If there’s a brand in the Indian smartphone firmament that’s long been known for its glorious cameras and eye-catching designs, it’s the popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer – Oppo.
Apart from being good in the camera and design department, the company has also released phones that have proved to hold their own efficiently, in terms of performance. The latest addition is the Oppo 15, a midranger that shows off a super stylish design and a 48MP AI quad-cam, but is it worth it at Rs 19,990? Let’s find out.
Catchy Design, Nice Display
It’s already established that Oppo is great at manufacturing smartphones that are quite attractive. And the Oppo F15 is no exception. It comes in two different colors – Unicorn White and Lightening Black. We were given the former variant. It’s a beautiful ombre of milky white, purple and blue where the back gives off pretty streaks on reflection with the light. The transition from white to different shades of blue and purple is quite seamless which makes it very pleasant to look at. Now, while the design for the Oppo 15 is quite interesting, it’s not really unique, as there are other smartphones out there with similar color theme and design (Yes, Realme XT, I’m looking at you).
The rear panel has got a glassy look and feel, but it’s actually made up of laminated polycarbonate that nicely curves around the frame and meets the glass on the front. But, it’s a total smudge-magnet and if you don’t use the cover, you’d notice unsightly fingerprints all over it. Weighing 172 g, the phone is super lightweight and adds the right comfort and grip to the hand. There are no rough edges, the volume rocker is on the right, the power button is on the left, and works just as intended. Flip phone to the front, you’ll notice a dew-drop notch and a slight chin at the bottom.
Talking about the display, the Oppo F15 features a 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with 1080 x 2400 pixels resolution and 411 ppi pixel density. It has an aspect ratio of 20:9 and screen-to-body ratio of 90.7%. The 6.4-inch screen looks modern with minimum bezels and isn’t usable with one hand. Thanks to AMOLED, the blacks look deep and colors are captured well with higher contrast and details. Oppo F15 also features “DC Dimming 2.0” that’s supposed to protect your eyesight while watching videos in low light conditions but I personally didn’t notice a major difference. The screen also delivers well outdoors during bright daylight but you’d have to crank up the brightness. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 which helps add extra protection to the screen and an in-display fingerprint scanner that works just fine.
Super Fast Charging, Low Performance
Let’s just get this out of the way right now. Oppo F15 isn’t a great competitor to other midrangers in the market when it comes to performance and it’s because of the two-year old MediaTek Helio P70 chipset that it’s powered with. It’s also the same chipset that powers a lot of budget smartphones in the market right now. Oppo F15 does flaunt spacious storage with 128GB internal storage. Don’t get me wrong, the phone works well enough for me to not notice any major slowdowns when it comes to regular use like scrolling through Instagram, surfing the web, watching Netflix, YouTube videos, et al. But, the moment you decide to throw a graphics-heavy game like PUBG at it, it’ll start to show signs of stress. Not exactly something you’d expect from a midranger. However, you can still get a decent gaming experience out of it if you decide to play the game on a medium setting where you won’t observe any evident frame drops or lag.
Perhaps the greatest thing about Oppo F15 is its 4000mAh battery life and the crazy-fast VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 (20W) that charges up the phone to over 50% in just 30 minutes. And it takes around 70 minutes for Oppo F15 to go from 0 to 100%, which is really fast as compared to a lot of smartphones out there. Also, the battery carries enough juice to last all day with medium to heavy use. If you’re someone who doesn’t do a lot on their phone except regular phone calls and texting now and then, then the battery can last for even up to two days.
Coming down to the software experience on the Oppo F15, I neither loved it nor hated it. Featuring ColorOS 6.1.2 that runs atop Android 9 Pie, it’s easier and speedy to navigate through the interface and the app icons are neatly designed. However, I don’t like heavy bloatware and certain extra features that I don’t see many other people (including myself) really care about.
Oppo F15 features a 48MP (f/1.7) primary camera along with an 8MP (f/2.25) 119° ultra wide-angle macro lens, a 2MP (f/2.4) mono lens and 2MP(f/2.4) portrait lens. On the front camera, you get 16MP (f/2.0) selfie camera. Yes, the Oppo F15 has a 48MP camera but one thing to keep in mind is that you can’t click full-resolution 48MP shots with this as there is no option to do that. Now that we’ve specs out of the way, let’s get down to how these cameras actually perform.
When it comes to the performance of the rear camera during daylight, it can take pretty adequate photos, both indoor and outdoor with great detail and vibrancy. However, the problem starts as the day goes on, especially during low-light situations where there’s a lack of clarity and exposure. There’s an added night mode that adds more exposure, color, and sharpness to low-light pictures, but you need to make sure you remain absolutely still or else, the pictures will come out blurry. Also, the fact that you need to stay still for a total of 4-5 seconds to snap a picture doesn’t help. There are also other camera modes including pano, expert, stickers, time-lapse, Slo-Mo, et al.
The 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens on the back of Oppo F15 does help you capture more of the scene, however, the photos don’t look as great and look a bit aggressive, especially when outdoors. If you’re indoors, you can get a better result but the detail is always compromised. For outdoor pictures taken during noon, you’d notice lack of detail as well as blown-out skies and color. And when it comes to using this lens during low-light situations, the pictures just straight-away look crammed up and unpleasant. The macro lens does a decent job in capturing details of the subject. Portrait mode also works well where the bokeh looks good, especially when the lighting is right.
Coming down to the performance of its selfie-cam, the selfies look natural, crisp, clear, and vibrant both indoors and outdoors, if clicked without a beauty mode. The portrait mode on the front camera works decent but fails to accurately outline a subject in a portrait. The bokeh effect is okay and the detail is solid. However, there’s evident noise in selfies when clicked in a low-light situation. Add to this the beauty mode, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Videos can be shot at 720p resolution and 1080p resolution at 30fps. OPPO F15 comes with intelligent EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) and an internal gyroscope that’s supposed to make the videos stable but the difference wasn’t too noticeable. Overall, the videos turned out al right with decent color balance during daytime and bright light situations.
If you look at the competition in the midrange smartphone market in India, the Oppo F15 doesn’t pack in the right features to stand out. The phone lacks a powerful processor and an average camera performance doesn’t help either. Add to this a software with heavy bloatware, and it becomes a phone that doesn’t justify its price.