Oppo F1: Not Just For a Selfie

 
Oppo F1

Oppo F1

Natasha Desai tries out the first from Oppo’s F series aimed at photographers, the Oppo F1.

For Oppo’s newly launched F series of phones, their aim is to concentrate on photography. And to kickstart this new approach, they launched the Oppo F1, which is pegged as the ‘Selfie Expert’. We put it on our test bench to fi nd out how much of an expert this phone really is.

Colours looked bright and punchy on the screen but when viewed on a computer screen, they felt a little fl at and required enhancing on a photo editing app. Photograph/Natasha Desai

Colours looked bright and punchy on the screen but when viewed on a computer screen, they felt a little fl at and required enhancing on a photo editing app. Photograph/Natasha Desai

What Does This Flagship Offer?
At Rs.15,990, the phone looks and feels quite premium. It comes with a 1/4-inch sensor and a 13MP f/2.2 rear camera. What makes this phone supposedly the ‘Selfi e Expert’ is the 8MP f/2 front camera, a screen fl ash for illumination and hand gestures you can use to shoot with the front camera. Unfortunately, we find that there is nothing new that the front camera brings. There are various Android apps that give you a screen flash as well as customisable gestures for selfies. As far as image quality goes, selfies are clear and sharp and even handles backlighting well for its price segment.

The F1 runs on the new, faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 Octa-core and is one of the few phones to have it right now. It offers RAW shooting, where a good amount of details are preserved in the highlights and shadows. The JPEG engine performs well, but, there is some amount of purple fringing present and low light performance is average. Autofocus is sluggish, especially in low light.

I used the Double Exposure mode to make the image above. The Oppo cameras usually have a range of shooting modes available like the Macro Mode, Panorama, GIF Creator, Ultra HD, Filters, Slow Shutter, Expert Mode. I like the fact that Oppo’s camera menu offers options to customise it and keep only the most frequently used modes. Photograph/Natasha Desai

I used the Double Exposure mode to make the image above. The Oppo cameras usually have a range of shooting modes available like the Macro Mode, Panorama, GIF Creator, Ultra HD, Filters, Slow Shutter, Expert Mode. I like the fact that Oppo’s camera menu offers options to customise it and keep only the most frequently used modes. Photograph/Natasha Desai

Is There More to Come?
At Rs. 15,990, the Oppo fares okay for its segment. The RAW shooting is a welcome addition, considering competitors like the OnePlus X and Asus Zenfone Selfie do not offer it. But, for me, bringing out a ‘Selfie Expert’ as surrounding photography seems a little weird. Oppo for me, set the bar high with the swivelling 13MP camera in the N1 and I’m hoping to be blown away again, especially with a series of photography centric phones.

In conclusion, as a phone for the average consumer, the F1 is a good buy. As is it for the cellphone photographer looking for decent image quality and RAW capability at a mid-range budget.

AT A GLANCE
SPECIFICATIONS 13MP rear camera, 1/4-inch sensor, 8MP front camera, 5-inch screen, 16GB built-in memory exapnadable to 128 GB, Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 Octacore processor, 4GB RAM, Rs. 15,990.
WHAT WE LIKE RAW image cpapbility, decent front camera image quality, metal body.
WHAT WE DISLIKE No front facing flash, Single LED rear flash.
WHY BUY IT For the price its at, it comes with RAW capabilities and a faster processor.
FINAL RATINGS 80%
CAMERA FEATURES 13MP, 8MP front camera, RAW capability  22/25 
IMAGE QUALITY  Decent image quality  23/30
VIDEO QUALITY Full HD 1080p  12/15
HANDLING  Solid feel, easy one hand shooting, several customisable buttons.  12/15
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Sluggish AF, fast phone otherwise  11/15
Tags: april 2016, better photography, Cellphone Review, natasha desai, Oppo F Series, Oppo F1