OPPO F1s: Now Everyone Can Be A Selfie Expert
Following in the footsteps of the F1 and F1 Plus, OPPO have released the F1s, effectively completing their trifecta of photography-centric F-series phones. While it doesn’t manage to create a vast difference when compared to its two siblings, the F1s does have its own pros and cons which we will be highlighting in this review.
OPPO is a Chinese electronics manufacturer that is quickly shooting up the ranks as one of the best phone brands in the world. Being the parent company of the internationally recognized OnePlus brand, OPPO is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
In its neat little package, the OPPO F1s comes with a transparent soft silicon case for the phone as well as a pair of ear buds, USB cable and the charger. Although you would be hard-pressed to find this phone on American or European markets, it seems OPPO knows where the phone would be most appreciated and have focused their promotion in those regions.
Now let’s get back to the phone. I have been using this phone for longer than I usually take to review phones. And it’s simply because I’m having fun using it and keeping it around me. OPPO has put quite a lot of effort in making the phone pleasant to hold and the slightly curved edges of its metal frame look plain gorgeous. There are no great innovations in the design or over-the-top features to push the envelope, just a well-crafted body and finish. Towards the bottom of the phone, we have a home button that doubles as a lightning fast finger-print scanner. Further along, we have a bravely placed 3.5mm audio jack, the primary microphone, a microUSB port and the speaker grill placed on the bottom edge of the device.
The OPPO F1s, surprisingly enough, is factory fitted with a screen protector. This might turn off some users, who will immediately peel it off. But I’m sure quite a few would welcome it as one less hassle to deal with. The display it safeguards is a 5.5-inch 720p LCD, one of the main cutbacks from their F1 Plus model in order to reduce the price.
Performance and Features
The OPPO F1s equips MediaTek’s entry-level MT6750 octa-core SoC with an eight ARM core A53 processor running at 1.5GHz. The Mali-T860 GPU takes care of most graphical requirements and was able to run most games smoothly. The phone also comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage space, which are quite decent compared to similarly priced devices. Of course, you can beef up the storage with a microSD card up to 256 GB.
One of the biggest disappointments of the phone is its prehistoric operating system. Can manufacturers please stop using Android Lollipop? I understand that you’ve spent all his time in RnD trying to come up with your own special version of Android (I’m looking at ColorOS), but that is not a valid excuse to shove 19-month old software into a phone you’re trying to sell today, particularly at the mid-range. People have started to care about what goes into their phones more and more each day, from megapixels to CPU cores to operating system. For OPPO to remain competitive, they need to up their Android game or be delegated to the stone age of mobile software.
That said, ColorOS 3.0 may pack in fancy features for their camera, finger-print locking and app management system, but it falls short of actually being impressive. From a cursory glance, it looks kind of like a version of Android that was bullied by its iOS colleagues. The UI is smooth with no signs of frame drops and there are multiple customizations options offered. However, there seems to be an awful lot of space reserved for the software built into the phone and there doesn’t seem to be any bloatware apps to take up that space. Sure, you do have the option to use a microSD and upgrade the storage space. But when your OS takes up almost 5 GB of space, then the term ‘option’ slowly loses its meaning.
Ah yes, the part we’ve all been waiting for. What is the point of a camera phone if we don’t get to talk about the camera? Let’s begin with the main attraction, which is the 16-megapixel front facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture. With this in your arsenal, you’ll pretty much be ruling the Instagram playground with your high-quality selfies. Bundled with the hardware, we have the Beautify 4.0 software that quickly squashes any prominent blemishes. It is optional of course and you can turn it off in order to proudly declare “#nofilter”.
The bright display puts screen flash to good use when taking selfies in low-light situations, although a regular camera flash might have been just as useful. I mean, if you’re selling a phone with “selfies” as one of the main points, it would be nice to have a flash on the front too. Video recording goes up to 1080p and you even have multiple shooting modes with filters or gif-saving capabilities.
Not to be outclassed to heavily, the rear camera (or the main camera as some would want to believe) packs in a 13-megapixel camera with similar features. It allows you to fiddle with many of the settings like ISO, exposure and white balance while also letting you save in RAW format. I found the image quality to be quite good for taking macro shots in good lighting and even the darker shots were nothing to sneeze at. All in all, if the camera is something you truly are interested in, then the OPPO F1s delivers by all accounts.
Hardware and Battery
One of my favorite features of the OPPO F1s is its 3,075mAh battery which can easily last a full day’s usage. I managed to get almost 10 hours of continuous video playback on a bus ride, which was surprising considering other phones at this price range are simply unable to last that long.
Another major selling point of the device is its dual-SIM capabilities compatible with nano SIM cards that don’t get in the way of your microSD slot. All three of them are neatly contained in one try for easy access. One thing to note is that you don’t get NFC in the device, which is a disadvantage with upcoming contactless payment solutions becoming more popular. All the regular connectivity features like FM radio, Bluetooth 4.1, Cat. 6 LTE and Wi-Fi a/b/g/n cover all the usual bases.
Never mind the fact that people keep mistaking it for an iPhone, as that might even be a selling point. By focusing on the budget smartphone segment of the market using the popularity of the F1 brand, OPPO is taking a step in the right direction but with wobbling feet.
The major features touted by the F1s deliver on their promise and while it does have a few good things going for it, there are still some areas I feel could be improved. That said, you’re getting a lot of great hardware for a competitive price and for the OPPO F1s, that’s more than enough. The lowest price you can find the OPPO F1s for is AED 1,058 in Souq.