Good news! These days it really is possible to get excellent smartphones with equally excellent specs without having to sell off your liver or your eyeballs. And no it definitely is not because Santa has lately been handing out phones like candy as a reward to you and all other presumably well-behaved people. Praise and admiration is rather due to the never-say-die spirit of the small, little known, largely unappreciated but still hard-working and innovative electronics manufacturers in mostly third and second world countries. And yea we all know them, so really no need to list names and take attendance.
Forced to compete with the ruthless big boys in the smartphone and consumer electronics segment who are armed with billion dollar advertising budgets and celebrity/athletic superstars endorsements aplenty, the relatively small-time fellas pulled a magnificent counter-attack that played to their own strengths. Now, instead of battering their heads against an unyielding wall, the strategy seems to be to produce cheap, durable smartphones that pack top end features but retail at bottom end prices. And discerning consumers are now beginning to see the advantages of their argument by buying up their products in massive quantities. With reports floating around of a million plus units of some particular brands being sold off in 24 hours or less, which is definitely not something to be scoffed at.
Scenting the delish opportunity and seizing the moment, Oppo has been getting in on the act with their F1 series. With this latest release, it aims to please, flatter and swagger, with particular attention being paid to the needs of the selfie-obsessed crowd, courtesy of this particular device’s humongous front camera.
But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Kindly check out our Oppo F1s review to discover if it’s a marvelous opportunity you shouldn’t resist.
Design and Build Quality
The Oppo F1s is a very well-built device, with great attention being paid to overall build quality and finishing. Weight is light, while the look is fab and sleek. It additionally comes with a free silicon case that adds even more drop/shock resistance, while also making the device sit better in hand for a more comfortable and secure grip. The body is metallic, with the sides of plastic but textured to mimic metal for more premium finishing.
A headphone jack sits at the bottom, rather than the normal top placement. As to be expected this considerably interferes with device usability when a headphone is attached, and the rationale for its placement here is unknown. Keeping the ill-positioned 3.5mm jack company is a micro-USB for device charging up and data transfer, along with a mono speaker. Doubling as the home button is a mightily fast and effective fingerprint scanner flanked by dual capacitive buttons.At the top end lies the selfie camera, along with a notification LED. Turn the device over, and you get the main camera eying you, along with a LED flash.
A SIM tray is on the right, with a capacity for two nano SIM’s, along with a dedicated SD card slot with a maximum capacity of 128 GB. Weight is a reasonably light 165 grams, with a thickness of 7.3 mm. Overall dimensions are: 154.5 x 76 x 7.38 mm.
In the big and colorful box you get: the Oppo F1s, a 10W power adapter, SIM ejecting tool, USB cable, silicon case, headset and user manual.
No QHD AMOLED this, not for the price you are selling out anyway. Rather, the display is a 1280 x 720 resolution IPS LCD Gorilla Glass 4 armored screen, with a PPI of 267. While less impressive than some, don’t let the low resolution fool or disappoint you as it is really very bright and very good for the purpose. Movies are great to watch on such a big screen, with punchy, vivid and accurate color reproduction. While at maximum brightness it proved very usable even in direct sunlight with no shade available.
The device additionally comes with a blue light filter for the insomniac and health freak, reputed to protect your eyes and make it easier to fall asleep at night.
The Oppo F1s is definitely a camera-centric device. And no the focus is not on other people, but rather on your fantabulous self, as you presumably deserve to take self-portraits and videos that make you look 100% awesome anywhere, anytime, anyplace. As such, the camera placement is reversed with the front sensor being a 16 MP shooter with a f/2.0 aperture and sporting a Beautify 4.0 mode that makes you mega-model perfect. Frontal camera capability is excellent, even in low-lit conditions. But not in the Samsung S7 league though. Additionally, pictures can be taken via predetermined voice commands or gestures.
At the back is the 13 MP camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus and a f/2.2 aperture, which is inferior to its more capable big bros at the front. But it still performs more than adequately. Low light performance for it though is poor.
Both camera sensors sport the ability to shoot 1080p videos. But for these you even a rock-steady hand might not be of much help as there is no optical image stabilization.
Performance and Connectivity
The Oppo F1s is no slouch and packs reasonable specs for the money. Just don’t expect the latest processors and face-melting graphical power. Under the hood crouches an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 that jogs at 1.5 GHZ. This is aided by a Mali T-860 MP2 GPU, along with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 128 GB via SD card on demand.
OS is the rather dated Android 5.1, but with a pleasantly useful Color OS 3 makeup artfully applied. This provides additional levels of functionality over the stock Android experience. Connectivity options include: dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG, FM radio, GPS, 4G LTE, and last but not least VoLTE.
Overall performance is excellent. Controls are responsive, fluid and effortless, while multitasking is seamless and effective. Load it up with graphics and memory-hogging games and apps and it is apt to stutter at first. Then it will heroically pick up the workload and run with it. The fingerprint scanner too is light-fast and capable, and one of the fastest we have yet tested. Oppo says it unlocks the F1s in 0.22 seconds and we have no problem believing them.
Audio from the speakers is loud and distinct, while call quality during calls was great. But, for best audio effect use the provided headset.
The battery is a beast, a 3075 mAh beast that is non-user-replaceable and good enough for near two days of medium use. Which is really surprising at this price point and with such big screen real estate. Still, fast charging doesn’t come supported, so better expect to spend endless hours charging up your device.
The Oppo F1s is one of the better speced, cheaper priced, premium-looking smartphones out there. If you are not much of a brand name snob, can forgive the average resolution screen and dated OS, then, welcome to Oppo Eden.