The F1 Plus marks another occasion where Chinese manufacturer Oppo is trying to hit the Western mainstream.
Its launch is already a little confused though, as the Oppo F1 Plus is coming to the UK, but not the US, while it’s already out in Australia under the name of the Oppo R9.
The name change isn’t all that clear, but the F1 Plus seems to be an impressive set up for not much money – something Oppo specializes in.
The Oppo F1 Plus emulates a similar design to the Oppo F1 – which launched January – but features a larger 5.5-inch 1080p display. Once again, it feels premium in the hand with high quality metal used on the back of the phone.
Considering this costs £299 (AU$599, about US$425) I was especially impressed with how premium the F1 Plus feels when you first pick it up. It’s a similar price to a OnePlus 2 and it has a much more attractive design than that phone.
It’s hard not to pick up the Oppo F1 Plus and compare it to an iPhone.
The speaker grate at the bottom of the phone especially looks like the iPhone 6S Plus while the rose gold colour choice and bands surrounding the phone only hammer the fact home.
But this looks better than your average iPhone clone. The design is slim and the metal on the back of the phone feels especially sleek on your palm when you pick it up.
Some 5.5-inch display phones also feel too big to hold – I’m talking to you the iPhone 6S Plus – but here the body ensures it isn’t too large to handle.
You’ll likely have to use two hands while typing on the Oppo F1 Plus, but that’s to be expected when buying a larger screen phone.
There’s a fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the phone that acts as a manual button to wake the F1 Pus. It’s a little silly then, to find a button on the right hand edge of the phone that does exactly the same thing. It may not be a terrible issue, but it makes Oppo look a little sloppy.
The fingerprint scanner seems fast though, and I haven’t had any issues with it in my limited time playing around.
Oppo is proud of its camera technology employed in the F1 Plus and the company is really pushing the 16MP front-facing camera as the highlight. Even the box the phone arrives in claims it’s a “selfie expert.”
To be fair, it does have a front facing snapper with more megapixels than are on the back of some flagship phones right now.
In 2016, the Galaxy S7 has fewer megapixels on its main camera than the Oppo F1 Plus has on its front. That’s quite something.
But megapixels aren’t everything and although the quality of the image seemed high in my testing, it didn’t really jump out at me when looking back over it.
The main camera is also a 13MP sensor hammering home that the focus is on the front of the display here.
I take the odd selfie from time to time, but I find this hard to recommend to anyone who isn’t updating their Instagram with their face twice or more a day.
Software wise it’s disappointingly stuck on Android 5.1 Lollipop and there’s no word on when Marshmallow will make its way to the phone. It also has the Oppo Color OS over the top of the phone, making it look quite different to Android you’re used to.
It’s not particularly to my tastes but some people really enjoy the extra control features that Oppo offers such as the Security Center, gesture controls and low power mode.
I personally find the design looks quite childish and would rather have stock software, but it’s all down to your personal tastes.
Spec wise the Oppo F1 Plus is an impressive set up. There’s a MediaTek MT6755 processor that’s clocked at 2GHz, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. You can also add to that with microSD up to 128GB.
The battery is a 2850mAh cell, which may not sound like much, but Oppo has included the VOOC Flash charge technology to make sure it doesn’t need long hooked up to the wall until you’re back to full juice. Expect a proper battery rundown in our full review soon.
The Oppo F1 Plus sure isn’t going to make headlines, but it offers a solid phone for not all that much more money than some mid-range Android phones right now.
My only concern is that this has to compete in the space of a slightly higher spec, but still for low amounts of money. With the OnePlus 2 and the Huawei P8 for company it’s certainly been an issue for Oppo to stand out against the Chinese competition, and I’m not convinced this is the phone to do it.
But if you’re a selfie lover, maybe the main selling feature of the Oppo F1 Plus will jump right out when you’re searching for your new phone.