Aside from looking distractingly similar, the OnePlus 5 and OPPO R11 have a lot in common — this includes the same rear dual-camera setup. But, does this mean they have the same photo quality? Let’s find out which phone takes better photos.
I took to the streets to find out which of the two would be a better fit for my everyday gallivanting, an activity that entails a whole lot of picture taking.
In one corner, we have the OnePlus 5, a flagship killer that has proven to be the choice of conscientious, practical techies; in the other corner, the OPPO R11, the latest release from a company which touts itself as a selfie expert.
Admittedly, my type would better fit the latter category. It’s no secret that I like taking selfies, but less known is the fact that I enjoy taking photos of places I visit. In most of my wanderlust-fueled (mis)adventures, I usually attempt to document beautiful scenery with a smartphone — whether or not my face is in the frame.
I’d want a camera capable of taking the best-possible photo right then and there without needing to adjust whatever complicated settings there are. In the past, most OPPO phones have worked out well for my photo needs but OnePlus’ recent focus on cameras has my interest piqued.
For this shootout, a trip out of the city was in order, and I soon found myself in the mountain town of Jiufen, east of Taipei. It took us about an hour on the road to get there.
Captured below is the wonderful view from the old mining town. At around noon when this photo was taken, the sun shone brightly, overlooking the mountain. As opposed to the OnePlus 5’s photo, the OPPO R11’s output is more colorful, giving justice to the time I spent burning in the heat to take this particular shot.
Photos from the R11 seem to come out brighter, in general, though this sometimes washes out details. The photo below features each respective phone’s bokeh mode. Both look pretty accurate with the borders between the subject and background neatly delineated (I had issues with uneven background blur on an older OPPO phone).
A visit to the Taipei Zoo showcased both cameras’ quick focusing performance. This very active subject was not the easiest to photograph, especially behind those bars. But, neither smartphone flinched during the challenge. It was surprisingly easy to take photos of this big bird.
The next photo had no intentional significance — I was just being basic with an ice cream cone (Taipei summers are killer) — but then, I am again shown how the OPPO R11 has better overall color reproduction. The OnePlus 5 does have better HDR, but at the end of the day, I want to eat the ice cream cone in the R11’s photo more.
The busy streets of Taipei are always a source for colorful food adventures, and additionally, a good experiment for nighttime photography. Again, both smartphones were able to hold their ground with decent photographs.
Taipei is also home to many watering holes. A visit to one of these bars proved that despite dim lighting conditions (and a significant volume of alcohol consumed), photos come out non-hazy (unlike me). Though both photos turned out well, closer inspection would reveal that the OnePlus sample has better detail.
In the selfie arena — because front-facing cameras are my jam — both phones perform well in terms of photo quality. At the highest beauty mode setting, selfies turn out looking good without the filter becoming too overwhelming.
It’s noticeable that the OnePlus 5’s filters are more subtle even at this maximum setting. It should also be noted that there is very little difference between the two photos even when the OPPO phone boasts a higher camera resolution.
Getting the feel
If you’re an iPhone user, OPPO’s ColorOS camera interface will look very familiar. Although still Android, this heavily skinned OS looks and feels like an iPhone. The OnePlus 5, however, has a very simple interface, in true stock Android fashion.
Both smartphones have a normal photo mode with 2X zoom at a tap and portrait modes with automatic bokeh effect. Although both phones have a Pro shooting mode, only the OPPO R11’s is accessible via a swipe as you’d need to navigate through a menu to get to it on the OnePlus 5. But this rarely poses a problem for me because really, I don’t have to use this mode often.
Which is your GadgetMatch?
I had a hard time picking between the two. Both phones perform pretty well, even in difficult circumstances.
The OPPO R11’s brighter, more saturated photos make for ideal outdoor daylight photos. Overall, I just found photos shot from this phone more visually appealing. On the other hand, the OnePlus 5 has great photo detail and more pronounced contrast which lead to better nighttime shots.
For selfie photos, I’d call it a tie in terms of photo quality, but I still prefer the OPPO R11’s beauty mode as it has a wider range when it comes to the filter level applied.
All things considered, I’d pick the OPPO R11’s cameras over the OnePlus 5’s — but it won me over only by a small margin. Obviously, I’ve always been fascinated with these selfie smartphones which prioritize pretty, Instagrammable photo output above all, though this comparison has proven that a phone need not be labeled as such to be a strong shootout contender.
It must be pointed out, however, that even if the OPPO R11 came out on top for me, I’d still be happy shooting with a OnePlus 5 — and it’s not just because they look alike.