Hands-On

OPPO R11 hands-on and photo comparisons

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A few days after it appeared on the official online store, the OPPO R11 was launched in Shenzhen, China. This is the R9s’ successor and the newest dual-camera flagship addition to the OPPO roster. Here are my thoughts after two full days with it in the bustling city.

Look and feel

The R11 is definitely a smooth and sleek machine.

Although it seems to be a bit big for my tiny girly hands (I still maintain that the size of the iPhone SE is a perfect fit to my teeny hands), this size remains to be standard, as 5.5-inch phones continue to dominate the market.

The phone feels premium with a good weight and feel. It comes in gold, rose gold, and black. We got our hands on the matte black and it looked good, and well, also looked familiar.

Front camera

OPPO has always placed extra importance on picture quality and the selfie experience. The 20-megapixel front-facing camera says a lot here.

Still built into the phone is the Beauty Mode and its software-generated Bokeh Mode, which makes it possible to achieve the shallow depth effect even with a single shooter on this side of the phone.

Rear camera

The R11 has a dual 20-megapixel and 16-megapixel rear camera setup. It’s also equipped with customized image processing software (14-bit Spectra 160 ISP) specifically designed by Qualcomm to improve its photographs.

According to OPPO, this means faster focus speeds, more vivid colors, and better low-light capabilities. I put that to the test.

Roaming around the colorful streets of Shenzhen.

Thanks to the extra lens, this camera is capable of 2X optical zoom and up to 10X zoom with software assistance, which is close to but not quite the technology unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

The R11’s rear camera has a Portrait Mode that “intelligently adjusts” depending on the scenario at hand. Initially, this function didn’t excite (I’m a do-it-yourself kinda gal, and selfies are my thing), but it exceeded my expectations.

You can do no photo wrong on this mode — unless you accidentally crop out your face while taking the photo from the rear camera (since we’re so used to selfies with the front-facing cam and display).

The mode can also work on photo subjects other than your own face, although admittedly, it was harder to focus on the correct object to get the bokeh right.

Once you do, though, the results are impressive.

Other points

The R11 is powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage that’s expandable using a microSD card. It runs on Android 7.1 Nougat skinned with OPPO’s ColorOS 3.1, which adds security for mobile payments and file transfers. Gaming is also a thing on this nifty gadget, as OPPO is the official partner of King of Glory, China’s biggest mobile game. It has a battery capacity of 3000mAh and OPPO’s VOOC fast charging. It retails for CNY 2,999 or roughly around $440.

Initial impressions

There is a lot to love from OPPO’s new release. Admittedly, it’s tough to find the next big feature and innovation in today’s high-tech world, more so from a phone that bears a striking resemblance to an already popular smartphone. But, it’s what’s inside that counts, and the R11 does perform.

For a selfie sucker such as I, who on non-coverage days insists on shooting with a smartphone as opposed to lugging around a DSLR, this may be a great smartphone solution. One too many times I’ve used a different smartphone for my portrait needs because either the front or rear camera was just not up to par.

That isn’t the case here. Everything I like about OPPO’s previous selfie shooters remains, and the Portrait mode on this phone’s rear camera is promising.

It seems the Selfie Expert is branching out, and I’m excited to see where this goes.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11 reveals itself earlier than expected

[irp posts=”14546″ name=”OPPO F3 review and selfie comparisons”]

 

Hands-On

Content creator switches from iPhone 6s Plus to OPPO Reno3

A buzzing switch?!

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When OPPO launched the third Reno series in less than a year, we were in for a surprise. It seems like OPPO is on a race, introducing a phone with a 5G-enabled chipset to get ahead of the 5G rollout. This despite 5G being ways away from mass adoption.

Still, there’s a reason why OPPO pumped out so many phones at a rapid pace. The Reno3 felt like an ode to OPPO’s innovation, promising a beautiful handset for selfie-lovers, photography enthusiasts, and to an extent, aspiring content creators.

To find out if the OPPO Reno3 delivers its promise, Her GadgetMatch sent the unit to Noela, a visual content creator currently based in Manila — who’s also a singer, selfie lover, and a fitness enthusiast. Moreover, she’s still using an aging iPhone 6s Plus for the longest time.

Will it entice her to switch after spending two months with the Reno3? And can it be Her GadgetMatch?

“Even an 8-year old kid can get it”

Last March, Noela received the OPPO Reno3 in time for a trip to Boracay. “When I first saw the Reno3, it felt like a smartphone I can rely on. It’s sleek, simple, and so lightweight just like my iPhone 6s Plus!”

Unfortunately, her trip was canceled due to sudden lockdown enforced in Metro Manila, one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the Philippines. She then had more time to play around with the phone.

When asked about her experience with the phone, she said “It was a breeze setting it up. I didn’t have trouble navigating it. It’s so easy that even an 8-year old kid can get it in one sitting.”

The OPPO Reno3 runs ColorOS 7 based on Android 10. With an improved user interface design, no wonder Noela was able to grasp the phone’s UI easily, even if she’s used to iOS.

“Lasted longer than I thought it would”

Living a digital nomadic lifestyle, Noela is glued to her phone and laptop. In our previous collaborations, she always had to rely on her power bank — or her friend’s power bank on certain occasions — to charge her iPhone 6s Plus.

She spends a lot of time managing a community, being stuck in conference calls, and constant updating of her work, thanks to her remote setup.

The OPPO Reno3 was a game-changer. Accustomed to her iPhone’s short battery life, the Reno3 surprised her with a 4025mAh battery. “It lasted longer than I thought it would,” she remarked.

