Oppo F1s Review - The Crowd Pleaser!

The smartphone wars of the yesteryears saw handsets with star-studded hardware sheets and slimmer designs, with those vying for the top spot carrying with them lofty price tags behind their recognized brand names. Of late, however, the trend has shifted as the world focused on features and emphasized on delivering newly innovative technologies. But never let it be said that the heat of the battle is fading – the market is now more than ever to dish out for newer offerings for killer features.
Oppo F1s review

As a matter of fact, Oppo is moving mountains in the market through its camera-centric lineup. Lest we forget the Philippines is the selfie capital of the world. And to capitalize on that moniker, Oppo has another offering it has in hand - meet the F1s.

The Oppo F1s is a sequential upgrade to the venerable F1. It also marks as the return of the company in the midranged budget segment, and it's where the market has been thriving as of late. Will it edge out its predecessor? Or has Oppo made another success with the F1s?

For the review part 1: Oppo F1s Unboxing And First Impressions - A Beautiful Selfie Machine!

Display Quality

The surprisingly good 5.5 inch HD screen
The surprisingly good 5.5 inch HD screen

The F1s features a 5.5-inch display with a 720p resolution. Now, despite the bit of stretch in screen real estate, the overall quality is still equally impressive. Color Accuracy remains topnotch, and viewing angles are quite great. We’re also not having any problems with its sharpness and color accuracy either. And if we were to find something that’s greatly improved, it’s the sunlight legibility that was just so-so with the F1. Brightness levels are more expansive, so you’ll have better control during different lighting conditions.

Oppo is still keeping the Eye Protection feature, but we’re doubting it’s going to be one you’ll regularly use. Still, if you’re worried about straining your eye with blue light, this feature will filter it out to create a more soothing display.

Audio Quality

Here comes another upgrade - the F1s now comes packed with a more powerful speaker setup, and it’s one you’ll be using more frequently. Now, it may seem like the F1s comes with a dual speaker setup under its body. However, only the right side is working, and the other one is only a design cue to keep things symmetrical. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to fail in providing a surreal audio experience. In fact, it’s volumes better than the F1. It’s clear and it sure packs a punch, not to mention it’s loud enough to fill you in with your tracks when you’re tuning in to your tracks.

For the headphone audio out, it is decent, but isn't that clean. At minimal to about 70% volume it sounds full and has good level of clarity. The rest of the audio spectrum can be distinguished too even if it isn't that prominent. However, don't use it over the 80% mark where you'll hear plenty of distortions. It's something that Oppo should improve the next time around.

Call quality is also how it should be. The audio coming from the earpiece can deliver clear voice and detail, so that should be enough to cater to your calls over the internet or network.

Battery Life

Almost 13 hours at our battery benchmark!
Almost 13 hours at our battery benchmark!

Packing a hefty 3,075 mAh of juice, it can easily last you for a while. PC Mark’s Work battery life, a test that emulates real life usage, rates it at a pretty solid 12:41 endurance. It’s equally great in practice, too, as you’ll have more action with it since you probably won’t be having an extensive screen time for hours on end.
The battery life of the F1s is just darn impressive!
We were able to snuff out its battery for a solid 31 hours on mixed usage. That takes a series of photography sessions, a couple of browsing sessions, and a little bit of light gaming.  But do take note that your mileage may vary, and it will wholly depend on how you use it.

Camera

The capable 13 MP shooter behind
The capable 13 MP shooter behind

The Oppo F1s still carries the “Selfie Expert” moniker, and it does the name justice. There’s a whopping 16 MP selfie camera on the front end to fill you in with your vanities and such. I mean, if that’s not enough to market the handset as a selfie-centric smartphone, then what will? On the other end, there’s a 13 MP primary shooter at the back that comes with PDAF and an LED flash assisting it during low lighting conditions.

The camera app has been revamped by a bit to streamline its features. Most of the major functions are accessed without having to get into the main menu, as it’s all there baked into the user-interface. Swiping left and right will make it switch to different modes. But if you want to fine tune your preferences, you can do so by going further to the menu. Of course, Expert Mode is still there to give you more controls on your photographs, and Ultra HD mode is also present if you want ultra high-resolution shots.

For a sub-13K device, the quality of the images coming from rear camera of this handset is outstanding. It still comes with the same sharpness found with the excellent F1, but punchier / warmer color tones that's more natural looking.

