Following the release of the OPPO R11 last June, it was announced earlier this month that a near bezel-less smartphone update was on the way. The OPPO R11s went on sale in China just three days ago, and I got to spend the last few days with it in Shenzhen.
Look and feel
If you’re a fan of the R11’s form factor, you’ll definitely be a fan of the R11s.
It has almost the same size and finish as the previous release with a similar sleek metal body and premium feel. Except this time, there are a few key differences: The fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back and the screen is definitely bigger.
This means less bezels, more display, and the disappearance of the capacitive buttons up front.
Remaining buttons and ports are all in the same place: volume rocker on the top-right with the SIM tray and power button on the left. Speaker grilles, audio jack, and (alas!) micro-USB port are all at the bottom.
In true OPPO fashion, each unit comes with protection! The red R11s I got to try out had a special case in a matching color. The black and champagne versions only come with transparent cases.
A bigger screen!
The display is one of the bigger (literally) highlights of this device. With a new 6.01-inch screen and 18:9 viewing ratio, OPPO attempts to contend against other “borderless” phones.
This means more text and photos without having to scroll…
… and a wider view for your media consumption.
The R11s is their second near-borderless release, following the OPPO F5 released in other Asian countries.
The selfie expert
Similar to the R11, the R11s is equipped with a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. On top of the filters and the bokeh mode, OPPO now has artificial intelligence built into the beauty mode.
The AI beauty mode records 254 facial points and uses machine learning to take the best-possible selfie. Simply put, faces aren’t just blurred out to achieve that smooth look as most beauty filters are prone to doing. See here:
This means that selfies come out with you looking fresh and more natural.
OPPO tells us that this AI beauty mode will come to older OPPO smartphones in the form of an OS update. In the meantime, it’s only available on the F5 and the R11s.
Picture perfect with the rear cameras
The R11s packs two primary cameras on its back: 20- and 16-megapixel cameras, both with an aperture of f/1.7.
Together, they’re capable of 2x zoom.
They also have a portrait and beauty mode with two zoom settings. Photos below were taken using both of those settings:
Here are a few more sample shots:
When shooting video on this thing, beauty mode is also available for both rear and front-facing cameras — a feature that I absolutely love.
Under the hood
A Snapdragon 660 processor, which is the latest upper-midrange Qualcomm chip, powers the R11s. It runs on Android Nougat and ColorOS 3.2 with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage (expandable up to 256GB), and a battery capacity of 3205mAh.
On top of the fingerprint scanner, it’s worth noting that this device is equipped with facial unlock technology.
R11 vs R11s
When put side by side, the R11 and the R11s are almost the same size. Only the rear scanner makes the newer release distinct.
Of course, up front, the bezels make all the difference.
That bigger screen is crammed into a 5.5-inch body. Although technically, there are still bezels, the R11s is looking pretty good with this taller screen.
On top of the new near bezel-less display, the red version of the R11s features what is called the “Starry Sky” screen — that color gradient on the phone’s front as the black screen fades into the red body.
The insides of both phones are pretty much the same; nothing’s changed with the processor, memory, and storage capacities. The R11s, however, is equipped with an updated version of ColorOS which integrates the AI beauty mode. Another thing: Both rear cameras of the R11s have apertures of f/1.7, which wasn’t the case with the R11.
The R11s is definitely an improvement from the already capable R11. The AI beauty mode and the bigger display are features that one would surely want when shopping around for a new smartphone.
The handset we got to take for a spin was the Chinese version, though we were told that international versions are coming soon. As of now, the R11s retails in China at CNY 3,199 (around US$ 480) for the red variant, and CNY 2,999 (around US$ 450) for the black and champagne versions. They are expected to launch in the same markets where the R11 is available.
We’ll have to wait to get the international unit for a full review. But, if the original R11’s performance is any indication, the R11s could be a great phone — especially since it’s priced the same as the older R11 device as of release.