The Oppo F1 Plus is an expensive-looking smartphone that’s actually half the price of the current crop of flagships. If you’d like an iPhone 6S, but your budget won’t stretch, this could be a contender.
At a cost of £299 (AU$599, around US$430), you get a lot of phone for your money. A decent battery, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, and an impressive 16MP selfie camera are just the beginning.
There’s also a lightning fast fingerprint sensor, a whopping 64GB of internal storage (with microSD support for more), and a sexy, svelte, metallic body, which may leave you wondering where the compromises have been made.
If you’ve never heard of Oppo before, suffice to say it’s a Chinese manufacturer that has done well at home and in emerging markets. It has gradually drifted toward the premium end of the budget market and is now looking to tempt Europeans with the best of its line-up.
And the F1 Plus definitely is tempting, but we also have to consider the MediaTek processor, Oppo’s Color OS on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop, and the 13MP main camera. There’s a whiff of style over substance here.
When you first lay eyes on it, the Oppo F1 Plus looks a lot like an iPhone 6S Plus. It has a curvy metallic body and a comfortable feel.
Flip it over and you’ll see a protruding camera lens at the top left and two horizontal bands breaking up the metal body that are there to improve antenna performance and ensure you can get a signal.
The F1 Plus also has exactly the same sized 5.5-inch display with a full HD 1080p resolution, as the iPhone 6S Plus, though Oppo’s display is AMOLED. It’s bright and vibrant, with good detail, but the colors definitely look oversaturated at times.
Oppo has managed to outdo Apple on the slim stakes; the F1 Plus measures just 6.6mm thick compared to the positively chubby 6S Plus at 7.3mm.
The lozenge design on the home button, which also houses a fingerprint sensor, is more reminiscent of Samsung. You have to actually press it to bring the F1 Plus to life and have it read your fingerprint and unlock, just like the last few Galaxy phones.
It’s also on a par with them in terms of performance, only occasionally failing if your finger or thumb is wet or dirty.
Regardless of where the design cues originated, this is a lovely-looking phone and it feels reassuringly solid, though it weighs in at just 145g, which is very light for a handset this big. Consider that the Samsung Galaxy S7 weighs 152g and only has a 5.1-inch display.
There are no surprises in the button placement, with separate volume controls on the left spine and a power button on the right. You’ll find the micro USB port and the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom edge.
The SIM slot is above the power button and it can accommodate either two nanoSIMs or a nanoSIM and a microSD card of up to 128GB in size.
The Oppo F1 Plus feels very comfortable to hold and, if your hands are big enough, it’s pretty easy to use one-handed. The matte metallic finish gives way to a gloss, chamfered edge when it meets the display and this actually adds some grip, too.
Oppo also provides a simple, transparent gel case in the box to give it an extra layer of protection.
My F1 Plus review unit is gold, but you can also get it with a rose gold finish.
The Oppo F1 Plus makes a very good first impression and there’s no arguing that this is a very polished design for a £300 (AU$599, around US$430) phone.