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OPPO F11 Review: Gimmick Free

We review OPPO’s F11!

While OPPO’s F11 Pro literally raised the brand’s selfie game, the added complexity and cost of a mechanized, pop-up camera isn’t for everyone. That’s probably the reason why OPPO also released a non-pro variant of the F11 with much of the same hardware without the pop-up gimmick that its more expensive sibling gives you. But is the plain-Jane F11 still a good buy without the gimmicks? Find out in our review below:

Plastic fantastic

One of the most frustrating design trends of 2018 and 2019 is the liberal use of plastic on the construction of mid-range phones. Sure, they’re made to look like glass, especially with the pretty color shifts depending on how light hits the back, but plastic is less durable than glass, scratches easily and just doesn’t feel right when you’re handling it.

You can always put the phone in a case (OPPO includes a silicone case just for that purpose) but it’s just disheartening to see brands keep using plastic in devices that cost above Php 15K.

Aside from that, the phone is fairly well built and doesn’t flex or creak when you’re handling and using it. There’s a fingerprint scanner on the rear just like its more expensive brother, along with expandable storage.

The power button is on the right while the volume keys and microSD/SIM tray is on the left. The bottom holds the 3.5mm jack, speaker grille and for some reason, a microUSB port still. It’s a little disheartening to see companies still using the aging connector, especially on mid-range phones considering that the rest of the world is moving over to USB Type-C now.

No more full-screen display

The biggest change with the F11 compared to its Pro sibling is that the loss of the motorized pop-up camera along with a full-screen display. Instead, you’re getting the same size display with a teardrop notch – 6.5-inch full HD+ resolution, to be precise.

The display doesn’t seem to be too different from the F11 Pro, in fact, it feels exactly like it to our eyes. It’s sharp, vibrant but viewing angles suffer a little bit. Don’t expect AMOLED levels of color and saturation here, but for what it is the display does a good job.

Exact same hardware under the hood as the Pro

Under the hood of the F11 beats the exact same hardware as the F11 Pro – MediaTek’s Helio P70 processor, paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.

The processor is able to handle most games without issues, though games like PUBG Mobile defaults to medium quality and we experienced the same, annoying texture pop-in that plagued its Pro brother, which isn’t surprising.

PUBG
Asphalt 9

As for everyday use, the phone felt quick and powerful, and we never really had any issues multitasking and it as, well, a phone.

Same three cameras, now without moving parts

While we like the idea of having a hidden pop-up camera, that all-screen solution introduces a bunch of moving parts that may wear out with use.

That’s not the case with the F11, and the omission of the pop-up camera module means you can also use the facial recognition feature of the phone without worrying about wear and tear.

Like we said earlier, the OPPO F11 uses the exact same camera that’s on the Pro version, namely the 48-megapixel f/1.79 camera with a Samsung GM1 sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor, along with a 16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera.

The 48-megapixel rear camera outputs images at 12-megapixels thanks to pixel binning tech, and you’re also getting OPPO’s Dazzle Color shooting mode that makes colors pop and increases dynamic range.

Image quality is great, with plenty of detail and excellent exposure. The phone handled challenging low-light scenes well.

Selfies look natural, and there’s an option to beautify snaps if you feel like it.

Battery is good and there’s fast charging on tap

The OPPO F11 has a 4020mAh battery, which should last you around a day even with heavy use. Using PCMark’s Battery Benchmark, we managed to get a score of around 10 hours and 13 minutes, which isn’t the best considering the large battery on this particular phone, but it’s good enough for all-day endurance.

OPPO also included VOOC fast charging on the F11, which they claim can fill the phone up 20% minutes faster than the previous version.

Verdict: the more practical of the two

If you like the F11 Pro’s cameras and performance but don’t want the potential complications that a motorized, pop-up camera brings, then you might want to take a look at the regular F11.

Aside from the full-screen display and pop-up camera module, the F11 has identical features compared to the F11 Pro, including the 48-megapixel camera, Helio P70 processor and the same amount of RAM and storage, for Php 2K less, at Php 15,990.

The F11 will have a lot of competition in its price range though, as it’ll be coming up against mid-range phones like the Huawei’s P30 Lite and Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1, at the very least.

OPPO F11 specs

  • MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6.5-inch Full HD+ LCD display, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 2,340 x 1,080 resolution
  • 64GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB)
  • Dual rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.79 Samsung GM1 sensor with 6P lens and Closed-loop VCM motor; 5-megapixel depth sensor; with PDAF, Dual Tone LED flash, Ultra Night Mode
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G, LTE, VoLTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint sensor, Face Unlock, Hyper Boost
  • 4020mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast charging
  • Android 9 Pie, ColorOS 6

 

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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