Sunday, July 17, 2016

OPPO F1 Plus Review; Bigger and Better Selfie Expert

OPPO F1 Plus Review; Bigger and Better Selfie Expert
OPPO F1 Plus Review; Bigger and Better Selfie Expert


OPPO officially entered in the Philippines more than two years ago, and from that point on, they grew bigger and has one of the strongest presence in the local retail. For this review, we will look into their latest top of the line offering, the OPPO F1 Plus, dubbed as the bigger and better selfie expert.

The OPPO F1 Plus was launched locally a few months ago, in some countries, it is known as the OPPO R9, in fact some benchmark apps identify it as such. Whatever you want to call it, there is no doubt that it is one of their top performing devices in terms of sales volume, a staggering 7 million units shipped globally.


OPPO F1 Plus Front

When I first met it, I immediately knew that its physical appearance looks similar to that of an iPhone 6/6s Plus, especially the back part, save for the placement of the main camera and its LED flash. Don't get me wrong here, it is just that both devices are sleek, has curvy metallic body and has almost the same placement of antenna bands. Speaking of being sleek, its dimensions are more compact in every aspect comparing to that of the iPhone, 151.8mm x 74.3mm x 6.6mm versus 158.1mm x 77.8mm x 7.1mm, and considerably lighter at 145 grams versus 171 grams.

OPPO F1 Plus Back

The front is covered by a full slab of 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 with additional pre-applied plastic film. The screen measures 5.5-inch diagonally and stretches almost edge to edge, giving it a narrow bezel of just 1.66mm. Above the screen are four hardware placement, namely the LED notification, the hidden sensors, earpiece grill and the 16MP front camera, while below the display is an oblong-shape home button flank with capacitive keys.

OPPO F1 Plus Home Button/Fingerprint Scanner
Home Button/Fingerprint Scanner

The home button doubles as the fingerprint scanner, it is one of the fastest, if the not fastest I have seen so far. Of course, like any other scanner, if your finger is wet or dirty, the accuracy becomes lesser. It instantly brings you to the last screen you are looking at upon placing your finger in it, which makes me wonder when exactly it scans your print, process it and unlocks the phone. However, it order for the scan to be activated, the screen must be on, which means you either need to press the power or home button first. Moreover, beside from unlocking your device, it can also secure your apps and files. One thing I want to have it though, is the ability to launch other apps using different fingers.

OPPO F1 Plus Unboxing and Hands-on Video

Moving to the sides, the volume keys are on the left, the top has the secondary microphone, the right holds the power button and the dual nano SIM tray (one slot can also accommodate a micro SD card for memory expansion), and the bottom as the busiest part having the loudspeaker grill, the OTG-capable micro USB port, primary microphone and the 3.5mm audio jack.

Overall, the phone's aesthetics are really nice and impressive at the same time, not to mention the build quality is also superb and feels great to touch too.

OPPO F1 Plus Display Info

Going back to the display, it ditched the usual LCD and opted to use AMOLED instead, with 1080p resolution giving it a pixel density of 401 PPI. Having an AMOLED panel means that colors are more saturated compared to an LCD counterpart, which some people may love or hate. Although in my case I like the former, I still hope that they add the ability to customize color balance and temperature as most phones do. Nonetheless, its bright, sunlight legibility is good, and everything looks fairly sharp, crisp and vibrant.


OPPO F1 Plus Software1
OPPO F1 Plus Software

It is our first time ever to review an OPPO device, but it is quite simple and easy to navigate just like any other Android phone out there. Although there are some things that are not polished or requires additional steps, for one, the file manager (Files) does not have the tap and hold function, therefore if you want to perform an action on a file, such as deleting it, you need to click edit, select the file then press delete. The same holds true on the messaging app, still no tap and hold, then I remembered, it is something similar to iOS, which made me finally realize it is indeed an Apple-inspired inside and out.

The Color OS 3.0 on top of the Android 5.1 Lollipop lacks an app drawer, everything is placed in the home screen with the option to stack icons to create folders, again something that iOS-ish. The lists of similarities grow deeper and deeper, from the icons, lock screen, notification tray, multi-tasking and even the camera interface, all inspired by iOS.

