The latest phone from Chinese mobile manufacturer Oppo is the F1, the first in a new range of F Series phones that concentrate on cool cameras, high-specs, and sensible prices. The company has slowly been revealing more about the phone since its announcement, so here’s everything you need to know about it.
Updated on 01-15-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in more specs and features on the Oppo F1, plus international pre-order information.
Where can you buy it?
Oppo has big plans for the F1. Currently expected to launch in 20 different countries around the world, it initially went up for pre-order in Vietnam, before spreading throughout Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
On January 15, Oppo put the F1 on sale in the UK, France, and Germany. It’s available through the official OppoStyle.com webstore, or through Amazon. Buyers in the U.S. can also use the OppoStyle international store to pick up an F1, but the phone may not be compatible with all carriers. It’s priced at $250 SIM-free and unlocked, or 230 euros, which converts to approximately £175.
Oppo often makes the camera a highlight of its smartphones, and the F1 is no different, but it’s the front-facing selfie cam rather than the rear cam, that it’s pushing here. Above the screen is an 8-megapixel f/2.0 camera, which apparently lets in 44-percent more light and takes 30-percent clearer selfies than a 5-megapixel, f/2.4 selfie cam commonly used by the competition.
There are several bonus software features, such as using the screen to act like a selfie flash, a comprehensive beauty mode with filters, plus gesture and voice control. Yes, you really can say “cheese” to activate the shutter release. We’re not sure that’s a good thing.
Around the back is a 13-megapixel ISOCELL camera with phase detection autofocus, plus what Oppo calls an “anti-shake optimization” feature, where the best shot is chosen automatically after the shutter button is pressed. It’s not optical image stablization, but may still be effective.
Oppo has added its Pure Image 2.0 software to the F1. The Ultra HD mode is a particular standout, as it uses four consecutively taken photos to create a single 50-megapixel image. Other features include HDR, a macro mode, slow shutter, a GIF creator, and a double exposure mode.
Aluminum body, strong specs
At $250, you may expect the F1 to have a plastic body, but Oppo has instead chosen polished aluminum for the rear panel, then neatly chamfered the edge of the body at a 60-degree angle to make it comfortable to hold, and look excellent.
The F1 has a 5-inch 720p HD display with Gorilla Glass 4 protection, a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage.
Other specs include a 2,500mAh battery, a welcome 128GB MicroSD card slot, dual SIM support, 4G LTE connectivity, and Dirac HD sound technology. The Oppo F1 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with the company’s ColorOS 2.1 as the default skin. We don’t know when or if the F1 will receive an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Look out for our hands-on report with the Oppo F1 very soon, but if you’d like to try out the F1 for yourself, Oppo is holding various fan meetups around Europe and the rest of the world. Visit the company’s online forum here for more details.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo is preparing another smartphone line named the F Series, which will be focused on photography.
The first phone in the series, the Oppo F1, will launch later this month. Though Oppo hasn’t revealed much in its press release, it hints at an affordable price, an “eye-catching style,” and premium camera quality.
Updated on 01-06-2016 by Robert Nazarian: Added in two press render photos, as well as more information regarding the cameras and processor.
According to Mr. Ski Li, the vice president and managing director of international mobile business, the F1 will “inherit the excellent camera performance and exquisite design tradition that have earned accolades for OPPO’s flagship series.”
Oppo hasn’t divulged the exact details of the camera yet, but the company told GSM Arena the F1 will have a similar rear camera as the R7 and R7s in that it will be a 13-megapixel shooter with phase detection autofocus. The front shooter will be 8-megapixels, but it will have an aperture of f/2.0 as opposed to f/2.4. This means that it will perform better in low light.
Oppo’s PureImage 2.0+ platform will power the camera software, which will include an array of modes and filters.
The phone’s other specs should remain midrange, making the F1 a perfect phone for customers that only care about photo quality.
Oppo did tell GSM Arena the processor will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon, but unfortunately the specific model wasn’t offered. However, Oppo did tell the site to expect 3GB of RAM.
As far as the appearance of the F1 is concerned, the press renders below show a device that resembles the R7 and R7 Lite. It looks like it could have a 5-inch display, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Sony and Samsung have launched photography-focused phones in the past, but both failed to win a large audience. In 2016, where we have plenty of phones with excellent cameras alongside other high-end specs, Oppo is going to have to really knock it out of the park with the camera or price.
Oppo has not set a date for the launch of the first device, though we know the first announcement should happen in January. The company claims the F Series will become a core product series this year, alongside the R, Mirror, Neo, and Find series.
This shows Oppo is planning to launch more smartphones in international markets, contrary to earlier rumors that suggested Oppo would merge with OnePlus. The rumor said that Oppo would handle sales in China, while OnePlus would become the provider in international markets, evidenced by trademark changes from Oppo adding the word “Plus” into its corporate name.