In lowlight, it is better than expected. There's still noise, but we're surprised to see some decent level of details and even good color reproduction that's only found with other phones with higher-end sensor and bigger pixel size (not MP).

It also focuses quickly, has less than a second shutter and saving speed, and doesn't have that delay using HDR at less than 3 seconds. Overall, we think that this outperform most of the contenders in this price point in terms of picture quality.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight shot, notice its great details and right amount of saturation
Daylight shot, notice its great details and right amount of saturation
Normal mode vs HDR
Normal mode vs HDR
Good for macros!
Good for macros!
Dimlight photo
Dimlight photo
Another dim light shot
Another dim light shot
This is a cropped imaged in the dark, still acceptable
This is a cropped imaged in the dark, still acceptable
With no flash vs flash
With no flash vs flash

For selfies, there's a lot of beautification levels and shades that you can play around with to take your best self portraits possible. In the dark, there's a bright type of screen flash that anyone can use.
The 16 MP selfie camera!
The 16 MP selfie camera!

In terms of quality, its large and powerful 16 MP shooter proves to be the midrange selfie phone to beat. It shoots sharp and detailed image with good color accuracy in well lit places and has more than acceptable quality when used in the dark.
The beautify features works!
The only thing missing here is the proper exposure and focusing so you hands should be steady while shooting. But overall, we enjoyed using its front facing camera and I'm sure most of the ladies and even gents will like this one.

Selfie Camera Samples

Sharp and detailed selfie!
Sharp and detailed selfie!
Beautify mode!
Beautify mode!
Groufie with team Swirlingovercoffee and Adobotech!
Dimlight selfie with Angel

Video recording is just okay with the F1s, though there's still room for improvement. As expected, it is capable of shooting 1080p at 30 frames per second which is the norm at this price point.

The output has acceptable details and the autofocus works, but there's noise even in some of our daylight test. It is also shakier than our liking due to its lack of OIS and EIS. For selfies, it's a little better than most front facing shooters out there. That makes it good for Snapchat and Instagram videos.

Video Sample


Performance

Benchmark scores of F1s
Benchmark scores of F1s

Again, while the F1s isn’t in the market to compete with supercharged offerings, it still packs quite a punch to get you loaded on your daily activities with a handset. There’s a MediaTek MT6750 with a 1.5 GHz octa-core CPU and Mali T860 GPU with 3GB of RAM – that’s a pretty well-equipped setup if you’re to wonder, and you check out the benchmark test results that can attest to that. Games such as Final Fantasy IX, Hitman, and other graphic-intensive games are easily  handled, too.
Some of the games we tried
Some of the games we tried

Furthermore, there’s a 32 GB internal storage setup that's upgradeable up to 128 GB via micro SD card slot. Pretty generous especially if you like stocking up on your multimedia files. And good to note, unlike the F1, the F1s features a dedicated micro SD card slot. This way, you’ll be able to use two SIM cards at once while still having the opportunity to upgrade the storage.
The usual Android 5.1 Lollipop Color OS skin of Oppo
The usual Android 5.1 Lollipop Color OS skin of Oppo

The addition of the fingerprint scanner is also welcomed here, and it's one you're going to use quite a lot. Fingerprint recognition is superb and speedy that you'll never have problems securely unlocking the phone from standby with just a press of a button.

Now, if there’s one thing to gripe about, it’s the fact that it still uses Android 5.1 Lollipop. On the other hand, ColorOS still feels clean and vivid. Customization is also easy, but should you feel you need more into it, you can also download a launcher of your preference.

Pros - Affordable price, great improvements on the camera, display, build quality, and audio, impressive battery life, user-interface is clean, minimal bloatware, fingerprint scanner is fast
Cons - Still at Android 5.1, camera doesn’t have a grid guide, headphone audio out should be improved

Verdict

Comparing the F1s to the F1 is probably inevitable due to the minimal differential in release dates. Now, with that said, Oppo had its chance in further improving on its hardware setup while keeping the pricepoint in mind. In a sense, the company learned what it should improve on, and it has clearly been visible with the F1s.

Easily, the Oppo F1s manages to tick all the checkboxes for a winner smartphone, especially now in a time when features are where the market is at. Superb camera, better display, superior build quality, elegant design, upgraded speakers, and impressive battery life - it’s all there now, and it comes at a price point that you’re going to love. Simply put, the Oppo F1s is the phone to beat in its price range.

Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
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