While Apple, Samsung, and LG continue to dominate the smartphone market, Chinese manufacturers have shown in recent years that they are a force to be reckoned with. The Huawei P10 Plus, launched earlier this year, proved to be an immediate hit, and the OnePlus 5, launched in June, made techies drool with a choice of a 6GB or 8GB RAM. Now, OPPO has thrown its hat in the ring with its latest and best smartphone yet, the R11. Positioned as a camera phone, it is the first in the world to have a 20MP front-facing camera, perfect for those who love taking selfies.
Design and Hardware
From a design perspective, the R11 is a handsome phone. It has a slim profile and curved edges so while it is a large phone (154.5×74.8×6.8mm), it fits comfortably in small hands. In case you’re wondering, it’s slim enough to slide into skinny jeans with ease. It comes in three finishes, Black, Gold, and a limited edition Red. While all three look great, I think the red hue pops the most.
Under the “hood”, the R11 is powered by a customized Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor that is tuned to support the powerful camera system. The more discerning of you will know that this processor falls within the mid-range mark where chipsets are concerned, and may be wondering why OPPO chose not to go with an 800 series. Jeremy Tan, product manager at OPPO Singapore says doing so will have driven up the price of the phone, thus they went with a tweaked Snapdragon 660 so users enjoy a flagship smartphone experience, without hurting their pockets.
Where display is concerned, the R11 coasts by. It uses a 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,800 pixel resolution) which comes up to 401 pixels per inch, or ppi. It’s not the best on the market, but it’ll do. It does however, use an AMOLED screen, which helps with its battery life.
The main star of the show, is the R11’s camera system. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s the first in the world to utilise a 20MP front facing camera, so the selfie game has been taken to the next level. The camera app allows you to tweak advanced manual controls, so those who prefer to fine-tune their camera settings are in luck.
The rear dual-camera system comprises of a primary 16-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and a secondary 20-megapixel sensor with an f/2.6 telephoto lens. The phone switches between these two cameras with just a click of a button, and offers a 2X optical zoom that performs exceptionally well, without much loss of detail. It does, however, lack image stabilization so those with shaky hands might get a little frustrated while trying to take zoomed in shots. What is particularly fun to play with is the phone’s Portrait function, which takes pictures with a pretty decent bokeh effect. This style of pictures are all the rage right now, so this function is handy.
All things considered, the R11 is a value buy at $699. It is one of the better looking phones on the market, with an excellent build quality, and boasts a very capable camera system. There’s room for improvement in terms of its display and image stabilisation, but it’s safe to say that the positives of this phone outweighs the negative. I’d say it’s best suited for the discerning gentleman who’s a stickler for design aesthetic and enjoys taking pictures.
The OPPO R11 ($699) is available in Black, Gold and a limited edition Red. Get yours here.