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Oppo R1: The Chinese device that feels like Apple iPhone

June 16, 2014 16:12 IST

Oppo R1: The Chinese device that feels like Apple iPhone

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Harsh Vardhan

Generally known for cheap imitations (especially in the Indian market) of other high-end gadgets, China's emerging smartphone market has been the talking point for years now.

However, Oppo, another smartphone maker from the country took many by surprise when it entered the country with the N1, a premium phone with a unique swivelling camera.

Besides the N1, the second prong of Oppo's attack is the new R1. This model is quite different from its predecessor and will probably appeal to a wider section of buyers.

It's a simple, sleek slab of a phone but promises quite a few features that should make it stand out. Let's see what all the device has to offer.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
Tags: Oppo , China

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Design

The Oppo R1 somehow feels similar to iPhone 4. Though it has different proportions, the design seems to have an Apple touch.

The front and back are sheer glass, and are in fact so reflective that you might just use it as a mirror.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
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Oppo R1: The Chinese device that feels like Apple iPhone

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Design

The high-gloss surfaces look great but they are prone to smudges and make the device slippery.

The front has no visible markings except for very faint icons beneath the screen where the capacitive buttons are.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
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Design

They light up a little when the screen is on, but you'll be tapping them more by memory than by sight.

The power button is on the upper left with the volume rocker opposite it, on the right.

Towards the lower left corner is a neatly designed SIM card tray that sits perfectly with the phone's exterior, but actually has slots for two micro-SIMs.

The phone does not have a microSD slot.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
Tags: SIM

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Features and software

The R1 uses a MediaTek MT6582 with four cores running at 1.3GHz and a Mali-400 graphics processing unit.

There's 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage space, which is divided into "system storage" and "phone storage".

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo

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Features and software

Around 11GB is available to the user in total. The screen is bright and crisp, and in high-definition (HD).

The R1 runs Android 4.2.2 but comes with Oppo's fairly extensive skin (the company calls it ColorOS).

I must say, unlike most third-party skins, this one is actually quite well-designed.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
Tags: Oppo

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Camera

The 8 megapixel (MP) rear camera performed well and is a competent replacement for a digital one. However, you will witness loss of detail when you zoom to the maximum degree.

The camera app can also be accessed via a gesture when the screen is turned off.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
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Camera

Drawing a circle on the screen will launch the camera and this works even when the phone is locked.

The access to the gallery is also available but only for the pictures that were taken while the phone was locked.

For all other images, you'll still need to unlock your phone.

The 5MP front camera serves its purpose well. If you are a fan of selfies, this one would appeal to you.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
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Performance

We had no problem with lags in everyday usage, but this phone definitely wasn't meant to handle full-HD video.

Similarly, gaming is restricted to casual titles only. Games such as Temple Run 2 look fantastic, but you will have a tough time if you wish to play Asphalt 8 on this.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo

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Performance

Call quality is perfectly acceptable and we were also impressed with the built-in speaker when playing music and watching video clips.

The R1 is one of the smartphones with decent audio quality, though, of course, that isn't saying very much. The battery got through a day without any hassles.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo
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Verdict

Unlike our stereotypical ideas of Chinese-branded phones, the Oppo R1 is an aesthetically pleasing device and a capable one at Rs 24,999.

But it has to deal with powerful devices available in the same range: Motorola Mobility's Moto X, Samsung's Galaxy Grand 2 and HTC's Desire 816 to name a few.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo

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Verdict

As a lesser known brand with an unproven after-sales service record, our view is that Oppo might have to cut prices if it wishes to make a mark in the growing Indian smartphone market.

OPPO R1 Specifications:

Price: Rs 24,999

Dimensions: 142.7 x 70.4 x 7.1 mm

Weight: 140 g

RAM: 1GB

Camera: 8 MP rear, 5 MP front

OS: Android OS, v4.2.1

Battery: 2,410mAh Li-ion battery


Photographs: Courtesy, Oppo

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