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.