OPPO R11 Hands On


WhistleOut
13 June 2017

OPPO R11

What is it?


For all intents and purposes, the R11 is OPPO's iPhone 7 Plus. It's an Android-powered smartphone with two rear-facing cameras and somewhat of an Apple inspired design.

Using two sensors on the back - a 20MP primary camera, and 16MP secondary camera - the R11 is able to simulate up to two times zoom by swapping between lenses. As with the iPhone 7 Plus, there's also a dedicated portrait mode which uses the two cameras to get a better sense of depth. This is then used to create DSLR-like bokeh - the soft of-out-focus areas in the background of an image.

The OPPO R11 is one of first smartphones to make use of Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 660, which incorporates a Spectra 160 Image Signal Processor, a technology previously exclusive to higher-end chipsets. Qualcomm says this inclusion will result in more natural skin tones, improved lowlight photography, and better power efficiency for smartphones with two rear-facing cameras.

Other key specifications for the OPPO R11 include a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a fingerprint reader on the home button, 64GB of expandable storage, 4GB of RAM, a 20MP selfie camera on the front, and a 2,900mAh battery.

What did we think?


The R11 doesn't make too many departures from past OPPO devices — or for the iPhone, for that matter — but there is one key difference: its very curvy. While the iPhone 7 is rounded, the R11 has heavily tapered edges, giving it a pillowed look. Not only does this make the R11 feel thinner than it is, it's a boon for one-handed usage.

Weighing in at just 150g, the R11 is almost 40g lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus, which also touts a 5.5-inch display. Despite the lightweight build, the R11 doesn't feel cheap. Aluminium might not have the same premium lustre it once did, but you can't call the R11 anything but a well-made phone.

Anyone who's followed OPPO's smartphones won't be surprised by the omissions the R11 makes. The phone lacks water resistance and a smudge-proof oleophobic coating on the screen, which is understandable given that it should be launching for around $600. Personally, I take more of an issue with the lack of oleophobic coating, because no one likes a smudgy fingerprint-covered screen. 

OPPO R11

As mentioned earlier, the dual lens rear-facing camera is the drawcard for the R11. Despite this, the photo quality doesn't go toe-to-toe with the latest and greatest from HTC, Samsung, and Apple. But that’s not to say the R11 can't hold its own, especially for the price.

For the most part, the R11's camera is fast to open, and fast to shoot — especially in well-lit environments. Tapping a zoom icon in the viewfinder swaps to the second lens for 2x magnification. It works well, and despite swapping to a smaller 16MP sensor, the magnified mode doesn't sacrifice much in quality. As with the iPhone 7 Plus, I found the R11's zoom lens to be a wonderful addition; it's a feature that lets you take photos you otherwise couldn't. Want to get a shot of a performer on stage without fighting through a mosh pit? Want to get a better shot of a building in the distance without walking a block? The R11 has you covered.

As versatile as the R11's camera setup is, optical image stabilisation (OIS) is a notable omission, and can affect the quality of zoomed images. Camera shake becomes especially apparent when you're zooming on a subject, and can result in a bit of camera blur since the R11 isn't compensating for it.

While the lack of OIS is a bummer, the versatility of having a high quality zoom option on hand trumps the annoyance of occasionally having to take the same photo two or three times to get a crisp shot.

I found lowlight performance to be a little hit and miss. When shooting on auto, shots would either end up gorgeous, or grainy and overexposed. Fortunately, my photos tended towards gorgeous, more often than not, but you might need to snap more than once to get your ideal image (or dig into the manual settings).

Much like the iPhone 7 Plus, the R11 is able to use the dual rear-camera configuration for a portrait mode. The two cameras are used to get a better sense of depth, which is then used to blur the background. As the name suggests, this works best when shooting portraits, but it can still handle other objects, provided the shape isn't too tricky.

The R11 unit I've got my hands on is a Chinese variant without access to any Google services. Not being able to sign in with a Google account or access Google Play made it a little too hard to see how the R11 works as a daily driver, or how it handled more power intensive apps. The general feel of the phone is however fast and responsive, from what little I've been able to play around with.

OPPO's take on Android - ColorOS - has always been divisive, and the latest version won't do much to change that. Based on Nougat, ColorOS 3.1 is more Apple iOS-like than ever. There's no app drawer, for example, just horizontally scrolling home screens full of icons.

Also like iOS, notifications and quick settings have been separated into two different menus. Swiping down on your home screen will bring down notifications, swiping up will bring up an Apple Control Centre-esque interface with all your quick settings.

Camera Samples


1x zoom
2x zoom
2x zoom
2x zoom
Portrait mode off
Portrait mode on

When can I buy it?


A firm launch date has yet to be confirmed, but OPPO Australia is expecting the device to arriving down under in July.

How much will it cost?


A local price for the R11 has yet to be set, but its predecessor - the R9s - retailed for $598 at launch.

WhistleOut travelled to Shenzhen as a guest of OPPO Australia


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