One thing highly commendable with the UI is its smoothness through and through with no noticeable dropped frames on transitions and animations. And, since it is Android, there are tons of customization options, not to mention there are plenty of skins available for download in the Play Store.


OPPO F1 Plus CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

The OPPO F1 Plus has been marketed as a selfie-centric device, but there is more to it than just the front facing camera. Its internals are more than capable of performing basic tasks and are powerful enough to run even those resources-hungry games (Riptide GP2, Dead Trigger 2, Overkill 3) and applications (AutoCad 360) without noticeable lags, thanks to the MediaTek Helio P10 chipset and the massive 4GB of RAM. For those not familiar with P10, it is composed of 8 Cortex-A53 cores clocked up to 2GHz each paired with 700MHz dual core ARM Mali-T860 GPU.

OPPO F1 Plus Sample Game - Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2

Placing the handset in our favorite synthetic benchmark applications yields the following results:

Antutu v5.6 - 47,376
Antutu v6.1 - 52,168
Quadrant - 25,121
NenaMark2 - 59.7fps
Geekbench - 821 (single core)
Geekbench - 3,271 (multi core)
PC Mark - 3,944
Vellamo Browser - 2,689
Vellamo Metal - 1,449
Vellamo Multicore - 1,981

OPPO F1 Plus Benchmarks
OPPO F1 Plus Benchmarks Scores
Benchmark Scores

The above scores are way better when compared to other smartphones that have the same CPU architecture (Cortex-A53), such as those that are using Snapdragon 615/616 and MediaTek MT6753 family, mainly because of the higher clock frequency. But, that cannot be said so to devices with higher architecture (Cortex-A72), such as MediaTek's Helio X20, and much lower when compared to premium 2016 Android phones with Snapdragon 820 SoC. In short, its innards belong to the mid-range category, which is expected given the fact that its price tag is only around half of that of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5.

Moving on, the call quality is good with both ends able to hear each other clearly. The handset is also able to decode various video codecs and play them properly without stutter up to 1080p resolution, however, it struggles a bit when it comes to playing 4K videos. As an audio companion, the output from the speaker is loud and has enough clarity, the same is true with the 3.5mm audio jack, especially when Dirac Power Sound is enabled. That said, it can be a good multimedia companion, and with its 64GB internal storage (53.94GB available to the user) plus an option to expand to an additional 128GB, you can stuff it with tons of musics, videos and similar contents.


OPPO F1 Plus Camera UI
OPPO F1 Plus Camera Interface
Camera Interface

We have said it several times already, that the Color OS is highly inspired by iOS interface, and the camera UI is no exception either. In fact, I have several friends who are seasoned iPhone users that mistakenly identify the F1 Plus as an iPhone.

Swiping the screen left to right switches between Photo and Video as well as Time Lapse, Beauty and Panorama. At the lower part of the viewfinder sits three icons, the leftmost one is for viewing items you have captured, the middle one is the shutter button, and the rightmost part allows you to change the shooting modes other than Normal. Meanwhile, at the upper portion of the screen allows users to enable/disable flash and HDR, choose how to capture an image (normal, touch or voice), as well as switching between front and back camera.

Going back to the shooting modes, these are the following:

1.Normal - the typical or usual standard
2. Ultra HD - captures an image multiple times and stitch them together to create a massive 51MP resolution image
3. Various Filters - as the name implies, allows users to add filters on an image to become worthy for social media sharing
4. Double Exposure - captures two separate images and overlay one on top of the other to create interesting effects
5. GIF - again, the name has it, create animated image and saves it as GIF format
6. Expert - allows users to have more manual control of different parameters, such as ISO, shutter speed and focus type.

Below are some of the sample shots captured by the OPPO F1 Plus.

