Oppo F1 review: Elegance on a budget

Elegance on a budget

GSMArena team, 03 February, 2016.

Software overview

The F1 is one of a growing number of Oppo handsets, which are running on a Lollipop-based Color OS build. In this case, it is version 2.1.0i, but little has actually changed since Oppo upgraded to an Android 5.1.1 core. In this respect, The Oppo F1 has it better than the original R7, which launched on KitKat, as it did take Oppo quite some time to jump on the Lollipop bandwagon.

This is quite understandable, seeing how ColorOS is simply based on an Android core and makes it nearly unrecognizable, with a custom lockscreen, homescreens, icon packs, a custom task switcher and settings menu, as well as extensive theming support.

Lockscreen and powerful theming engine - Oppo F1 review Lockscreen and powerful theming engine - Oppo F1 review Lockscreen and powerful theming engine - Oppo F1 review
Lockscreen and powerful theming engine

If you have never come across ColorOS before, then there are just a few basic facts you need to know about the OS and its design ideology. We already mentioned the Android core and you can generally expect most any app to run on the platform, but optimization and performance are sometimes an issue.

Also, process management is not exactly standard, so your mileage may vary with apps depending on specific services running in the background. So far we've found only one such app, but it's enough to prove that Oppo's phones handle background process differently than the phones by major brands.

Another big piece of the ColorOS proposition, as with many other custom ROM's out of China, is a customized permission and notification management model. You can generally allow or deny granular permissions per app, the same goes for notifications and the autostarting of processes. It's certainly a lot more than what vanilla Android 5.1.1 would give you.

Launcher home panels and folders - Oppo F1 review Launcher home panels and folders - Oppo F1 review Launcher home panels and folders - Oppo F1 review
Launcher home panels and folders

The UI itself is slick, filled to the brim with lots of animations, transitions, as well as lots and lots of styling and customization options. There is no app drawer within the launcher, you have to make do with the home screen panels.

Another big notable part of ColorOS is the myriad of gestures it supports, from double tab to wake and sleep, all the way to quick navigation, fast app launching and even custom gestures, you can define yourself.

Lots of gestures - Oppo F1 review Lots of gestures - Oppo F1 review Lots of gestures - Oppo F1 review Lots of gestures - Oppo F1 review
Lots of gestures

Performance

Like we already mentioned, the Oppo F1 is lodged firmly in the mid-ranger realm in terms of hardware. The observation that a 720p display is a little underwhelming considering its price tag and today's market is also absolutely valid. We also made the point that the F1 resembles the R7 line so closely that it is odd it is not actually part of it. However, be that as it may, the handset has one quite definitive feature to set it apart from said sibling, namely a new chipset.

Oppo F1 review

It might not be a benchmark breaker on any kind, but the Snapdragon 616 inside the Oppo F1 is a clear upgrade over the 615 model. Despite the single number increment in the model name, the new silicon is undoubtedly more powerful with all eight of its ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.7GHz. This might not come close to the bit-churning power of any of Qualcomm's 800 series chips, but is still quite sufficient for a complete Android experience.

In order to illustrate our point, we put the Oppo F1 through our standard benchmark routine and pit it up against a few other devices that we deemed close enough rivals. We won't go into too much detail, but the definitive conclusion is that the F1 can definitely hold its own against the competition.

Speaking of which, there are quite a few new mid-range offers that generally compete for the same crowd, like the Xiaomi Redmi 3 or the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016). There are also some other notable offers, often slightly aging flagships in the mix, that happen to currently fit the budget and still pack quite a punch, like the Xiaomi Mi 4i or the LG G2.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    3321
  • Oppo R7s
    3206
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    3175
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3061
  • Oppo F1
    3014
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML (Z3580)
    2887
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2842
  • Huawei P8lite (Snapdragon 615)
    2717
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    2683
  • Meizu m2 note
    2649
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2375
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2336
  • LG G2
    2243
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1895
  • Moto G (3rd gen) 2GB of RAM
    1589
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1460
  • Samsung Galaxy J5
    1418
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    1400

