With the number of new phones and smart devices that are released in the market, it’s sometimes difficult for non-tech-obsessed folks to stay on top of industry news.
Let’s face it, unless you have a specific phone you’re aiming for (the latest Google Pixel, Samsung, or iPhone etc.), buying a new phone can be challenging.
Earlier this month, Oppo released their latest phones in the R series, the R15 and the R15 Pro; we used the R15 Pro for a couple of weeks and we’ll say this – if you’re looking to buy a new “affordable-but-flagship-feel” phone, then it’s worth checking it out.
The camera: 20MP selfie camera, with dual 20MP + 16MP rear cameras. To begin with, the improved display and camera are the biggest selling points of the R15 Pro.
At $779, you’d think the phone would need to make a lot of compromises with its camera.
Well, not Oppo! The camera on the R15 Pro is certainly not at the calibre of the Pixel 2 or the Samsung S9, or even the Huawei P20 Pro (which has a stunner of a camera!), but it’s certainly Oppo’s best camera yet, which really kicks the low-light photography game up a few notches. The images turn out great, and the screen display gives them complete justice. There’s an AI-enhanced option to make your selfies look blemish-free, and who doesn’t like that, right? The only downside to the camera: no optical image stabilisation, so although you’ll get it, you’ll have to be prepared to wait for the perfectly sharp and focused image in the dark.
The design (including the screen and colour): A 6.28-inch full HD bezel-less screen + super AMOLED, with a resolution of 2280×1090 and an aspect ratio of 19:9. To keep up with a more-than-decent camera, the phone’s design and display are terrific as well. Yes, it does have a notch, but it’s the second half of 2018 and can we just get over it! The R15 Pro is available in two colours: a blackish-purple and red. Our review unit was purple, and the black-at-the-top-purple-at-the-bottom colour gradient on the glass back makes it look absolutely lovely – sort of like a smokey eggplant or the colour of the sky at midnight. It’s a very stylish shade, and is really well-paired with the more “oomphy” and vibrant red.
The battery/processor/OS: The R15 Pro’s battery is a 3400mAh one, which gives you a good day’s worth of using the phone. The custom OS that Oppo devices come with (called ColourOS), is kind of tricky – it’s based on the Android 8.1 Oreo, but tries to rip off iOS. The ultimate mishmash is a bit underwhelming, especially because there’s no app launcher and there are a lot of redundant stock apps. The Snapdragon 660 chipset isn’t necessarily slow, although it leaves a fair bit to be desired – not just if you use your phone for playing a lot of 3D games, but also in comparison to the equally-priced OnePlus 6 (which, let’s face it, has a better OS, longer battery life, and a faster processor).
You can unlock the phone with facial recognition that works really well and is super-responsive, or a fingerprint sensor which is usually quite reliable anyway. And it has a headphone jack, so rejoice! On the flip side, Oppo’s still sticking with micro-USB charging, instead of a USB-C port, which is relatively annoying.
To round up, here’s the good and the not-quite-so-good about Oppo’s R15 Pro:
- Flagship feel and look for just $799.
- Great camera.
- Reasonably good battery life.
- 128GB storage.
- Has a headphone jack!
- Mishmash OS.
- Micro-USB charging.
- The processor is okay-ish, but falls short compared to the similarly priced OnePlus 6.