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OPPO R1x Review: Beautiful Mid-ranger, But Are Looks Enough?

OPPO R1x 11

We review OPPO’s R1x!

OPPO’s quickly gaining a reputation as a company that knows how to build beautiful phones. Their anorexic R5 turned heads last year when it was announced, briefly holding the title for the world’s thinnest phone before ceding it to a rival Chinese brand. OPPO’s looking to do the same with the R1x, and just like the R5 the R1x has it’s own head-turning gimmick that makes it stand out from the competition – a sapphire back. Before we get started on our review, let’s take a look at the specs first:

OPPO R1x specs

  • 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch HD IPS display, 720 x 1280
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with ColorOS
  • 2,420mAh battery
  • Php 15,990

OPPO R1x 07

One of the few phones in the market that has a sapphire back

The OPPO R1x is part of OPPO’s R series of phones which puts looks front and center over specs. That’s true of the R5 which came before it, and still holds for the R1x. The R1x has a lot of design cues from its older and thinner brother. It sports a finely CNC machined chassis, with a nice looking chamfered edge which makes it feel extremely premium, despite being meant as a mid-range phone.

OPPO R1x 09

The buttons are nicely set into the frame of the R1x, with the volume rocker on the right side, and the power button on the left. The 3.5mm jack on the top and USB port on the bottom top off the physical ports and controls of the phone. The SIM card slot is located with the volume rocker, and contains two slots, with one capable of doubling as a microSD expansion slot.

Sadly, the geometric effect isn't prominent in white
Sadly, the geometric effect isn’t prominent in white….

What’s unique about the R1x is the sapphire glass protection that graces the back of the phone. Underneath that, OPPO has put in a unique, geometric pattern that shines through when light hits it the right way. While it doesn’t look too obvious with our white review unit, it’s very apparent on the deep blue colored variant of the device that we first saw when it was officially launched here. To achieve the effect, OPPO had to treat the back of the phone to UV which contributes to the brilliant effect.

DSC08291
..but is very obvious in the dark blue variant

OPPO also managed to cram in a 13-megapixel camera that sits flush on the body of the phone, which is pretty nice, and prevents your phone from getting scratched when you set it down on a rough surface. The overall size of the R1x means that it’s easy to hold and use, even one-handed, which makes in an attractive option for people looking for a compact phone.

OPPO R1x 08

As far as display goes, the R1x uses a 5-inch HD IPS display. OPPO doesn’t list the R1x as having Gorilla Glass protection, which is kind of a disappointment considering the price of the device. While the HD display of the R1x is a bummer, giving you a relatively low ppi (pixels per inch), the panel is capable of rather accurate colors, good viewing angles, and excellent sunlight legibility.

Much like OPPO’s other devices, the R1x uses the company’s ColorOS UI overlay, alongside Android 4.4 KitKat. Much like the devices from other Chinese companies, the R1x doesn’t have an app drawer and lays all your apps out in the open, ala iOS. There are additional features you get from ColorOS, and you can customize it via free themes that you can download.

OPPO R1x 03

Smooth, fast performance

The OPPO R1x is powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core, Snapdragon 615 processor paired with 2GB of RAM, which is identical with the hardware configuration of the R5. If you recall, we haven’t had the best experience with that particular processor in the R1x’s thinner and older brother, which had a tendency to lag and overheat under heavy loads.

That’s not the case with the R1x – while it carries the same hardware configuration of the R5, it surprisingly runs cooler and had none of the lag issues of the R5. Playing games with the R1x is a pleasure, without any lag, and ColorOS ran well without any lag or hiccups in transitions and effects.

OPPO R1x 02

If we were to hazard a guess, the R1x’s thicker frame means that the phone has a better thermal dissipation compared to the R5. A cooler processor means better performance overall, which reflects on the performance that we saw on the R1x while we were using it. While the R1x did heat up, it never got as hot as the R5.

We were a bit disappointed to learn that the R1x doesn’t come with OPPO’s VOOC fast charging capability, which is present in the company’s other, more expensive phones.

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Camera is good but suffers in low light

OPPO R1x 13 OPPO R1x 14 OPPO R1x 15 OPPO R1x 16

The R1x is equipped with a 13-megapixel camera with a f/2.0 aperture. While the camera is capable of taking decent photos with enough light, the small aperture suffers when shooting in both low-light and in places with indoor lighting. There’s definite noise in many of the photos that we took indoors. The photos are perfectly usable for social media though.

Around a day’s worth of battery

The R1x is powered by a 2420mAh non-removable battery. Running PC Mark’s Battery benchmark, we managed to get around 5 hours and 55 minutes on a single charge, which is surprisng considering the small size of the battery. With very heavy use, you’ll get a day’s worth of battery life. Moderate use will yield even more, and our experience the phone managed to last the next day though you will have to charge it right away because the battery will be on its last legs.

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Verdict: a beautiful, powerful phone, but faces stiff opposition from other brands

OPPO’s R1x combines both beauty and brawn in a surprisingly small package. It’s small, compact and has a  unique sapphire back that makes it stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, the R1x faces stiff competition from competing international brands like ASUS and Huawei. Of course specs aren’t always everything, and there are still a subset of consumers who prioritizes looks over hardware. For those people, the OPPO R1x may just be the phone for them.

The OPPO R1x retails for Php 15,990.

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.

14 Comments

  1. Kung ok naman ang product over all build at hindi ka bibigyan ng sakit ng ulo, justified na ang P15990 considering na may kasama itong service and parts warranty at sa oppo authorized seller mabibili.

    1. Owwwws???? Are you gonna shell out your hard-earned Php16k sa isang phone na 720p lang ang screen resolution?

      I-DOUBT-IT

    2. Hindi lang naman screen resolution ang batayan sa pagpili ng phones. Kahit naman z3 compact e maayos ang build kahit hindi QHD ang display. Hindi rin naman cheap ang build ng oppo at mahigpit din sila sa quality controls kaya wag na lang magreklamo kung walang perang pambili ng high end midrangers. Wag nyong ipilit yung mga bang for the buck nyo kung may kakayahan namang bumili ang mga tao.

      1. I get your point, BUT this 2015…..Php16k for a 720p phone is laughably absurd…wala rin namang maniniwala sa pinagsasasabi mo eh LOL….kahit ipupusta ko magandang GF ko, hindi mo rin bibilhin yan, Bolahin mo na lang ang CEO ng OPPO huwag kami haha

        1. Natalo ka na sa pustahan. Nakabili na ako kanina. Pwede mo nang breakin ang gf mo kung totoo mang maganda yan. Bago ka magyabang at manindak siguraduhin mong tototohanin mo ang sinabi mo.

          1. Tang ina mo kung wala kang pambili tumahimik ka na lang. Pinaghirapan ko ang perang ginagastos ko kaya wala kang pakialam kung gusto ko ng oppo r1x batang hamog.

  2. Since you’re definitely getting review units from oppo any chance of getting oppo headphones? PM-3s specifically.

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