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The Oppo F1 is a great mass-market phone, particularly for a brand that often capitalises on unusual features that make its handsets stand out as oddballs rather than star buys.

This mobile, on the other hand, is good value, and offers solid quality in all the main areas: screen, camera and battery life.

We liked

Selling for well under £200 (US$300, AU$370) with no ties to any networks, the Oppo F1 is a phone that people out to snag a good deal can afford.

Given its price, it feels great too. Smart use of metal and a slim frame give the F1 an air of the expensive, without the cost.

Oppo F1 review

There are no real cons to the design focus either. For the most part this is a simple case of great specs at a very sensible price, with no major drawbacks. You get plenty of power, enough megapixels and the standard number of screen pixels for a budget phone.

We disliked

Not everyone is going to get on with ColorOS that well. It's one of those deliberately invasive custom interfaces that gets rid of the apps menu, uses longer screen transitions and has a more angular default look.

The fancy finish gets a bit less flash when you get up close too. It's a nicely-made phone, but it's worth knowing those sides are actually plastic so that your heart doesn't sink when you open the box.

And this is a really minor one, but some of you might not like the non-lit soft keys; their sensible placement means it's not likely to annoy most people though.

Verdict

The Oppo F1 is among the most sensible handsets Oppo has made, even though at first it may seem like a shallow selfie-monster. This is a value phone in the vein of the OnePlus X, Samsung Galaxy J3, Motorola Moto G or Honor 5X.

Even compared to its sibling, the Oppo F1 Plus, the F1 is a great value handset with a lot of high-end spec included. The Oppo F1 is one of the best cheap phones you can buy right now.

What makes it stand out, other than having a pretty good selfie camera, is that it looks and feels great, even if its build isn't quite as flashy and expensive as the OnePlus X. Some of you may also want a cheaper phone that your friends haven't heard of – there's some appeal to that.

For the most part this is simply a very solid, affordable phone, the main drawback being that the custom ColorOS software can get messy if you get lazy, in a way that standard Android Marshmallow with its app drawer doesn't.

First reviewed: April 2016