activate apps. Our fa­vorites in­clude ac­cess­ing What­sApp and In­sta­gram by draw­ing “W” and “I” re­spec­tively. As the Ges­ture Panel can be ac­cessed from any home screen or app, it helps users jump be­tween apps ef­fort­lessly with­out hav­ing to press the Home but­ton and look for a par­tic­u­lar app.

ColorOS takes up about 5GB of stor­age space on the R1, which leaves about 10.28GB of avail­able space for apps and other data. As the R1 lacks a mem­ory card slot, power users may find the 10GB stor­age space too lit­tle for their needs.

Pow­ered by a Me­di­aTek MT6582 quad-core 1.3GHz pro­ces­sor and 1GB RAM, the R1 de­liv­ered a snappy user ex­pe­ri­ence in its daily oper­a­tion. Web brows­ing was smooth with no stut­ters. Its 8-megapixel rear shooter de­liv­ered aver­age im­age qual­ity as we spotted im­age ar­ti­facts in the darker ar­eas.

In our bat­tery test, the R1 lasted slightly over 5 hours which is be­low aver­age. De­spite hav­ing a slightly larger bat­tery and the same dis­play size/res­o­lu­tion, the R1 ran out of juice faster than the ASUS Zen­Fone 5. Un­der nor­mal us­age con­di­tions, we man­aged to get the R1 to last close to a day.

Re­tail­ing at $519 how­ever, the R1 finds it­self in a very com­pet­i­tive mar­ket seg­ment where its ri­vals can deliver more at lower prices. Other than ColorOS en­hance­ments, there is not much else go­ing for the R1.

The Go­rilla Glass 3 panel on the rear pro­tects against min­i­mal scratches, but stands no chance against fin­ger­prints and smudges.

You can turn on or off the back­light for the nav­i­ga­tion but­tons on the Oppo R1.

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