OPPO F1 Plus Selfie Camera Sample
Bam Amor of Adobotech
OPPO F1 Plus Selfie Camera Sample1
Enzo Luna of JuanManilaExpress
OPPO F1 Plus Selfie Camera Sample2
Mark Macanas of TechPinas
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Day without HDR
Day without HDR
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Day with HDR
Day with HDR
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Without flash
Without flash
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - With flash
With flash
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Naked Island, Siargao
Naked Island, Siargao
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Cloud Nine, Siargao
Cloud Nine, Siargao
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Siargao Blue Resort
Siargao Bleu Resort
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Panorama
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Double Exposure
Double Exposure
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - GIF
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Choco Brownie Bing Su
Choco Brownie Bing Su
OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Shiro Ramen
Shiro Ramen

It is touted as a phone for selfie lovers, and on paper, it is not hard to see why, as the front camera is better than the main one, 16MP f/2.0 compared to 13MP f/2.2. In real life, the selfie camera produces impressive images, at least when viewed using the phone itself. However, blowing up the picture in full resolution on a computer tells us otherwise, the details and the colors are a bit soft. But then again, selfies are meant to be shared on social media and with the beauty mode built-in that straighten wrinkles and removes blemishes, it is definitely a great selfie-phone to have.

Meanwhile, the main camera also offers great image quality, the outputs are sharp, packed with details, colors are lively and very good dynamic range, especially in well-lit environment. In other words, the photos produced are nothing, but pretty good images, even when viewed at pixel level. OK, the images are slightly over saturated, but that's how most of us like it anyway.

Sample Video

In terms of video, it can only record up to 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, so if 4K video recording is your priority, better look somewhere else. Moreover, it also lacks OIS, so video taken on a moving vehicle, like what we did in the above sample, is a no go.


The OPPO F1 Plus is a dual SIM device that supports quad band GMS, quad band 3G, and a total of 8 LTE bands (5 for FDD and 3 for TDD). It can take two nano SIM cards, however, the second slot also doubles as the micro SD slot, which means you have to choose what works for you best, two SIM cards or larger storage, by the way, it already has 64GB internal memory.  Other connectivity options are dual band WiFi with WiFi Direct and Wireless Display, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, micro USB port that supports OTG and 3.5mm audio jack. What missing are NFC and IR blaster, wherein for us, the latter is really helpful, especially when we cannot find our TV remote.


OPPO F1 Plus Main Camera Sample - Battery Stats
Battery Stats

The handset comes with a non-removable 2850mAh battery, it may sound small, but it performs well in PC Mark Battery Test with an impressive score of 11 hours and 37 minutes, that is more than 2 hours more compared to other brands with 3000mAh battery. It also garnered 7 hours and 21 minutes run time, and 4411 score in Geekbench 3.

It is also worth noted that it supports fast charging via OPPO's own VOOC technology. For those not familiar with VOOC (Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging), it is currently the most efficient kind of rapid-charge approach, wherein the battery itself is divided into two parts and each gets its own supply while charging, thus speeds up the process. Using the USB cable and charger that comes in the package, it only takes around 50 minutes to get it fully charge from 0% (dead battery), that again is pretty impressive. Moreover, the phone does not get too hot, only about 31C, which simply means energy is transferred efficiently with less waste heat.


The OPPO F1 Plus is no doubt a beautifully crafted smartphone with a premium built body that is light and slim. Its design might not be unique, but there is no denying the fact that it is definitely an extremely nice-looking device. Topped it with a speedy fingerprint scanner, great battery life with fast charging capability, a pair of good cameras, huge internal storage and memory, it surely is a phone that deserves recognition.


Premium design and built
Slim and light
Great display
Fast fingerprint sensor
Impressive battery life
VOOC rapid-charging technology
Huge 64GB ROM and 4GB RAM
Good pair of cameras


Processor could have been more powerful
Color OS still needs improvement
No IR blaster

OPPO F1 Plus Specifications:

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G/WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
  • FDD-LTE: B1/3/5/7/8
  • TDD-LTE- B38/40/41
  • Dual nano SIM, dual standby
  • 5.5-inch AMOLED capacitive FHD (1920x1080) touchscreen display, Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
  • Dimensions: 151.8mm x 74.3mm x 6.6mm
  • Weight: 145 grams
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with ColorOS 3.0
  • 64-bit octa core CPU (4x2GHz + 4x1.2GHz), 700MHz Mali-T860MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 chipset
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via micro SD
  • 13MP f/2.2 PDAF main camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 16MP f/2.0 secondary camera, 1080p video recording
  • Multimedia player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Micro USB 2.0 with OTG
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Sensor: accelerometer, light, proximity, hall, compass
  • Battery: 2850mAh lithium-polymer, non-removable, VOOC Flash Charge
  • Price: Php19,990
  • Colors: gold, rose gold

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