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OPPO F5 Review: The Pretentious Selfie Expert

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Oppo has been focusing on the selfie camera of almost all the smartphones it makes and the newly launched OPPO F5 promises to capture the “real you”. So, I took the camera smartphone for a real testing, not forgetting its new display which has an 18:9 ratio. So how does it really fare? Does the OPPO F5 tick every box? Let’s check it out in this review. But before I start, let me just get all the specs out of the way.

OPPO F5 Specifications:

  • Display: 6.0 inches LTPS IPS LCD
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio, 402PPI pixel density
  • OS: Android Nougat (v7.1.1) with ColorOS 3.2 UI on the top
  • Chipset: MediaTek MT6763T Helio P23
  • GPU: Mali-G71 MP2
  • RAM: 4GB/6GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB (dedicated slot for microSD card)
  • Rear Camera: 16MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
  • Front Camera: 20MP, f/2.0, 1/2.8-inch sensor
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, USB-OTG, 3G, 4G LTE
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
  • Battery: 3200mAh (non-removable)
  • Colors: Black, Gold, Red (6GB variant only)
  • Oppo F5 Price in Nepal: Rs. 33,990 (4GB/32GB)
  • Oppo F5 Price in Nepal: Rs. 44,990 (6GB/64GB/Red color)

Camera

oppo f5 review

The 20-megapixel selfie camera is definitely the USP of the F5. OPPO is bragging about the Artificial intelligence capability of this camera to beautify a selfie, so I had to put that to the test. And I have to say I didn’t like the beauty mode at all. Take these images as an example.

Taking a normal picture, everything looked good, I was impressed by the fact that the camera could brighten up a picture when I was taking the picture on the left. On the right, however, OPPO amazingly erased the mole on my forehead. I have never seen a single smartphone do this. And look at my skin tone. Why would anyone like a picture with such skin tone? And why are my eyes sparkling? Yes, a couple of people on Instagram might like this new AI compatible selfie shooter, but is it for everyone? Not at all. And under low light setup, the picture I took from normal mode looks much much better than the one taken from the beauty mode as you can see in these two pictures.

Yes, the normal selfie mode takes good pictures but there is nothing to be home about as lots of smartphones are capable of taking better pictures, with the Huawei Nova 2i being a prime example. Here is a comparison shot between the two devices:

On the rear side sits a 16MP camera which is decent at its best. Under ample lighting, the device can capture pictures with good color reproduction and saturation. But I wasn’t at all impressed by the HDR mode. The HDR enabled picture on the right only has a little bit of increased exposure.

In short, even though OPPO claims itself as a great camera smartphone, the OPPO F5 has what we call “an average at its best” lenses.

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Performance and Software

The OPPO F5 with its new octa-core Helio P23 processor and Mali G71 GPU performs quite well considering its price tag. The device scored higher on Antutu as compared to the Huawei Nova 2i and the J7 Pro. The dual-core GPU of the device also has a respectable score as it outperforms the Nova 2i and the J7 Pro.

These stats are emulated well on real life performance as the device, with its 4 GB RAM handles most of the things thrown at it.

Gaming on this device yields good results and multitasking is great. However, sometimes there are lags here and there, and I think it’s the software of this device that is solely responsible.

Words cannot describe how disappointed I am with Oppo F5’s user interface. The skin on top of Android Nougat is truly a copy of Apple’s iOS. And while I am okay with manufacturers’ choice to copy good things of another manufacturer, OPPO has included some of the worst features of iOS.

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Take the notification shade and the control center for example. You should also know that it takes two taps to remove a notification. Everything about this skin is a whole lot of disappointment. And the heavily skinned Android is what causes stutters here and there. But there is a sound amplifying dac embedded into the UI which helps produce louder sound while using earphones!

