An 8MP selfie snapper sets the F1 apart from its mainly 5MP competition Image Credit: Supplied
I was excited to get my hands on the F1, Oppo’s foray into mid-range handsets that the emerging markets the brand comes from and targets crave so desperately. The F1 is basically a clone of the R7 but at a lower price point (Dh950 approx.) with a few minor differences. It feels premium, looks great and touts an excellent pair of cameras. 
 
The 5-inch IPS LCD display has a 720p resolution and packs in a decent number of pixels (294 ppi) to give you a good visual experience. With an octa-core 1.7Ghz CPU and Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 chipset with 3GB RAM, the F1 packs a punch on the performance side. Internal memory comes in only 16GB but you can add a microSD card of up to 128GB. 
 
Oppo’s marketing has focused heavily on the F1’s camera because you don’t usually find such shooting quality in a mid-ranger. The front has an 8MP snapper with a wider field of view than normal to fit in more of that pretty face and it can shoot video at 720p. The back is equipped with a 13MP shooter, which offers video shooting quality that goes up to 1080p. Both cameras come equipped with a range of settings for pros to play around with, but they’re also simple enough to allow the average user to take nice pictures. 
 
The 2,500mAh battery leaves a bit to be desired. I don’t consider myself a heavy user but the battery would leave me hanging earlier in the day than I’m used to. With a full charge in the morning, I’d be at 60 per cent by lunch and 20 per cent by the evening. This was with the GPS off. At MWC Oppo touted its new fast-charging technology, but the F1 lacks the amazing VOOC Fast Charge. 
 
The Color OS 2.1, based on Android’s Lollipop, is the biggest let-down on this phone. Oppo has gone out of its way to make things different from the norm for most Android versions out there. This is especially true with the launcher and notification systems. 
 
The Selfie Expert definitely lives up to its name. We’ve seen better, but at this price, the Oppo F1 has done well for itself on the hardware front. The software can be frustrating but nothing users can’t get used to or anything that makes the experience fundamentally alien.