Mobile World Congress (MWC), the mecca of mobile launches and innovation, is just weeks away. But that isn’t stopping smartphone makers from introducing new devices. Vivo recently expanded its S series in India with the launch of S1 Pro smartphone. Realme launched an updated budget smartphone called Realme 5i. Now, Oppo has revamped its F-series in the form of Oppo F15. The smartphone arrives as the successor to F11 and tries to ascertain its place as a leader in design.
While Xiaomi has a comfortable lead on the top as leader in the smartphone market, the second place is up for grabs. It’s a position that Samsung holds but Vivo, Realme and Oppo are coming fast to dethrone the Korean company. Vivo and Realme seem like a natural contenders but Oppo cannot be written off. The Oppo F15 won’t break any sales record or push Oppo to the forefront, it does show the capabilities. It is akin to Genesis, which may not sell in volumes but shows that Hyundai can compete with BMW, Audi and Mercedes of this world. So, will Oppo F15 remain a showpiece device or there is more to the story? Let’s try to discover in our first look.
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Oppo F15: Design and Display
The first thing you notice about the Oppo F15 is its design. But, I’m most amazed by the second thing you will notice – weight. The Oppo F15 weighs 172 grams, but it feels just too light. It is made possible by plastic frame and plastic back panel. While the lightweight chassis makes it comfortable to carry around for a long time, there is a downside. At Rs 19,990, consumers expect more premium materials. Even Xiaomi Redmi Note 8, priced starting at Rs 9,999, comes with proper glass back.
For me, what started as a surprise lightweight design, turned into a disappointment. Our review unit came in lightening black color. It is psychedelic in nature and exhibits hue of blue and black depending on light reflecting from the surface. On the back, there is a quad rear camera setup. It is stacked vertically on the top left hand corner. The Oppo branding is at the bottom left corner. Everything that Oppo has done here seems little for the price.
Oppo F15: Hardware
Oppo F15 features a 6.4-inch display with Full HD+ resolution of 2400×1080 pixels. It has a waterdrop-style notch at the top that allows for taller 20:9 aspect ratio. The AMOLED panel seems to deliver very good brightness, rich colors and deeper blacks. We will dive deeper into the display quality in our full review. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and there is a fingerprint sensor embedded underneath the display. It is powered by MediaTek Helio P70 SoC. This is the same processor seen on its predecessor, the Oppo F11.
I’m skeptical about the choice of this processor since it can found on devices under Rs 10,000 as well. Oppo is offering the smartphone in only one storage option of 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It also has a dedicated SD card slot for expansion up to 256GB. There is also a 4,025mAh battery with support for 20W VOOC flash charge. On paper alone, this hardware fails to match Redmi Note 8 Pro and Realme X2. But Oppo could still have an upper hand with execution. That’s what we will cover in the full review next week.
Oppo F15: Initial Impressions
My initial impressions are quite clear – I’m impressed by the design. At the same time, I am disappointed that premium price does not mean premium hardware. Oppo F15 is primarily about two things – design and cameras. My mandate for the full review is basically to test the quality of that 48-megapixel main camera on the back. I’m also looking forward to that 2-megapixel black and white sensor. Of course, we will be testing the selfie camera, an area where Oppo has stayed ahead of rivals with smoothing and other wizardry.
Oppo F15 is now available for pre-order via Amazon India, Flipkart and other retailers. Should you pre-order? The answer is no. I would recommend you wait for our full review dropping next week before you opt for this one. In our review, we will also look at how better other devices in this price segment have become. In the past few years, Oppo has produced remarkably good devices but ones that we did not recommended to consumers. I fear that Oppo F15 is going to have the same fate.