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OPPO F1 Plus FC Barcelona Edition hands-on
We didn’t expect much to come from OPPO’s 3-year partnership with Futbol Club Barcelona (at least on the hardware side of things), but it turns out this deal was more than about soccer events, fan activities and advertising. The Chinese manufacturer has launched a special edition F1 Plus device, featuring the Spanish soccer team’s colors, along with a gold-plated insignia.
Needless to say the phone has become a valued collectible among fans, and we all know they have plenty of followers. It is, after all, the third most valuable sports team in the world, according to Forbes. For this and many other reasons, I have been everyone’s envy since I started using this OPPO F1 Plus FC Barcelona edition.
I have been playing around with it and am ready to give you my thoughts on the phone. Let me set some things straight first, though: this will not be a full review. Instead, I will be focusing on the design aspects of the phone. This is because the device is ultimately an OPPO F1 Plus with a different look. Those who want to learn about what the phone is capable of can always go back to our full OPPO F1 Plus review.
As we mentioned in our OPPO F1 Plus review: yes, this phone looks a lot like an iPhone. But at this point… which handset doesn’t? Let’s just stop focusing on that and say OPPO has put together a smartphone that is a pleasure to hold. The metal body and slim design make it comfortable and sleek, albeit a bit slippery. And though it’s slim and thin, it doesn’t feel like it is about to break on you. The Gorilla Glass 4 display and metal body probably help with that.
Talking about the 5.5-inch screen, it is not too large by today’s standards. Everything in this phone feels like it’s right in place. The power button on the right and volume rocker on the left are also made of metal, and feel as solid as they get. Meanwhile, the home button/fingerprint reader works perfectly. It is super fast and I’ve never had any errors unlocking the device.
Those hurting about the OPPO F1 Plus’ similarities with the iPhone will definiltely like this version over the standard one, as its extra bells and whistles will further differentiate you from the Apple herd.
The front of the phone houses the screen, earpiece, sensors, home button and capacitive keys. It looks like a regular black slab from the front, really; but start turning the handset around and you will see a metal body that is drenched in blue, with red accented lines along the top and bottom, as well as around the camera. There is a golden strip around the edge (closer to the front of the phone), as well as a bright gold FCB logo on the lower back. By the way, this logo is literally gold plated.
Right below this FC Barcelona insignia in an inscription reading: “FCBARCELONA OFFICIAL PARTNER”. The phone looks good and people won’t hesitate to tell you so. I have gotten plenty of compliments. Even if they have no clue what FCB is or what the phone is all about, it is definitely a pleasant gadget to look at. The phone is pretty.
On the software side we have a modified version of Color OS, based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. We have said it before: this software is not for everyone, but that is also something you can learn more about in the full review. Regardless, there are some special treats to be had with the FC Barcelona edition OPPO F1 Plus.
For starters, OPPO has provided a wallpaper with the team’s colors. It is very clean and goes well with the rest of the device. In essence, it is just a blue background with a diagonal red stripe. There’s also a ringtone with the FC Barcelona anthem, as well as a full array of notification sounds that made everyone around me laugh. Some applications also come with unique FCB-themed icons. These include the Calendar, Theme Store, Contacts and Photos app.
You can always change the theme or install a third-party launcher if you are not feeling the software, though. We know not all of you will want the whole Barcelona experience.
Aside from these main points, the OPPO F1 Plus is a pleasure to use. Its performance is good, the screen is nice to look at and it may very well be the best selfie phone around. The rear camera is also a great contender. I will add some sample shots below, but there is more on the cameras in the full review.
There is one thing I would like to complain about: while using this device, I did encounter a some Bluetooth issues. The phone will suddenly disconnect from both my Android Wear smartwatch and Bluetooth speakers. I am not sure if this is an isolated issue or not, but I found no people complaining about this online.
Now, should you buy this phone? True fans will do it whether it’s a good choice or not, but keep in mind there is a premium to pay for boasting Barcelona’s colors and specialized software. The normal OPPO F1 Plus goes for 389 Euros ($435 USD) or 299 pounds ($395 USD), which is an alright price for a phone like this one. The price of the FC Barcelona edition will depend on the market, but we know one market currently has it for 6,499,000 Indonesian Rupiah, which translates to about $497 USD.
It should come to new markets soon, with China and Singapore being among the first. We will see how much the unique phone is worth in those countries, but if they stick around Singapore’s price range, there are plenty of higher-end phones to be had with the same amount of money. But of course, those other phones won’t be a one-of-a-kind or show your love to FC Barcelona.
In a nutshell – it seems overpriced (based on what we know), but those who really like FC Barcelona will love it. Not to mention its performance will please many, the design competes with the best and it has great cameras to capture your games with. Are you a Barcelona fan and would you buy this? What about another sports team; what’s your sports team and would you buy a branded smartphone like this for your team? Let us know in the comments below!