Hands-On

OPPO R11s hands-on and photo comparisons

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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.

OPPO R11s in red

Look and feel

If you’re a fan of the R11’s form factor, you’ll definitely be a fan of the R11s.


Girl holding OPPO 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.

OPPO R11s starry night feature

This means less bezels, more display, and the disappearance of the capacitive buttons up front.

OPPO R11s all three available colors

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.

OPPO R11s with case

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.

OPPO R11s near borderless display

This means more text and photos without having to scroll…

OPPO R11s bigger screen

… and a wider view for your media consumption.

watching YouTube video on the OPPO R11s
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.

Taking a selfie with ai beauty mode on the OPPO R11s

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.

OPPO R11s red

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.

OPPO R11s rear cameras

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.

OPPO R11s side by side with the OPPO R11

Of course, up front, the bezels make all the difference.

OPPO R11s vs the OPPO R11

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.

OPPO R11s vs OPPO R11

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.

Initial thoughts

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.

Girls taking selfies with the OPPO R11s

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.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11 hands-on and photo comparisons

[irp posts=”23498" name=”OPPO’s massive R11s Plus launches alongside smaller R11s”]

 

Hands-On

OPPO A9 2020 Hands-On: Massive and Playful

For every kind of junkie

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OPPO recently streamlined its smartphone lineup. From Find and Reno, OPPO introduces us to the newest A series. On paper, it seems the A-series is a combination of the F-series and former A-series. Sitting in a sweet spot between an affordable price range and incredible performance, the OPPO A9 2020 is shaping up to be a contender in a sea of smartphones fighting for the crown in the midrange category.

With Xiaomi and Huawei firmly in the lead, can OPPO put up a fight just like it did with its F series? Let’s find out in this Hands-On!


Starting with looks, the OPPO A9 2020 gives in to a premium-like design

It has a dedicated fingerprint scanner and a quad-camera setup on its rear

You can find the power button here…

…While the left side houses the volume keys and sim card slot

Its top is clear, but its bottom shows-off its speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C port

It has a 6.5″ IPS LCD screen with a waterdrop notch for the front camera

The OPPO A9 2020 prides itself with its new design that took inspiration from its R-series. In addition, OPPO focused on the phone’s display, reinforcing its IPS LCD screen with a Toughened Corning Gorilla Glass 3+.

Moreover, its screen has new features such as the Sunlight Screen which allows you to adjust the contrast so you can read the screen, even under strong direct light. It also has a Blue Shield which filters out blue light, relieving your eyes from fatigue and strain and protecting your eyesight.

Going big and definitely not going home

Sporting a Snapdragon 665 chipset along with an 8GB RAM, 128GB storage (which you can expand up to 256GB of external memory), the A9 2020 really joined the battle of offering power to midrange devices. OPPO decides to make everything flashy and… big.

For instance, it boasts a humongous 5000mAh battery that can last you throughout the day. Furthermore, it’s capable of reverse wireless charging (through OTG) so your friends can rely on you when their phones run out of battery.

Gamers will find delight with the A9 2020. Thanks to Game Boost 2.0, OPPO’s accelerator technology aims to resolve latency, reduce touchscreen lag, and optimizing energy consumption to avoid overheating.

OPPO decided to up their game for entertainment junkies, too! Packed with Dual Stereo Speakers and Dolby Atmos sound effects, expect a superb, immersive audio experience.

Smarter, smoother

The A9 2020 runs on ColorOS 6 based on Android 9.0. Now, its interface is cleaner and smoother. Icons look cute with their subtle gradient tones.

It also comes with smart functions like Smart Assistant, Riding Mode — which lets you remain uninterrupted by notifications and incoming calls — and a Music party app which lets multiple phones connect in the same LAN through a Wi-Fi hotspot for synchronized listening.

Navigating the phone is now easier with a single hand, too. Through Gesture Navigation, you can return to the home screen, check out recent tasks, switch pages and applications by just swiping up, left, and right.

Cameras for all angles and scenarios

The OPPO A9 2020 shows off its highly versatile camera setup. It has a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel portrait lens, and a 2-megapixel mono lens on its rear.

On its front is a 16-megapixel camera with AI Beautification technology which automatically identifies your skin tone, age, gender, and skin color for customized beautification, giving you a pretty yet make-up free look.

More features include artistic portrait styles, ultra night mode, and 4K video shooting. More sample photos here:

Is the OPPO A9 2020 your GadgetMatch?

If you’re into massive and chunky smartphones with a solid build, the OPPO A9 2020 might be a good match. It offers power and performance for gamers and entertainment junkies, and its smartphone has a versatile camera setup to appease your needs. While there may be Xiaomi and Huawei leading the midrange category, OPPO definitely cooked up a powerful yet affordable phone that can go toe-to-toe with its rivals.