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Oppo R7s
    35959
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    35689
  • Oppo F1
    35353

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    1233
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML (Z3580)
    1222
  • Oppo F1
    961
  • Oppo R7s
    930
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    858
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    833
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    804
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    757
  • Meizu m2 note
    673
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    569
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    552
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    531
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    296

Basemark OS 2.0 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    5739
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    3008
  • Oppo F1
    2708
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2628
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    2469
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    2452
  • Oppo R7s
    2418
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    2240
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2169
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1861
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    1801
  • Meizu m2 note
    1709

Basemark OS 2.0 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    16466
  • Oppo F1
    15275
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    14276
  • Oppo R7s
    13882
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    13521
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    13167
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    12172
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    9755
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    8737
  • Meizu m2 note
    8105
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    7492
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    7100

Graphics are typically a weak point for both the Snapdragon 615 and the Snapdragon 616, due to their shared use of the Adreno 405 GPU. However, one of the Oppo F1's weaknesses in terms of specs - the 720p resolution, is somewhat of a lifesaver when it comes to onscreen graphics performance. If you are into mobile gaming then opting for the lower resolution panel actually makes a lot of sense in this price group. That of course assumes graphic-intensive games are rendered in higher than 720p resolution on competing phones.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.6
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    6.2
  • Huawei P8lite (Snapdragon 615)
    6
  • Oppo R7s
    5.9
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    5.9
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    5.84
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    5.8
  • Oppo F1
    5.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    5.7
  • Meizu m2 note
    2.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    1.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1.8
  • Samsung Galaxy J5
    1.8
  • Moto G (3rd gen) 2GB of RAM
    1.7

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    15
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    12.2
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    12
  • Huawei P8lite (Snapdragon 615)
    12
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    11.3
  • Oppo F1
    11
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    6.4
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    6.2
  • Oppo R7s
    6.2
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    5.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    5.7
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.9
  • Moto G (3rd gen) 2GB of RAM
    3.9
  • Samsung Galaxy J5
    3.8
  • Meizu m2 note
    2.3

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML (Z3580)
    12426
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    12096
  • LG G2
    11101
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    5382
  • Oppo F1
    5314
  • Oppo R7s
    5302
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    5108
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    5105
  • Huawei P8lite (Snapdragon 615)
    5062
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    4947
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    4875
  • Samsung Galaxy J5
    4034
  • Meizu m2 note
    3946
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1897
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    1895
  • Moto G (3rd gen) 2GB of RAM
    1866

To top the performance section off, here are a couple of Browser tests. Bear in mind that in keeping with our testing procedure, these were executed using the default Color OS browser, which, in our opinion, performs overwhelmingly and should generally be avoided. Google Chrome is loaded on by default so you have an alternative.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    4506
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML (Z3580)
    5232
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    6137
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    11257
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    11439
  • Oppo R7s
    11679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    11715
  • Moto G (3rd gen) 2GB of RAM
    12272
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    13083
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    13507
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    13609
  • Samsung Galaxy J5
    14435
  • Meizu m2 note
    14462
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    18323
  • Huawei P8lite (Snapdragon 615)
    18665
  • Oppo F1
    21177

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2113
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    1560
  • Oppo R7 (retail)
    1433
  • Oppo R7s
    1411
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    1396
  • Moto G (3rd gen) 2GB of RAM
    1359
  • Oppo F1
    1308
  • Samsung Galaxy J5
    1236
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1171
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    1171
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    1152
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    744
  • Meizu m2 note
    656
  • Huawei P8lite (Snapdragon 615)
    501
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    465

Reader comments

  • Chlipcha

Actually yeah my friend have the j7 pro and am using f1s I find that mine is better in many things Battery, camera, performance, design, price... Oppo will be my best brand forever

  • àł&a

Is oppo r15 a water proof phone

  • Milton

Waste mobile no software upgrade and update only from oppo software which useless