Oppo launched the Oppo R1 in India back in April, about four months after it announced the smartphone. It is the successor of the Oppo R819 that we reviewed last year. The Oppo R1 has a completely new design and has new hardware and software features compared to the R819. It has brilliant design and comes in slim form factor, but is it worth the price? Let us find out in the complete review.
We unboxed the Oppo R1 recently, check out the unboxing below.
The box contents include,
- Oppo R1 in black
- 2-pin charger
- USB cable
- Headset with mic
- SIM ejector tool
- Transparent protective cover
- Quick guide and information guide
Hardware and Design
The Oppo R819 had a plastic build, but its successor Oppo R1 (R829) has a combination of glass and metal build. It has a 5-inch display at a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels at 294 PPI pixel density. It is bright since it has a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a surface luminance of 450 cd/m2. The IPS display offers great viewing angles and vibrant color output. Since the screen is very sensitive, you can use it even with gloves, once you enable gloves mode in the Gesture & motion settings.
It has an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness control, but the brightness adjustment is not proper in bright outdoors and even in indoors if it’s set to auto. Since the display too glossy, it is prone to fingerprints and also attracts dust easily.
It has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with 80-degree wide angle lens. It can record videos at 720p HD resolution. It has the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors. These sensors are hardly visible due to the black bezel. It also has a white LED notification light that glows only when the screen is off.
The capacitive touch buttons for menu, home and back have mild backlight. Long pressing the Home button opens the Google Search and long pressing menu button opens multitasking window. These offer haptic feedback when pressed. Wish Oppo offered on-screen buttons instead to reduce the height of the smartphone. It is 142.7 mm tall, bit taller than the Oppo Find 5 that was 141.8 tall.
The Oppo R1 has a brushed metal rim running on the sides of the phone that offers better grip. It is 7.1mm thick. The volume rockers are present on the right side of the phone.
On the other side there is a power button. Both these buttons have a chrome finish. The SIM card slot is also present on the left side.
You need to use the bundled SIM ejector tool to open the SIM card slot.
Even the SIM card slot is made of metal. The SIM tray has two micro SIM slot, one after the other, similar to the Oppo R819. Sadly the phone lacks a microSD card slot.
There is a 3.5mm audio jack and a secondary microphone on the top.
On the bottom there is a speaker grill, micro USB slot and a primary microphone.
There is a 8-megapixel camera on the back along with a LED flash. We will discuss about the camera in detail in the camera part. There is also a tiny notification LED on the back that glows when you turn the phone to the back side. This uses the phone’s proximity sensor to detect the phone is turned upside down.
The back of the phone has a shiny glass back that is highly reflective and attracts fingerprints. The glass back is prone to cracking or breaking. Oppo has bundled a transparent cover in the box to protect the back. Overall the phone has a stunning design and build quality.
It has a 8-megapixel rear camera with a 1/3.2″ Sony IMX179 sensor with a pixel size of 1.4 microns and f/2.0 aperture. It has a 5-element lens with blue glass filter for better rendition and colour balance. The Oppo R819 had Oppo’s own ISP, but the R1 has a Fujitsu ISP. It has a minimal UI with toggles on the left side and camera modes on the right side. It also has a beautify mode that enhances the brightness by detecting your face, especially for selfies.
The camera performance is similar to the Oppo R819. Daylight shots were pretty good with vibrant colors, macro shots are good too, thanks to f/2.0 aperture. HDR shots doesn’t offer much compared to normal shots. Low light images have noise in normal mode and the night mode is slightly better. LED flash definitely helps a lot. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera is also pretty good. Since it has a 80 degree wide-angle lens, it can capture more people when you are taking selfies. Check out some camera samples below.
Check out the complete set of Oppo R1 camera samples here.
It can record videos at 720p HD resolution and offers all the required details and vibrant color output. Since it has a secondary microphone, audio is crisp. Check out the video sample below
The Oppo R1 runs on Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with highly customized color ROM on top. Oppo has added several new features in the new Color OS. You can long press the homescreen to add widgets, effects, change wallpapers and themes.