Display

oppo f5 review

Well, OPPO isn’t just cashing in on the camera setup of its new smartphone. It is now one of the few smartphone manufacturers to include the narrower 18:9 aspect ratio on a mid-range device. So, in short, this device’s display will be directly compared with the Huawei Nova 2i. Lets forget about the nits and other geeky terms to explain this display and rather focus on the real-world usage. The OPPO F5’s full HD display produces deeper blacks thus resulting in an excellent contrast. For a device worth 34k, it has good sharpness and enough brightness to use it under the brightest of lights. But like I said before, this smartphone will go up against Huawei Nova 2i. And side by side, the Nova 2i certainly has better saturation and color reproduction. And don’t even get me started on how it performs against the Galaxy J7 Pro. The Super AMOLED display of the J7 Pro is the best display on any midranger in 2017 even with a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio.

You will have to give up on one-handed usage though as the 18:9 form factor and the 6-inch display don’t help with the cause. But the newer type of display certainly helps amplify multimedia and gaming experience.

Design

oppo f5 review

With this new display format, OPPO has certainly impressed many. You too will be impressed with the screen while holding the smartphone, right before you start noticing that the back is actually made of plastic. Well, this is due to the polycarbonate plastic backing that OPPO apparently opted to cut cost. Vivo has done the same thing with its new V7!

The polished plastic tries to emulate modern 2017 looks. I have to admit that, the rear side is great looks wise. It’s somewhat similar to the iPhone 7. But on-hands, you will understand how OPPO has cleverly worked to make it feel look like metal.

The polycarbonate back certainly helps in a better grip though, which is not at all possible with metallic backs. This back borders the basic volume rockers and power button, which are also made of plastic. On the bottom lies a single mono speaker which is only average.

Sensors

On this polycarbonate body sits an oval shaped fingerprint scanner and believe me it’s one of the most fastest sensor. It is capable of unlocking the device in a jiffy and not once has it given up on me yet.

Oppo has also imitated Apple by including a face unlock system. Although this security option can intelligently differentiates between a real face and a picture, I have had mixed feelings about this security option as it works only 95% of the time. I even had issues while registering my face as the smartphone constantly nagged me about the angle and the lighting I was in. And if you are in a poorly-lit condition, the face unlock might not even work sometimes. But when it worked, it was fast, really really fast.

Battery

The battery life of the OPPO F5 is quite good to be honest. During my day-to-day usage, the battery certainly lasted for a whole day. The standby time of this 3,200 mAh battery is great as well. The choice of processor, although it is of 16nm, has helped the cause.

You will be dissatisfied to know about the lack of fast charging support, though. So it will take you over 2 hours to completely juice up the device. You have your very own VOOC charging ability at helm. Make a good use of it!

Connectivity and Call Quality

The OPPO F5 has dual SIM slots, like most of the smartphones that launch in Nepal these days. On a plus side, there is also a separate microSD card slot. So, buyers will not have to worry about having to compromise on either a SIM card or a microSD card. And both the NTC and Ncell SIMs work perfectly fine on the device. The people on the other end never really complained about the call quality, and I was hearing everything perfectly fine.

Conclusion

The OPPO F5 is a selfie oriented device like all OPPO smartphones. In the end, this review begs a question, “Is OPPO F5 something you should invest in?” Well, that depends. While I personally might not be that into selfies, this device could be a good buy for someone who is really into the selfie experience. Also, it has a bright display with a new aspect ratio which is great for gaming and multimedia experience. But the Nepali market has become so competitive that what the OPPO F5 lacks is easily available on other smartphones in the same price range.

If you aren’t impressed with what OPPO F5 offers, you might want to check out devices like the Huawei Nova 2i, Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro or the Xiaomi Mi A1.

Pros Cons
Front-facing camera Software/User Interface
Performance No fast charging
Battery No 5Ghz WiFi
Fast face unlock system Plastic back
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
Display
Performance
Software
Camera
Connectivity and Call Quality
Battery
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Anuj Bhandari is currently working as a tech reviewer and content writer for gadgetbytenepal.com. He is an ardent follower of developments in the smartphone world and a devoted fan of Arsenal FC.