Oppo launched the N1 mini in India yesterday, which is essentially a smaller variant of the N1 smartphone launched early this year. The Chinese company has launched the smartphone at Rs 26,990, which puts it on the higher side, especially since the current trend is to sell phones with higher specifications at low price. Oppo however feels that with features like a swivel camera, interactive UI and a good build quality, this newbie gets an edge over others in the competition. We had the phone in our hands for a while and here are our first impressions.
Starting with the build and design — Oppo N1 mini is a sleek phone, which looks pretty nice in its unibody design. It dons a glossy polycarbonate chassis which is quite similar to the likes of Gionee Elife smartphones. The phone feels light and comfortable, and offers good grip in one’s hands. The sides of the phone have a power key and SIM tray, and the bottom comes with speaker, and a microUSB slot. At the top you will find the swivel camera, which is also the key attraction of the phone. The 13-megapixel camera can be swirled to be used as front as well as rear camera. While not a unique design, it is still rare to find phones that look like the N1 mini.
Talking more of the camera, the company claims that it can shoot photos at 24-megapixel Ultra HD mode, however during the testing time we didn’t find it impressive enough. We will however reserve our judgment till we have extensively reviewed the smartphone.
The N1 Mini boasts a 5-inch HD (1280×720 pixels) display, which offered good viewing angles and produced colors well. However under direct sunlight, we found the display to be quite reflective and dull even when the phone’s brightness was set to the highest point.
Moving on to the software, the N1 mini comes with Android 4.3 topped with the company’s own ColorOS 1.4 UI, which brings a number of tweaks to the raw software interface along with an array of additional features. The UI seemed slightly heavy for the phone. You will have to use the phone for a while to get accustomed to these features.
The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz and paired with Adreno 305 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage space. The hardware is promising but is not the best in this range, considering that there already are octa-core chipset driven smartphones available in this price range. Moreover, the internal storage is restricted to 11GB, with no option to further expand the memory using a microSD card.
Overall, the N1 mini does have some good features in its kitty, but suffers from its hefty price tag. Had the company placed it at a slightly lower price point, this could have been a good competition to the likes of Xiaomi, which have recently entered the Indian smartphone market and have aggressively priced its smartphones.