When you swipe down from the top left corner of the status bar, it opens the Gesture Panel that lets you draw a gesture to open respective application quickly. You can also set custom gestures from the settings and also change the task you need to open such as call screen, camera, flashlight or a custom app.
It has several on-screen gestures including option to take a screenshot, activate camera and adjust volume. Motion features include, Flip to mute, Easy dial, easy answer and Hands-free switch. It has double tap to wake up, option to open the camera, flash light or control music by a gesture, when the screen is off.
Out of 1GB RAM, you get 960 MB of usable RAM, out of which about 260MB of RAM is free when stock apps are running in the background. Out of 16GB of internal storage, you get around 10.3 GB for mass storage and around 2.1GB for system storage. You can also move compatible apps from the system storage to phone storage.
Coming to apps, the smartphone has a range of pre-loaded apps and the usual set of Google Apps. It also has O-Cloud, Oppo’s own cloud storage. Other apps include, File Manager, Notes, Kingsoft Office, Flashlight, App encryption, Permission monitor and more. It also comes pre-loaded with Green Farm 3, Danger Dash and Kingdoms and Lords from Gameloft.
Music Player and FM Radio
The Music player is simple and can play a range of audio formats. It lacks equalizer support. It has Dirac HD support that uses a special audio processing for enhanced audio output. The bundled earphones are not that great, but using high-end earphones clearly lets you find the difference between the same audio played on the Oppo R1 with Dirac HD and other smartphones without this technology. This offers crystal clear audio even in low frequencies. The loudspeaker output is pretty good. The FM Radio has auto search, but lacks RDS support.
Dual SIM and Connectivity
It has dual SIM support that has similar functionalities as most other Android smartphones. You can choose the default SIM card for Voice call, Message and Data or set it to always ask. The connectivity features include, 3GHSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. It lacks USB OTG support.
Performance and Benchmarks
It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor and Mali 400 GPU and packs 1GB RAM. The performance is decent, but the customized UI had occasional lags, especially when running a lot of apps in the background. Wish Oppo had used a faster processor. The smartphone doesn’t get heated, even though it has a glass back and a metal frame. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
The Oppo R1 scored 7037 points in the Quadrant benchmark.
AnTuTu Benchmark 4
It scored 17529 points in the AnTuTu Benchmark 4, better than Grand 2.
Vellamo 2.0 HTML5
It managed to score 1917 points in the Vellamo 2 HTML5 browser benchmark. You can check out the complete set of Oppo R1 benchmarks here.
We tried out several games like Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2, Shadowgun, Riptide GP2 and Real Boxing. Most of these games were smooth and the graphics were also good. Sadly, it doesn’t support PlayStation controller. Check out the gaming review below to get an idea about the performance of the smartphone.
Coming to the battery life, the 2410 mAh battery is definitely good. With single SIM card, occasional 3G usage and screen time of about 4 hours, it offers whole day battery life and even lasts till the next day morning on a single charge. It has power saving mode that reduces the screen’s brightness, disables haptic touch feedback and turns off connectivity features to save power. The power saving mode has to be enabled manually from the power saving settings, and doesn’t get triggered when it reaches particular battery threshold like most other smartphones. The battery reminder option will remind you when the power is less than 40% at night so that you can charge the phone before it runs out juice when you wake up in the morning. Battery life might vary depending on the usage such as intensive gaming and extensive 3G usage.
We were definitely impressed with the camera, design and build quality of the smartphone, but it comes at a high price tag and the performance is not that great compared to other devices in the price range. The Color OS has a lot of features, but it is laggy at times, mainly due to the processor and just 1GB of RAM. Oppo launched the R1 at a price tag of Rs. 26,990, but it recently got a price cut to Rs. 24,990. Still it is pretty costly, considering the lack of expansion slot and the average performance. If you can live with the lack of these features go for it, otherwise there are a lot of options including the Gionee Elife E7 and even the 16GB variant of the Nexus 5 that lies in the similar price range.
- Sleek design and solid build quality
- Brilliant rear and front facing cameras
- Good display
- Decent battery life
- Average performance
- Priced a bit on the higher side
- Only 16GB of storage without expansion slot
- Custom UI is highly skinned and is slightly laggy