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OPPO R11s – The affordable flagship smartphone

OPPO’s R11s is the next Chinese flagship to enter the ultra-competitive smartphone market. Can it square up against the established names, or even the equally new Huawei Mate 10 Pro?

Design

The OPPO feels a lot like a budget iPhone X with a clean design, and an oddly similar UI. You can even opt to remove the nav bar completely to have that full iPhone-X-esque experience. However, the physical design of the R11s feels a little outdated compared to its competitors. Its back cover feels plasticky and honestly rather cheap.

The speakers are still downward blasting which means you have to use the cup-your-hand-around-the-base method. Rather disappointingly, the R11s has stuck with Micro-USB instead of moving to a Type-C port like everyone else. They’ve retained the 3.5mm headphone jack so you can keep using your favourite earphones.

The fingerprint reader is damn near instant to use and the R11s even has facial recognition and its own version of FaceID to unlock your phone. Granted, it wasn’t always useful or accurate but it was a fun gimmick.

Performance & Display 

The R11s has decided to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and an Adreno 512 GPU. It’s nothing too special and definitely nothing groundbreaking. The R11s only ships with Android 7.1 Nougat until Oreo gets available later this year and runs on 4GB of RAM.

Adding on to the budget-iPhone-X aesthetic, the R11s’ ColorOS 3.2 looks remarkably similar to that of iOS, even the app icons bear a resemblance. Unlike lots of other flagship smartphones these days, the R11s still has expandable storage through a MicroSD slot.

The battery in the R11s is a fairly standard 3,200mAh (4,000mAh in the R11s Plus) but should provide decent enough battery life throughout your day. At my longest, I managed to use the R11s through a school day from 8am to around 9pm before it ran out of juice. Thankfully, the R11s has OPPO’s VOOC Flash charge Technology to give you a quick boost should you need it.

The R11s has a 6.01” AMOLED display with a resolution of 2160×1080 at the extra tall 18:9 aspect ratio. I have to give OPPO props for the display as it was extremely bright and colours were vibrant with no noticeable blue-shift in the screen.

Camera

The R11s comes in a dual rear camera configuration with a 16MP f1.7 + 20MP f1.7 2x optical zoom and a single front 20MP f2.0 camera. OPPO also claims that through AI integration, the R11s can take better photos.

Colours are vibrant and reproduction is quite accurate, however, as is common with Chinese smartphones, the focus can be a bit soft. And as always with the front camera, selfies are almost always hilariously overshadowed by an overzealous beauty filter.

Though the R11s touts itself as a camera phone first and foremost, I felt that the photos produced by this smartphone pale in comparison to those taken by the Google Pixel 2 XL, iPhone X, and even the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

Pricing

The R11s is much more affordable than the other flagship devices currently on the market, coming in at an MSRP of S$699 (S$849 for the R11s Plus). The phone is now available at all major consumer electronic stores, OPPO stores, and the 3 main telcos.

Conclusion 

The R11s has been a very effective and reliable mid-range smartphone and would see no complaints from the average consumer. Its low price point, decent build quality, and similarities to the iPhone X also make it a very attractive option for someone not looking to break the bank on their new device. This is no doubt a solid product from the guys over at OPPO and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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