“One time, I was able to use it for the whole weekend and I only charged it once. I even spent a lot of time on social media and switching to my favorite apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix, and YouTube. It has so much juice!”

It also took 30 minutes of charging from 10 percent to 77 percent, thanks to OPPO’s VOOC Flash Charge. “It’s super fast!” she said in astonishment.

“Great even without its AI beauty mode”

In between her work and fitness activities, Noela takes a lot of selfies. She believes taking selfies isn’t a trait of narcissism or vanity. It’s a form of appreciation, and a healthy idea to pass time and ease your boredom.

“When you look good, you feel good.”

Her love for taking selfies made her dabble into skincare and makeup. However, being quarantined and stuck with a phone made for selfies made her drop her usual intensive skincare and makeup routine.

“Seriously, I was wowed by its front camera. I find it great even without its AI beauty mode, although it’s a plus for the times I don’t wear makeup.”

She definitely enjoyed the Reno3’s 44-megapixel front camera. To fully maximize its selfie cam, she took different selfies while sharing a few tips to Her GadgetMatch.

“Always make sure that you’ve got a nice background.”

“If there’s natural light involved, play, and adjust with it as much as possible. You can pose with different facial expressions until you get the look you’re aiming for.”

“Lastly, take a lot of selfies — so you can have a variety of photos to choose from. ‘The more the merrier’ applies here!”

Although she was astounded with the Reno3’s front camera, Noela was a little bit disappointed with its rear cameras. Despite having a Quadcam setup (with 48-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, 13-megapixel telephoto lens, and 2-megapixel photo lens), the results weren’t what she expected.

“I find it pale unless you adjust your settings. Yes, it’s detailed, but I want the photos to be lively and rich in colors,” Noela expressed her dismay.

As a solution, she relied on using her favorite photo-editing software such as VSCO, Snapseed, and Adobe Lightroom to add vibrance to her photos. Though she admittedly post-process her photos, Noela still finds it a bit of a hassle to edit photos before uploading on Instagram Stories.

“A red flag”

Apart from the problems Noela encountered, her greatest distress was the delays in her experience — which is a dealbreaker and perhaps, the biggest downside of the phone.

Even with a 5G-enabled Helio P90 chipset from MediaTek, 8GB of memory, and 128GB of storage, the Reno3 wasn’t a reliable companion for a multitasker like her.

“There were a lot of delays when I was switching between apps. When I was posting a pre-shoot video on Instagram, the app also froze. Throughout my usage, I find myself relaunching apps more often. This is such a red flag.”

Despite her grievances, She still believed that she’ll use the OPPO Reno3. She had high hopes that OPPO can improve at least its features and user interface through software updates.

Is this Her GadgetMatch?

“My iPhone is so outdated. But I can say that OPPO’s Reno3 is so much better than my iPhone 6s Plus. I love its cameras, its features, and it has huge storage for all my selfies. Also, it’s a hundred percent user-friendly.”

Noela told Her GadgetMatch how the Reno3’s simple and classy design speaks to her personality on another level. Additionally, it has what she needs right now, which also fits her current nomadic lifestyle.

Her experience — despite having a big dealbreaker — is still enough for her to switch to the Reno3. Considerably an upgrade from her aging iPhone. True to her words, the OPPO Reno3 could be Her GadgetMatch.

You’ll always go back to your favorite

However, Noela’s case is a rare gem. She simply grew fond of the Reno3 after trying it for a while. It’s like discovering you like cold brew so you decided to love it. But by default, you’ll always go back to your favorite Caramel Macchiato, since it’s that one drink you’ve tried and tested — and it’s guaranteed to not let you down. Frankly, we all love the familiar.

Admittedly, had Noela seen the iPhone SE before the Reno3, she won’t even bother switching. At the time she had the Reno3, it was a much more affordable alternative compared to upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro.

Pricing and availability

The OPPO Reno3 currently retails for SG$ 549 in Singapore and is available in Midnight Black and Sky White. In the Philippines, it retails for PhP 18,990. It will be available in Auroral Blue, Midnight Black, and Sky White. Additionally, it comes with a free Rockspace EB60 Bluetooth Earbuds.

The Reno3 will be available on Shopee starting April 30, 2020 and on Lazada starting May 13, 2020.

Watch Noela’s vlog which was shot and edited using the OPPO Reno3:

SEE ALSO: OPPO Reno3 Pro review: Disappointed but not surprised | OPPO Reno3 series pricing and availability in the Philippines

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Accessories

Google Pixel Buds 2: Unboxing and Hands-on

The second Pixel Buds just got better

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Finally! The second Pixel Buds are here. After being announced a few months back, the new Pixel Buds are here with better features in mind.

Although there is no support for ANC (Active Noise-Cancellation) unlike the AirPods Pro and Huawei Freebuds 3, you’ll still get nifty features overall.

To know more, just watch our video here.

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Hands-On

Huawei P40 Pro Unboxing and Complete Hands-On

‘Visionary Photography’

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Everything you need to know about the new Huawei P40 Series. Yep there are 3 phones this year, the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+. Yep a pro plus model!

In this video you get a P40 Pro Unboxing, Hands-On, some photo samples, and a camera comparison vs the P30 Pro.

Of course I’ll also answer you questions: What’s new? How is the P40 Pro’s camera vs the P30 Pro, and what’s it like without Google Play Services? And while you’ll have to wait for my full review for a verdict, I’ll try to answer the question, Is it your GadgetMatch?

Watch our Hands-On video.

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