A few years ago, buying a smartphone purely on the basis of how well they captured self-portrait was a far-fetched concept. But not anymore, as Facebook and Instagram-worthy selfies are fast becoming the norm of the day. And there are many of us for whom having a good selfie camera is rather important.
Chinese manufacturer Oppo is trying to cater our narcissistic love for selfies, with back to back selfie focused smartphone releases. The company has now launched the Oppo F1s, a phone the company touts as the ‘selfie expert.’ The highlight of the device is its massive 16MP front-facing shooter.
So what’s the deal here? Is it all just a marketing gimmick, or is does it really deliver where it matters. Lets’ see if the smartphone’s camera lives up to the hype.
Selfie Cam Quality
Well, unlike other smartphones where the primary camera unit gets a higher megapixel count, the Oppo F1s goes the other way. It gets a 13MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, and a 16MP, f/2.0 sensor on the front. I usually avoid taking photos of myself and put a silly face on Instagram or Facebook, but this particular smartphone kind of made me do that.
As selfies captured with the Oppo F1s were sharp, full of details and vibrant compared to on any other mid-range phone I’ve come across. The colors look well-balanced and natural without being oversaturated.
Besides, the Beauty 4.0 features allow you to tinker with selfies with seven levels of “beautification” and two skin tone modes to ‘improve’ your selfies even more. Though, pushing towards higher beauty levels does make you look weird with unnatural skin tones.
That said, the phone is deprived of a front facing flash which is rather surprising, given the fact at times we need to take selfies in challenging light conditions. It simply uses a makeshift screen flash to make up for lack of one, which eventually results in loss of details and poor image quality. As long as you do not put in challenging light, selfies captured look fantastic with a lot of details. Though it clearly struggles on low light conditions, as shots look grainy, and noise levels start popping up.
In addition, it gets support for the new selfie panorama mode, which is designed for group shots and capturing landscapes in the background.
Rear camera image quality
As far as the 13-megapixel rear camera is concerned, it does a fairly decent job, though at times shows signs of consistency. As some shots appear to be either under or overexposed, while some shots look great with remarkable contrast and minimal distortions. Overall, you get pretty good shots with the 13MP rear shooter in good lighting conditions. But it tends to struggle as soon as the sun goes down. In practice, shots were taken indoors or in low-light look grainy, image details start dropping, and noise levels start popping up.
Besides, the rear camera is also capable of 1080p video recording. The video quality is pretty satisfactory for a mid-range offering, though it lacks a slow-motion mode.
Usability and Features
The camera app is pretty easy to use, shoots fast, without any shutter lag. You get a simple camera interface by default, though you can play with different shooting modes such as time lapse, video, beauty, and panorama. Besides, tapping on the icon reveals functions like Ultra HD, filters, GIF animation, double exposure, and expert mode. The expert mode also lets you control the ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. In addition, it also lets you configure the camera to save in RAW format.
- Great selfie cam
- Feature-rich camera app
- Ability to save images in RAW format
- Easy to use
- Both cameras struggle in low-light
- No slow-motion video recording
Overall, I was impressed by the phone’s camera performance, especially the 16MP front-facing shooter. Being touted as the selfie expert, the Oppo F1s delivers. It belts out super crisp and eye-popping selfies packed with details. I also used it for macros, panoramas, and normal point and shot snaps, and the camera really belts out more than satisfactory results. Of course, it tends to struggle in challenging light conditions, but then again, you have to take into account the fact that it’s a mid-range offering.
Besides, low-light photography is a perennial issue with any smartphone owing to their skinny frames. And no matter the quality of sensor, smartphones camera lenses aren’t big enough to soak in more light in low-light conditions compared to a DSLR.