Oppo’s new Android is its most stylish device yet.
The smartphone market is highly competitive and crowded, but Oppo has managed to stay visible by being innovative.
Not too long ago it introduced the world’s thinnest Android, a motorised swivel camera for its N3 smartphone and now it has a device with a sapphire crystal back.
The Oppo R1x is probably the only smartphone to have such a back and it’s pretty too, as it conceals a diamond pattern that becomes visible only at certain angles.
It’s really thin at just 6.9mm and, thankfully, the camera doesn’t protrude which is common for a device this slim.
The R1x is without a doubt one of Oppo’s most elegant devices and this is as premium as it gets for a smartphone that costs RM1,398.
The R1x has a 5in screen with a tiny bezel and is easy to operate with just one hand. Those who find it too large can turn on the one-hand operation mode which will “shrink” the screen so that everything is within reach of your fingers.
The screen is very bright and surprisingly sharp even though it’s just 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) and was great for watching videos. Also, there was no problem viewing the screen under direct sunlight.
The capacitive keys (Home, Recent, Back) under the screen are not backlit. If you are not familiar with the position of the keys, you will find it troublesome to operate the device in the dark. However, more companies are starting to do this probably to save cost.
The R1x has 16GB of internal memory and comes with a microSD expansion slot that supports cards of up to 128GB in size.
What’s interesting is that the microSD card slot doubles up as the nano SIM card slot – if you don’t need the extra space then you can stay connected on two networks.
The R1x has an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset and 2GB RAM, which puts it in the mid-range category.
Although the hardware is fully 64-bit capable, the operating system doesn’t take advantage of it, as the device is running on the older Android 4.4 KitKat.
As is the norm for Oppo devices, the Android has been overlaid with the company’s own UI (user interface) called Color OS.
It goes without saying that it’s colourful and Oppo has also included a few handy gesture controls. For example, pinching with three fingers will launch the camera app, while double tapping the home button will lock the screen.
Those who type a lot will be happy to note that the R1x comes with the Swype keyboard pre-installed which allows you to enter words by sliding your finger from character to character instead of tapping. It may sound odd but a lot of users swear by it.
Oppo has always taken the trouble to tweak its cameras for its devices and it’s no different here. While you aren’t getting the swivel camera that was the highlight of the N3 smartphone, the 13-megapixel camera on the R1x is feature rich.
We liked how the shutter speed can be slowed down to 16 seconds. This allows more light to reach the sensor, allowing it to capture better pictures in the dark. For this to work well, you will need a tripod or really steady hands. As we have shaky hands, we used a tripod and the photos turned out great.
The autofocus wasn’t great but as the settings were customisable, we were able to tweak it to get better results.
The front-facing 5-megapixel camera has a range of filters that should please anyone who loves taking pictures of themselves.
The speakers on the R1x are on the front and not the back which is ideal, as you can place the device on its back without having to worry about the sound getting muffled.
The volume was loud – we had no problems listening to Spotify while running on a treadmill, so it should be fine for most situations.
To test how well the device handled gaming, we played a lot of Sky Force. As expected, the game played smoothly and did not overly heat up the device.
The battery on the R1x is rated at 2,420mAh which may sound small but seems sufficient. Nowadays we are happy if the battery lasts a whole day on a single charge and it did just that for the R1x.
If you are looking to make a fashion statement with your smartphone, look no further than the R1x. This Android is not only built beautiful and solid, but also performs without trouble. Also, as it has a sapphire crystal back, you don’t have to worry about scratching the smartphone.
It also has a capable rear camera with a lot of features to keep you busy. The same goes for the front-facing camera which is good news for selfie lovers.
The R1x may not be Oppo’s flagship device, but it’s a great looking smartphone that performs well.
Pros: Great design and build; extensive camera features; affordable.
Cons: Capacitive keys not backlit.
Android 4.4 KitKat
Processor: 1.7GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 + 1.0GHz quad-core Cortex-A53
Network: 4G LTE
Camera: 13 megapixels with LED flash; 5-megapixel front-facing camera
Display: 5.0in (720 x 1,280 pixels) touchscreen
Memory: 16GB internal memory, 2GB RAM
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, WiFi 802.11 bgn; WiFi Direct
Battery: 2,420mAh lithium-ion
Size: 140.6 x 70.1 x 6.8mm
Rating: 4 stars
Review unit courtesy of Oppo Electronics Sdn Bhd, (03) 2110-3448.