The Good The Oppo R11 has stunning rear cameras, a long battery life and an affordable price.
The Bad It lacks the processing power of the similarly priced OnePlus 5. Both hardware and software are too Apple-esque.
The Bottom Line It’s not the easiest phone to deal with, but Rpo Oppo is another possible, affordable alternative to Apple and Samsung.
Available phones are getting better and better, so there has never been a better time not to earn an expensive iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S. The last budget phone that struck me was the Oppo R11, a sturdy 5.5-inch device with a great camera and impressive battery life. The Oppo R11 is worth your money – though it is slightly behind the value of your OnePlus 5.
You may not have heard of Oppo, but it’s in the world right now the fourth largest handset maker , mainly due to its popularity in China. And this has made Android phones available for years.
The company is making a big deal about the new R11 selfie camera, which runs at 20 megapixels. These extra pixels didn’t seem to make much difference as a selfie, though my colleague Claire Reilly loved the beauty software. Instead, the real stars of the show are dual 20MP and 16MP rear cameras.
Oppo R11 sports dashing good looks
The phone is sold in China for 2999 yuan and the official price in Australia is $ 649. If you are in the US or UK, you can import it for around $ 440 or 340 pounds. That’s about $ 300 (or £ 300) or less than you would pay for a similar size iPhone 7 Plus ($ 249 on Amazon) or Samsung Galaxy S8 ($ 500 on best purchase) . Despite the lower price tag, on these high-end phones the camera rises to the pullers.
The main appeal of dual-lens cameras, such as those found on the P10, is Huawei iPhone 7 Plus and the OnePlus 5 it’s their ability to make bokeh portraits. These images have blurred backgrounds that bring the subject to focus and mimic the depth of field you will find in a DSLR camera. Some cameras may have problems with this, blurring the wrong parts of the photos and roughly processing small details such as hair, but the R11 reliably captured great portraits. This is not just good for new Facebook photos: outdoor landscape photos appear on Full HD, and cameras perform well in most low light settings.
There are no similarities. Like most phones in China, the R11 is very similar to the iPhone. You’ll have to be OK with your “fake iPhone” jokes from your friends. But a phone with a small frame and slim design, feels much more like the (flat) Galaxy S8. I like it a bit like the S8, but it scores for a premium feel – even if it then loses to them for lack of originality.
The Oppo R11’s cameras in action
This lack of originality is embedded in the software as well. The R11 runs ColorOS3.1, a modified version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Most of these modifications work to make Android more like iOS, and by default, apps look like Apple-esque. The biggest regret was the camera software, which had the exact same interface as iOS. This is typical of Chinese phones, including the excellent Xiaomi Mi 6, and this is something that you will either have to accept or cover with a third-party application.
The phone is an important choice for those who do not care about their battery life. In our test, it lasted an average of 14 hours 45 minutes. It does not reach the highs of OnePlus 5 (17 hours) or Galaxy S8 (16 hours), but it is ahead of the iPhone 7 Plus ’12 hours. I never came close to fixing the battery in one day.
Where R11 comes in, however, is processing power. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, and it works great: In our benchmarking tests, the R11 was one step ahead of Google’s impressive Pixel phones. But this is way behind the Snapdragon 835 chips found in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and, more importantly, the OnePlus 5 available. However, the phone is smooth. You won’t have any problems with daily viewing, including multitasking and video viewing. The R11 works well with intensive 3D gaming processors, but the phone does not lag behind when shooting.
Comparison of Oppo R11 specifications
|Oppo R11||Samsung Galaxy S8||Google Pixel XL||Apple iPhone 7 Plus||OnePlus 5|
|Display size, resolution||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5.8-inch; 2,960×1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 2,560×1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.1×2.9×0.27 in||5.9×2.9×0.31 in||6.1x3x0.34 in||6.2×3.1×0.29 in||6.1×2.9×0.29 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||154x74x7.8 mm||149x68x8 mm||155x76x8.6 mm||158x78x7.3 mm||154x74x7.3 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.3 oz; 150g||5.5 oz; 155g||5.92 oz; 168g||6.63 oz; 188g||5.4 oz; 153g|
|Mobile software||Android 7.1.1 Nougat||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 7.1 Nougat||Apple iOS 10||Android 7.1.1 Nougat|
|Camera (megapixels)||16MP standard; 20MP telephoto||12MP||12.3MP||12MP standard; 12MP telephoto||16MP standard; 20MP telephoto|
|Front-facing camera (megapixels)||20MP||8MP||8MP||7MP||16MP|
|Video capture resolution||2,160p||4K||4K||4K||4K|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz + 1.9GHz) or Samsung Exynos 8895 (2.35GHz + 1.7GHz)||2.15GHz + 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821||Apple A10 chip (64-bit)||2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Storage||64GB||64GB||32GB, 128GB||32GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB|
|Expandable storage||Up to 256GB||Up to 2TB||None||None||None|
|Battery (all nonremovable)||3,000 mAh||3,000 mAh||3,450 mAh||21 hours talk time on 3G, 16 days standby, 13 hours internet use LTE||3,300 mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||Home button||Back cover||Back cover||Home button||Home button|
|Special features||Portrait mode; VOOC flash charge||Water-resistant; wireless charging; Gigabit LTE-ready||Unlimited cloud storage; Daydream VR-ready||Water-resistant; portrait mode||Portrait mode; notifications toggle; dual-SIM; Dash Charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$440 (64GB)||AT&T: $750; Verizon: $720; T-Mobile: $750; Sprint: $750; US Cellular: $675||$769 (32GB); $869 (128GB)||$769 (32GB); $869 (128GB); $969 (256GB)||$479 (64GB); $539 (128GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£340 (64GB)||£689||£719 (32GB); £819 (128GB)||£719 (32GB); £819 (128GB); £919 (256GB)||£449(GB); £499 (128GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$649 (64GB)||AU$1,199||AU$1,269 (32GB); AU$1,419 (128GB)||AU$1,269 (32GB); AU$1,419 (128GB); AU$1,569 (256GB)||AU$750 (64GB); AU$830 (128GB) converted|