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01 Mar, 2017 ,
Oppo first introduced the F1 followed by the F1 Plus which were both photography centric smartphones. Both the phones had impressive selfie capturing capabilities. The F1 Plus was a more premium model. Very few smartphone manufacturers are focusing on creating selfie smartphones and Oppo has come with their latest ‘Selfie Expert’ baptized as F1s. The company is marketing this new series aggressively in offline retail channels. The F1s is a much needed upgrade in terms of both design and features compared to its predecessor (F1) however focus being on the front camera. Priced at 17,990, let’s see how it performs.
The overall design of the F1s looks familiar to the F1 Plus albeit small differences. There is a metal back and frame with a glass finish on the front. The back of the phone is finished in matte and looks premium. The smartphone has been crafted well and the overall build quality is sturdy.
The 5.5 inch IPS display dominates the front fascia which comes with pre-installed screen guard along with Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Above the screen there is the earpiece, the front facing camera and the proximity and light sensors. Below the screen there is a finerprint embedded home button along with a capacitive back and recent buttons. The glossy front panel tracts lots of smudges and fingerprints.
The back of the phone houses the camera on the top left corner which protrudes out prone to cracks and scratches. There is also an LED flash next to it. Thin chrome stripes which looks like antenna bands run parallel on the top and bottom back panel.
At 160 grams the device doesn’t feel very heavy. The thickness of the phone stands out 7.3mm which is fairly slim. The metal edges of the device are slightly raised and house the power button and the SIM card/micro SD card tray at the right. The volume rocker buttons is placed on the left edge. A secondary microphone is placed on the top edge. 3.5mm audio jack, the primary microphone, microUSB port and the speaker are all placed on the bottom edge. Ergonomically the 5.5 inch device feels light and manages to fit in one hand. The F1s doesn’t slip out easily due to the brushed metal finish.
The F1s features a 5.5-inch LCD display with a 1280×720 resolution translating to 267ppi. It produces rich colours and the brightness level has been improved from the Oppo F1. The display under direct sunlight was good. Saturation of colours is spot on and the viewing angles are crisp. The device also gives an option of changing the fonts and its size. For reducing eye strain while using the smartphone at night you also get a blue light filter.
Oppo chose MediaTek's MT6750 octa-core SoC which features eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.5GHz for the F1s. This is MediaTek’s new entry level chipset with integrated LTE. A 3GB of RAM along with 32GB of storage is available.
The F1s runs on Colour OS 3.0 due to which Android looks similar to Apple’s iOS. But we are still disappointed by the fact that it still comes with Android Lollipop. There will be a Marshmallow update hopefully but it would have been great if they would have offered Marshmallow out of the box. Another issue is that the UI takes a lot of space. Out of the inbuilt 32GB memory, 25GB is accessible and an additional 4.5GB is used by system under the ‘Other’ section. This must have been done to keep the UI snappy but offering a 32GB smartphone with only 20GB of free space is bit misleading.
The icons, menus and even the notification shade are similar to Apple’s mobile platform and surprisingly runs smooth. We didn’t notice any lag or frame drops in the UI animation. We did observe some wrinkles in the software which needed some tweaks. Notifications from the third party app Telegram would occasionally refuse to show up in the notification shade even though we heard the ping. Apart from this everything was quite smooth and relatively lag free. The recent applications are displayed in the form of stacked cards, which you swipe up to dismiss.
There is a Lockscreen Magazine which changes the lock-screen wallpaper each time you unlock the phone. This device also gets a bunch of gestures including one hand mode which works well. It also comes with Google’s suite of apps along with like Theme Store, Kingsoft Office, Security Centre, File Manager, and a video player. To back up your important SMS messages and contacts the device comes with O-Cloud.
Gaming experience was great and satisfying with just minor frame drops in games like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2. There were instances when the device got a bit warm but nothing to worry about. The processor which is a 64-bit chip from MediaTek performed like one on premium device. We noticed that only two or three cores out of the total 8 cores were optional , probably to improve the battery performance on this phone. We got 41,244 points in AnTuTu and 21fps in GFXbench.
The device comes with 3075mAh battery and under regular usage we managed to get a day of battery output which is good. We managed to get 10 hours and 11 minutes of continuous video playback. The only drawback is it takes a long time to full charge the battery with the 10W adapter.
The Selfie Expert F1s comes with a 16MP selfie snapper and a 13MP rear camera with PDAF and an LED flash. The F1s is quite an improvement over the F1 and F1 Plus.
The camera app comes with five modes including timelapse, videos, photo, beauty and paranoma and is very similar to the one seen on Apple devices. The front camera has features consisting of filters, a double exposure mode and a GIF mode. The rear camera also gets the same feature but with an Ultra Hd mode which can shoot 25MP photos . It also an expert mode which is basically a manual mode. The Phase Detection Auto Focus helps to track subjects even better.
Both the front and rear cameras are capable of taking good pictures with accurate and quick focus. Colours look natural and sharpness is maintained. Like earlier F-series phones, you can take a selfie with a palm gesture or a voice command. The front camera oversharpens images on some instances. The front camera also has a lower focal length so it is suited for closer subjects as it can’t focus on subjects that are far. The front camera is also capable of recording videos at 1080p resolution. Overall the Oppo F1s stands true to the ‘Selfie Expert’ moniker and we were quite impressed with the crisp selfies we got during the day.
In low light conditions the cameras struggled to keep up and a decent amount of noise and detail-loss were visible. The front camera didn’t have a flash unit. Selfies taken in low light resulted in pinkish tones especially around the eyes.
The F1s can house two Nano-SIM cards and we are quite happy with the fact that it’s not a hybrid dual solution. Call quality and network reception was impressive and we didn’t encounter any call drops or signal interruptions. The voice quality from the ear piece was crystal clear. The device supports 4G LTE along with VoLTE support. Wi-Fi reception was also good.
You get an FM radio app as well. It works fine, but is also pretty basic seeing how the receiver does not support RDS and there are no extras like TrackID or recording. Audio quality from the speakers was good but could have been better. Sound quality from the headset was also acceptable. Watching movies, videos or listening to music was a satisfying experience overall.
The gallery on the Oppo F1s has two interfaces. The first being a photo stream and other, a split up view, organized in convenient image sets.Tap on any image from the photo stream and in the image editing option, you get decent number of tools for cropping and doodling. There are filters available too.
The music player gets categorized browsing in the form of track, artist and album with a clean playback interface with some default animations as well as album support. An equalizer is applicable by enabling Dirac Sound option which is buried in the settings menu.
The default music player is just that - a music player, nothing more, nothing less. You get all the basics, like categorized browsing (track, artist, album) and a very clean playback interface with some default animations as well as album art support.You also get playlists and even favorites. You can also apply an equalizer by enabling Dirac Sound option which, however, is buried in the settings menu. You get an FM radio app as well. It works fine, but is also pretty basic seeing how the receiver does not support RDS and there are no extras like TrackID or recording.
The F1s is a very good product from Oppo. A few add ons like fast charging, Wi-Fi ac and NFC would have made this package even more attractive. The F1s has a unique charm with its classy design, solid build quality and modern features. The cameras stick to the claims and delivers good image quality. The only problem that the device faces is the pricing. Below Rs 15000 there are a lot of powerful and feature rich phones. At 17,990 this device is slightly over priced, but if you are in the market for an exceptional camera performance we wouldn’t think twice suggesting this phone to you.
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