Oppo R15 Pro
THERE’S MUCH TO LIKE, BUT A DISAPPOINTING CAMERA LETS THE SIDE DOWN
Oppo has been producing very-high quality phones at very-reasonable prices for some years now and they’ve understandably become incredibly popular. But competition in this space has become increasingly erce and Oppo is no longer the underdog. The R15 Pro might be half the price of rival agships, but does it represent good value in the sub-$800 space?
It certainly looks like a top-end agship phone thanks to the notched front screen and the classy ceramic back. It’s available with an understated black/purple colour or an in-your-face red and Oppo thoughtfully includes a clear, silicon case to protect and preserve its looks.
The notch in the tough, Gorilla Glass 5 screen, makes room for the 20-megapixel sel e camera plus a face-unlock sensor. It’s AMOLED in nature and accordingly offers bright and vibrant colours. It has a whopping 6.3-inch diagonal but it doesn’t feel oversized due to the very-thin bezel. It’s Ultra HD with a 1,080 x 2,280 resolution which gives it an unusual, elongated 19:9 screen ratio that we found quite useful as it provides dedicated space for the navigation keys at the bottom of the screen.
While the 2.2GHz SnapDragon CPU is Qualcomm’s second-tier processor, there’s no noticeable lag when using the phone. Having a healthy 6GB RAM helps here. The Adreno 512 GPU handles every 3D game on the market with aplomb. Other features include a ngerprint sensor at the back and this, as with previous Oppos, works unfeasibly fast. The phone is IP67 certi ed which means it can withstand one metre of water immersion for 30 minutes which is impressive in a phone this price. We tested it in a steam room and it generally operated well despite being completely wet although too much water will always make the screen unusable. We’re a bit disappointed at the lack of a USB-C connection though as the rest of the Android and computer market is well on the way to full adoption. Elsewhere, the speaker gets surprisingly loud and punchy and we were happy to see that a proper headphone jack is included.
Oppo is making much noise about its A.I-enhanced camera, saying that it’s better at autodetecting scenes than ever before, but frankly we were disappointed. Firstly, the camera app is so automated that you can only tinker with a few settings like shutter delay and HDR without moving into Expert mode: you can’t manually select different scenes. Selecting different shooting modes by rotating a virtual dial could be tortuous and put us off using it. The two rear cameras aren’t paired to enhance single shots with features like Bokeh, aperture effects. Instead, one offers a 2x optical zoom and panning in and out is simple with an on-screen button. However, our main issue is that almost every exterior shot we took was over-exposed with washed-out colours and, despite the high resolution, images weren’t as sharp as we expect. Whether it was
at light or bright, Aussie sunshine, highlights were regularly blown out and colours were at. The results were very disappointing. Indoors, the camera made a decent st at capturing wriggling kids in low light but the images get very soft quickly. The sel e camera is much better, but the A.I. enhancements seemed determined to airbrush us into oblivion and we turned them off. Nonetheless, we liked the high, 20-megapixel resolution and the social mediastyle lters available.
Video was acceptable although stability is an issue when shooting in 4K. While Full HD is smoother, it’s not very sharp. Captured audio was better in quiet indoors environments as background noise had a habit of obscuring conversations too easily.
There’s certainly much to like about the Oppo R15 Pro and some of its top-end features, like face recognition, rival and beat moreexpensive agships. However, the main camera is a real, mediocre let-down. While $779 can feel cheap in the agship phone market, you’ll nd better overall value and performance elsewhere.
6.3in, 1080 x 2280 AMOLED screen • 128GB/6GB RAM • 2.2GHz Octa-core Snapdragon 660 CPU • Adreno 512 GPU
• 16MP/20MP rear cameras, 20MP front camera• microSD (dual SIM slot)• micro USB
• IP67 dust/waterproof• headphone jack • Android 8.1 • 3,430mAh battery • 157 x 75 x 8mm • 180g
$779 • www.oppo.com/au
The Oppo R15 Pro’s screen covers almost all of the front area