Oppo F5 review

GSMArena team, 22 November 2017.

Retail box contents

As per usual, Oppo opted for sensible packaging on the F5. The phone comes in a plain white, yet sturdy two-piece box. It does feature Oppo logos on a couple of places, but is standard enough to be re-used for various models, keeping costs down. We've always been fans of such measures, since, overpaying for presentation does not really make that much sense.

The actual phone art and specs overview are printed out on a sleeve that slides on to the box. Inside, we find a standard layered layout. The F5 is seated securely in its own plastic tray, so no complaints there. All of the accessories are underneath and Oppo is pretty generous in this department.

Oppo F5 box contents - Oppo F5 review Oppo F5 box contents - Oppo F5 review Oppo F5 box contents - Oppo F5 review
Oppo F5 box contents

First, the basics - a wall charger and USB cable. We can't help but feel Oppo should have finally made the jump to Type-C this generation. Still, however, the microUSB remains the standard of choice. More disappointingly, though, the Oppo F5 lacks support for the company's excellent VOOC fast charging technology. Hence, you only get a basic 5V@2A wall charger in the box.

Oppo F5 in the hand - Oppo F5 review Oppo F5 in the hand - Oppo F5 review
Oppo F5 in the hand

On a more positive note, Oppo did also throw in a nice white headset and a transparent plastic case.

Oppo F5 360-degree spin

It is hard not to notice the change in materials in the F5, despite Oppo's PR efforts to tip-toe around the fact. Opting for plastic, instead of the solid metal construction of the F3 pair might have been a necessary cost-saving measure. We can only imagine a new ultra-wide panel costs noticeably more, especially a sharp FullHD one.

Frankly, if this is the trade-off Oppo had to make, we won't complain too much. Even in the absence of metal, the F5 manages to impress with a nicely-curved unibody design and a smooth mat finish - great to the touch and pretty fingerprint-repellent. Plus, like we've always said, even in the age of glass and metal, there are still certain benefits to molding a phone from plastic. Dents, for one, are a non-issue. Polycarbonate also keeps the chassis light and accommodates wireless radio transmission nicely.

Even with its significantly taller display, the F5 manages to tip the scale at just 152 grams, which is almost exactly what the Oppo F3 weighs. We have to hand it to Oppo for slimming down the bezels and chins of the new design quite a bit. It's a really impressive look for a mid-ranger and one that results in a very compact 156.5 x 76 x 7.5 mm body on the F5.

This makes the additional height of the panel a bonus on top of what is essentially a 5.5-inch, 16:9 device footprint.

Hardware overview

Oppo really did put a lot of effort into crafting an impressive face for the new F5. We can only assume the company's engineers had plenty of experience refining the design, while also working on the Vivo V7+ and OnePlus 5T. Still, it's amazing to think that 320 or so can buy you so much screen and so little chin. Oppo didn't skimp on the panel resolution either, going for a fullHD one. But, more on that in the display section.

The Oppo F5 has impressively thin bezels - Oppo F5 review The Oppo F5 has impressively thin bezels - Oppo F5 review The Oppo F5 has impressively thin bezels - Oppo F5 review
The Oppo F5 has impressively thin bezels

There is not much else around the front of the Oppo, besides display. The bottom chin is absolutely empty. Not even a notification LED, hidden away somewhere. On top, there is a single speaker, light and proximity sensors, as well as the now single selfie shooter.

Since there wasn't really any space for Oppo's typical home button/fingerprint reader combo, the F5 relies entirely on on-screen navigation. As for the biometric reader, it is moved to the back of the phone. Center-mounted and slightly elongated.

The reader is blazing-fast and very accurate. It is a perfectly reliable backup option if the trendy face recognition should fail for some reason.

Polycarbonate back - Oppo F5 review Polycarbonate back - Oppo F5 review Polycarbonate back - Oppo F5 review
Polycarbonate back

The back is pretty empty as well. We can get behind the shiny silver logo. The legal notice on the bottom - not so much. The 16MP main camera has a sizeable bump to it. It's not ideal, but the right case can smooth that out nicely. Plus, the F5's finish isn't particularly grippy, which is another reason to consider a case.

Slowly moving to the side bezels, we can't help but address the "antenna lines" stretching near the top and bottom of the phone. The quotes are no coincidence. These are merely accents since the plastic build of the F5 requires no such extra measures to accommodate radio communication.

Top and bottom of the phone - Oppo F5 review Top and bottom of the phone - Oppo F5 review Top and bottom of the phone - Oppo F5 review
Top and bottom of the phone

The top bezel of the Oppo F5 is completely empty, except for a tiny hole to house the noise-canceling microphone. The opposite side is quite a bit busier. The phone's sole speaker is positioned here. So is the micro USB port. We are also happy to see that no courageous decisions were made and the Oppo F5 still has a 3.5mm audio jack.

Left side - Oppo F5 review Left side - Oppo F5 review
Left side

Nothing special on the left of the F5, just a lonely volume rocker. Just like the rest of the body, it appears to be plastic as well.

Right side - Oppo F5 review Right side - Oppo F5 review
Right side

On the right - the power button, positioned quite conveniently. Next to it is a SIM and SD card tray and a pretty impressive one at that. It has three separate slots, so you don't have to choose between a second nano-SIM or a micro SD. The new MediaTek Helio P23 even has the ability to run both SIMs at 4G, LTE speeds.