Earlier this month Oppo unveiled a new smartphone aimed at today’s selfie generation, but is it any better than other selfie-centric smartphones? The Oppo F1 aims to combine excellent hardware and software features into a smartphone fit for any budding photographer but does the F1 hit the mark? We got a chance to take an early sneak peak so join us below for a first look.

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There’s no doubt that the camera is where the Oppo F1 is meant to stand out and this is where we begin; despite being a much more affordable smartphone, the F1 brings the impressive camera from the Oppo R7 but with tweaks in both the hardware and the software.

The rear camera is a 13MP ISOCELL sensor from Samsung that offers Phase Detection Autofocus with a focus time of just 0.1 seconds, along with OPPO’s own Pure Image camera platform and a range of filters. There’s a lot of available filters but one you might find interesting is Ultra HD, which combines four images and compresses the data to make a 50MP image.

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A sample of OPPO’s Ultra HD image tech at work

From our first (and only) attempt at taking an Ultra HD image – mainly because it does take a while to capture – the results aren’t quite conclusive. Then again, the boat in the foreground was moving, which can induce blur in the very best smartphone cameras, so we’ll have to leave if for the full review to pass judgement on this particular filter.

The rear camera certainly captures photos that you’d want to share but as a selfie-centric smartphone, the front camera is where the F1 truly needs to deliver. The front camera is an 8MP sensor with a wide f/2.0 aperture lens and a 1/4-inch sensor and for the most part, the F1 does seem to take good selfies. Like the rear camera, there’s a lot of filters and options and one that you’re likely to use a lot is palm capture, which lets you take an image by opening your palm in front of the camera.

OPPO makes a couple of bold claims about the F1’s front camera – first that it lets in 44% more light than other smartphones that have f/2.4 lenses and, second, that images are 35% brighter than traditional 5MP selfie phones – and while we can’t confirm or refute any of these, we can say it takes some pretty good selfies.

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What about the rest of the phone? After all, smartphones are about more than just the camera. Well, given the €229 price tag, you can pretty much expect mid-range hardware, which includes an octa-core Snapdragon 616 processor, 3GB RAM and 16GB storage. These are certainly not market leading specifications, but given the price tag, OPPO have done well to include the latest Qualcomm chipset and enough RAM to handle anything you need.

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Something that is interesting is the F1 runs on Lollipop and while other Lollipop devices have struggled with RAM management, OPPO’s Colour OS leaves you with 2GB free when you have no apps running. This is definitely impressive as phones with a much higher price tag struggle to offer the same amount of free RAM with nothing running in the background!

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The front sports a 5-inch 720p display with 2.5D glass and Gorilla Glass 4 protection, which is certainly impressive given the low price tag. Unlike many other devices at this price point however, the Oppo F1 is made of premium materials including a brushed metal finish and, at least in the hand, the phone certainly feels more premium than its price tag might suggest.

The F1 will be available in gold and rose gold depending on market and can be pre-ordered in Europe now for just €229 from OPPO’s website. It’s certainly not a flagship handset but it does offer a lot of value for money and you might be pleasantly surprised with just how nice metal finish actually is.

The OPPO F1See also: Oppo F1: lord of the selfie, now available for pre-order5

What do you think of the Oppo F1 and do you plan to buy it? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and if you do want to buy it, head on over to the pre order page by hitting the button below.

Pre-order from Oppo
  • Allan Song

    Increasing the aperture from f/2.4 to f/2.0 is a guaranteed increase of 44% in aperture area. “We can’t guarantee any of these claims”? More like you don’t know enough camera basics (and/or care enough) to report this.

  • charlie Jason

    “Aimed at today’s selfie generation.”
    You know what the problem is? Today’s selfie generation wants to fit in, so they are not buying anything that doesn’t have a bitten fruit logo on it.

    • 404

      whisdom right here

  • s2weden2000

    ch0ice …

  • Tee Jay

    Those pictures taken don’t look good at all for a phone just being released. Anyone else think that?

  • Vasboz

    I’ve bought this handset outright at $299 AUD is unbelievable value. Definitely has the premium feel of a handset that costs $700+ AUD.

    Battery life is excellent. About 44% by nights end. Had many handsets in the past as I work in IT, from Dell Streak, Motorola Atrix, HTC One M7, Xperia Z2/Z3/Z3Compact, iPhone 4/5/5S, Galaxy S3/S5 and this handset for value for price ratio blows all of them away. Obviously the 13mp snapper on the back doesn’t compete with the likes of the s5/z2/z3/iPhone 5/5S’s but its again value for money. Smooth and no lag so far. Had it a week.

  • Tom

    Bought an oppo mirror 5s, impressed by smoothness of phone lots of reviews say so as well, not one bit of lag from a budget phone. Give me a underpowered lag free phone to a lagy gallery app on a top android anyday like a few out there. This is worth upgrading to,double tap to wake tap to sleep, the phone even shutdowns at a given time at night then restarts in morning at a given time. How many flagships do all this.