OPPO announced the F1 Plus (the R9 in its country of origin) to great fanfare, with the company estimating over 7 million units sold since the phone’s release in March. And OPPO isn’t done with the F1 branding yet, as it recently made the F1s official in some markets, namely China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. A subsequent rollout is slated for the rest of Southeast Asia and regions where OPPO operates.
Another “selfie expert,” the F1s is essentially a much cheaper F1 Plus that has fewer attractions but offers longer battery life. It has more bells and whistles than the smaller F1, so in way, it’s some sort of a middle choice between the two previous F1 phones — the Goldilocks choice, if you will.
You get a slightly larger 5.5-inch phone featuring a nearly identical metal unibody frame with the same polish and attention to detail as that of the Plus model. It also runs the almost two-year-old Android Lollipop software, which could turn off seasoned Android users.
Beyond the F1 comparison, the F1s is likely capable of better selfies than any phone in its price point.
There are two metallic bands that run across the rear panel; two more wrap around the sides; the bottom edge houses the speaker, headphone jack, microUSB port, and what’s likely a cutout for the mic hole. The physical home button that also functions as a fingerprint reader is sandwiched between the backlit back and recent apps keys. Setup takes seconds, and engaging the reader is fast and, more importantly, accurate.
The F1s makes use of a bright 720p display with curved-edge Gorilla Glass protection. The resolution isn’t ideal for a phone this size, so those who want a sharper screen without spending too much should probably look elsewhere. That’s what’s great about today’s smartphone market: With so many options available, you don’t have to settle.
Inside the F1s, you’ll find an octa-core MediaTek processor, alongside 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandablage store. We haven’t put the system-on-a-chip through its paces yet, but it runs Pokémon Go just fine. The 3,075mAh battery is the largest of any F1 phone, but it could take a while to charge from zero to full, as the F1s lacks quick charging.
But the best feature of all may be the selfie camera, which has a 16-megapixel sensor and an impressive aperture size of f/2.0. That combination, plus OPPO’s camera algorithm, results in bright and crisp self-portraits that look like they were captured by an upmarket phone’s rear camera. The F1s is also capable of shooting full-resolution video for superior video calls and conferencing.
Compared to the front-facer, the 13-megapixel camera around the back sounds a bit underwhelming, even though that’s not the case. But then again, how often do you come across a device with a more advanced camera on the front than on the rear?
The OPPO F1s runs between $280 and $300, depending on where you live. In the Philippines, it is priced at P12,990; in India, 15,985 rupees; Malaysia sells it for 1,198 ringgit. It costs 5,990,000 dong in Vietnam, around 10,000 baht in Thailand.