In this current meta of smartphones that put top priority on their front-facing cameras, OPPO has put their eggs in the AI basket to up the selfie game of their latest smartphone, the OPPO F5. There’s also the shift to 18:9 screen aspect ratio that we’ve been seeing a lot of brands releasing this year. These are just of the main highlights that came with the launching of the OPPO F5.
Aside from that, let’s see what else the F5 can offer in our full review.
Before heading off to read our full review, you can check out our initial hands-on video below.
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Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Up front, the F5 shapes up as OPPO’s sleekest smartphone to date, going for a form factor and design language that has become standard in 2017; an 18:9 display, narrow bezels, curved edges, and a unibody design. It even has a nice matte-finish paint job that we initially thought was completely metal.
At the front, we have a 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, the call speaker, and the 20MP front camera, which we will get into in a minute. Mounted on top is Gorilla Glass, though interestingly, it has cut-outs for the camera and receiver.
Flipping it on its back reveals the 16MP rear camera, LED flash, and the dedicated fingerprint scanner. This all sits between a pair of antenna bands at the top and bottom.
The left side is where you will find the volume buttons, while the right side has the power/lock button, as well as the triple card tray which can accommodate two nano-SIM cards as well as a microSD card.
Looking at the bottom, we have the loudspeaker, micro USB port, main microphone, and headphone jack. It’s still strange to see that OPPO still didn’t go the USB Type-C route with a device of this caliber, and this aspect of the design is what prohibits it from being a true 2017 Android smartphone.
There’s no doubt that it’s a large phone, especially vertically, but it’s still comfortable in the hand thanks to its weight, curved edges, and nice button layout.
Display and Multimedia
The OPPO F5 sports a 6-inch 18:9 IPS display with a full HD+ resolution of 2160 x 1080 which gives it a pixel density of 402ppi. The resolution makes it crisp to look at, colors pop just right, viewing angles don’t suffer, and it gets bright enough to use under the sun.
This is the first smartphone to come out from OPPO that features the 18:19 aspect ratio, allowing it to reduce bezels at the top and bottom corners of the display. As such, you get a large screen that fits 6-inches of real estate but in a body that normally would have only accommodated 5.5 inches. Protecting it is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with a pre-installed screen protector.
As for the audio department, we were quite impressed with the loudspeaker, as audio playback was not only loud and clear, it had a good amount of bass, which is impressive for a smartphone. It’s definitely good for listening to music, watching movies, and of course hands-free calls.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software department is Android 7.1.1 Nougat with OPPO’s very own ColorOS 3.2 on top. It seems that with every revision of ColorOS OPPO releases, the more it looks similar to Apple’s iOS.
It takes a simple and clean approach to Android, trading an app drawer for multiple home screens, as well as keeping simple icons, a stylish notification, and control screens. It does, however, take some getting used to.
Pulling down the notification screen and exiting apps in task manager view take more screen drag than what you’d expect, and the proprietary keyboard is one of the worst I’ve used.
Pre-installed apps include a Phone Manager app, which is a one-stop shop for your device optimization needs, proprietary standard utilities, the Google suite of apps, and Facebook. All in all, it leaves the user with 22.1GB of usable space from the 32GB.
One of the main features of the OPPO F5 is its camera. It has a 16MP rear shooter and a 20MP front for selfies. It’s packed with features like HDR, Timelapse, Panorama, Expert (Manual) with Ultra HD mode, 2x digital zoom, filters, watermark, and Beauty. The front camera has its exclusive features specifically Depth effect and Screen flash.
Performance-wise, the 16MP rear camera can produce photos that are crisp with rich yet vibrant colors and good dynamic range, especially if you’re shooting outdoors. Autofocus locks in quick even in dim environments. Low-light performance is decent but with some noticeable noise.
As for the 20MP front camera, OPPO equipped it with a new technology called AI Beautification. Instead of your standard face detection, the OPPO F5’s front camera can detect more than 200 points on a user’s face including the eyes, cheeks, nose, and lips to identify which parts need enhancing. OPPO then uses its database of facial features to make the necessary adjustments for a more natural result.
OPPO emphasizes that the database is from OPPO’s own R&D and that the F5 doesn’t store or send out any user information like photos or facial features. OPPO says they will push updates to the F5 as their database improves.