The OPPO A9 2020 is available in two colors: Space Purple and Marine Green. Its retail price is PhP 15,990 and will be available for pre-order starting September 20 until September 27 in Lazada, and through OPPO stores, authorized dealers, and e-commerce partner sites like Shopee, Akulaku, and Argomall on September 28.

For those who want to avail through Home Credit, customers can pre-order the A9 2020 starting September 20 with flexible payment terms of six and nine months with a guaranteed zero percent interest.

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Hands-On

Nokia 3.2 Hands-On: Basic but classy

Nothing fancy but really speedy

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Nokia has been stepping up its lineup of budget smartphones. Early in 2019, the brand launched a plethora of budget smartphones that are under the Android One program. One of the budget-friendly smartphones introduced was Nokia 3.2. Eager to have that Nokia experience, I took the phone out for a spin.

It’s cheap… but classy

I had high hopes when I first got the Nokia 3.2 in its box. Seeing it earlier in MWC 2019 made me appreciate its look and vibe. Compared to other budget smartphones, it’s classier and sexier. However, the phone feels a little bit downgraded when compared to its predecessor.


Nokia the 3.1 with an aluminum frame, a plastic back, and corning gorilla glass while the 3.2 used only a polycarbonate unibody design. Its plastic back is smudgy and slippery, but the phone has a tighter grip, thanks to its subtle curved edges towards the front.

Even its buttons are subtly protruding on its sides. On the left is a dedicated Google Assistant button, and on the right are its power buttons and volume keys.

Found on its back are the 13-megapixel main camera, LED Flash, and fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, its top side features a headphone jack, while the micro USB port and speaker grilles are found on the bottom.

If the notch is troubling you, try hiding it with a wallpaper similar to what I did in the image above.

It also features a 6.2 inches LCD panel on its front display, with a tall 19:9 ratio. It might be disrupting, but the Nokia 3.2 still sports a small notch, housing its 5-megapixel selfie camera capable of AI face unlock. Even though it might be bigger and taller this time, the Nokia 3.2 is definitely a joy to hold.

Stock Android on a budget

The saving grace for Nokia’s disappointing build (at least for me) is its clean version of Android One. That means there’s no bloatware to take up your limited memory and storage.

Additionally, the Nokia 3.2 comes with Android 9 Pie out of the box. This makes it feel faster than its competitors in the budget segment despite having a 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Fortunately, it provides a microSD card slot up to up to 400GB of storage.

An entry-level performance

Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 429 processor, the Nokia 3.2 performs better compared to its predecessor which carried a MediaTek chipset. In addition, its GPU runs on Adreno 504.

This made the Nokia 3.2 handle graphic-intensive games like Mobile Legends even if it was set on the highest graphics setting possible. There were no delay and lag spikes, ensuring smooth gameplay all throughout.

Decent cameras for your everyday needs

Featuring a 13-megapixel main camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture, the Nokia 3.2 takes decent photos. Depending on the lighting, both of its cameras can either take a vibrant, lively reproduced color during daylight or a slightly desaturated photo on indoor and low-light conditions.

Of course, we can’t really expect budget smartphones to have flagship-like cameras. It won’t have quick auto-focus or any fancy features like blurring your background, but it’s the compromise we’re getting when we follow our tight budget. At the very least, make use of natural light and other camera tricks to improve your photos.

Lasts longer than your partner

If there’s one thing I enjoyed with this smartphone, it’s the humongous battery. Packing a 4000mAh battery, the Nokia 3.2 can definitely last a day on a single charge. It can handle your multimedia use and everyday tasks throughout the day, yet it will still have enough juice left to carry you through the night.

However, for a phone carrying a huge battery, it charges slowly at 10W. This phone might just be good for those who love to charge their phones overnight.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Nokia 3.2 is a contender in the budget segment. It might have a disappointing build and design, but the phone packs with power, performance, and speed, thanks to Google’s Android One program.

With a starting price of PhP 7,990 (US$ 154) for the 3GB/32GB model, Nokia loyalists will find this a real treat. For people looking for a secondary phone, or a primary phone with no frills and just functions to handle your everyday needs, the Nokia 3.2 could be your GadgetMatch.

However, there are still far better options in the budget category, like the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3. If Nokia wants to come back in its former glory and capture people looking for an affordable powerhouse, they need to join the battle and beat Realme and Redmi in their game, just like Samsung bending over to compete in the tough budget battlefield.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Fold Hands-on: The Redo!

Refined and ready for release

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This is our Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on! We revisit Samsung’s foldable phone as it relaunches and check out what’s new!

More on the Samsung Galaxy Fold: Global Availability | How Samsung Fixed it | A more affordable Galaxy Fold?


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