I’m a fairly hardcore iPhone user, so when I first laid eyes on the OPPO F5, it felt like I was taking a walk on the smartphone wild side. But I was amazed as we put it to the ultimate editorial test -- we used it to shoot the cover of our party couture edition of the POPxo Fashion magazine. Here are the 10 things that really surprised me.
The Oppo F5 is a cheeky phone. It deliberately flings out features Apple wants us to get excited about in the iPhone X while costing a quarter of the price. Face unlock? Check. Tiny screen surround? Yep, it’s there. There’s even background blurring in the selfie camera. It definitely has fun little gadgety bits that just keep flying off its glossy edges.
Now, some of these may be new to Apple fans, but tiny bezels and face unlocking have been appearing on Android phones for a while.
However, the Oppo F5 is one of the first to do it with such elegance and at an incredible price point. One of the first things that will surprise you about the Oppo F5 is how easy it is to handle it, given the size of its screen: 6in. When you first look at its ultra-wide display you think it’ll be unwieldy, but it isn’t.
Another clever feature is its cutting-edge look: now the back looks metallic but it is actually plastic. I’ll admit for a while I thought it was metal, and thought it’ll be heavy and slippery like metallic phones. But the plastic (polycarbonate actually) offers a better grip and a much lighter grasp.
Now, I’m always on the run and using a thumb on a finger scanner on my own phone is a fairly idiotic function. The Oppo F5, on the other hand, has a finger scanner on the back, which unlocks the phone quick-smart -- something you can do with just your forefinger while holding the phone in the same hand. There’s also face unlocking if you really want to be ‘on-trend’, a term I very much loathe.
By the way, I did have fun trying the feature while talking, making weird faces, in low light, with and without my glasses -- the phone didn’t get confused even once!
There’s something else I use my devices for -- and that’s gaming. On flights, at boring meetings, or before I fall asleep, I love playing games. And the 6in screen is great for it. I didn’t expect that it would be easy to play on a bezel-less screen, but actually there’s enough space at the top and bottom of the screen for you to rest your thumbs. Just play the game while keeping the phone ‘landscape’. The aspect ratio is also great for movies, leaving smaller black bars when you watch in the cinema-style 2:35. Slim surround screens: we’re on-board. The screen also has excellent viewing angles, telling us the panel is high-quality.
The screen is also handy because Oppo’s version of Android is pretty unconventional. The UI has no apps menu, that means you have a series of pages that you simply flip through to see your apps.
Now, step into Settings and you’ll find a few more surprises. Like Clone apps. This odd feature lets you install two instances of certain apps, including WhatsApp -- that means you can have one for work and the other for personal use.
The interface also supports themes. These change the background, the icons and fonts. I loved that fact that it had loads of desi touches.
Finally, at our cover shoot, I had a chance to actually try the Oppo F5’s much-advertised selfie camera -- it’s alarmingly cool, with fantastic detail rendering even in moody indoors lighting. The mammoth 20-megapixel sensor on the front and beauty “AI” mode miraculously smoothes-out your skin, makes you look less tired/dull -- making it a selfie king of its class. You’ll get fantastic detail and a decent background blur for extra arty Instagram likes!
*This article is in association with OPPO.