Now for its performance, the F5’s selfie camera does a good job in implementing its Beauty features. It now has an Auto mode in addition to Levels 1 to 6. The feature is effective as it was able to remove blemishes and wrinkles. It’s more subtle so it won’t look like someone overused the healing brush in Photoshop.
The depth effect also performs well and works best as long as there’s a significant distance between the subject and the background (best with at least 3 feet distance). The blur is still artificial but only noticeable when you zoom-in in the photo. Image quality is good with lots of details and accurate colors. It’s also good at exposing the subject well even when shooting against the light, as well as in shooting in dim conditions granted that you keep your hands steady to avoid blur.
As for video recording, both the rear and front cameras can shoot a full HD (1920 x 1080) video at 30fps in MP4 format. Check out some sample videos below:
Quality is good with lots of details and high dynamic range, although the rear camera’s autofocus is a bit jittery (OPPO says they will fix it with a software update), while the front can consistently lock on the subject’s face.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the OPPO F5 is a MediaTek MT6763T octa-core CPU, also known as the Helio P23, clocked at 2.50GHz. It is then paired with a Mali-G71 GPU, and 4GB RAM. For a mid-range device, the F5 performs really well and can handle most tasks we threw at it including gaming with apps like Torchlight, Mobile Legends, and Vainglory, and Injustice 2. Warming can be felt but not a serious concern. Biometric features also work great as the fingerprint scanner is fast and snappy. The same can be said for the Face Unlocking feature although it works best when there’s sufficient lighting as it only uses the front camera.
* AnTuTu – 64,413
* 3D Mark – 69 (Sling Shot Extreme 1.0)
* PC Mark – 4,036 (Work 1.0), 3,122 (Storage 1.0)
* Vellamo – 2,208 (Multicore), 1,583 (Metal), 2,743 (Chrome)
* AndroBench – 289.18 MB/s (Read), 105.15 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity and Call Quality
The OPPO F5 has the basic connectivity features covered like LTE, dual-SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. There’s no NFC but not really a huge disadvantage.
So far, all features are working well as mobile data is fast in areas where the signal is good, GPS locks in fast when using Google Maps or Waze, while call quality is loud and clear thanks to noise cancellation.
Powering the OPPO F5 is a 3,200mAh Li-Ion battery that actually gets quite a lot of mileage.
In our video loop test (1080p MP4 file played on loop at 50% brightness and volume), it was able to last an impressive 14 hours and 46 minutes. PC Mark, on the other hand, rated at 13 hours and 8 minutes. In real-world usage, you can comfortably last a whole day on a single full charge from the previous night. As for charging, empty to full will take you slightly under two hours.
OPPO once again, took selfie technology to the next level, not by simply adding more megapixels in a camera or adding an extra sensor, but by introducing smart features, specifically the A.I. Beautification Technology.
In addition, it has a large display with a slim top and bottom bezels, good performance, fingerprint and face unlock, dedicated microSD card slot, and above average battery life. We would have liked it better though if it is equipped with a USB Type-C and started with 64GB of storage, but that’s a small trade-off considering the benefits.
The OPPO F5 has a suggested retail price of Php15,990 and is scheduled for release this November 4. Pre-order is still going on until November 3. Those who pre-order will receive a free OLike speaker worth Php 2,990. It’ll also be available under Smart Postpaid Plan 599 for 24 months starting November and under Globe Postpaid Plans starting December.
OPPO F5 specs:
6-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1080) display, 402ppi, Gorilla Glass 5
MediaTek MT6763T 2.50GHz octa-core CPU
Mali-G71 MP2 GPU
32GB internal storage
microSD card support (dedicated slot)
16MP f/1.8 rear camera w/ LED flash
20MP f/2.0 front camera with AI Beautification Technology, screen flash
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS with aGPS support
ColorOS 3.2 (Android 7.1.1 Nougat)
3,200mAh Li-Ion battery
What we liked:
* Good design and build
* Large 18:9 display w/ FHD+ resolution
* Good performance
* Good rear and front cameras
* Trip card slot
* Face Unlock feature
* Above average battery life
What we didn’t:
* No USB Type-C
* Starts at 32GB storage
With inputs by Louie Diangson.