Oppo has started the new year with the launch of Oppo F15 which is the successor of Oppo F11. Whether or not we will get the F15 Pro is yet to be seen, but for now, the F15 offers some much-needed updates such as an in-display fingerprint sensor, quad rear cameras, a slim profile and a new gradient finish. Back.
Priced at Rs 19,990 for the sole 8GB RAM configuration, the Oppo F15 goes up against phones like the Realme X2 (Review) and Redmi K20 (Review), both of which are power-packed devices and very good all-rounders for their price. Does the Oppo F15 pack enough features to be worth considering at this price? Let’s see.
Oppo F15 Design
The new packaging for the Oppo F15 looks good, and in the box you’ll find a silicone case, SIM eject tool, Type-C cable, 20W power adapter, and a headset. We have the ‘Unicorn White’ color trim of the F15, which looks attractive. The gradient finish on the rear transitions from white at the top to aqua blue and hints of lilac below. It’s still laminated back panel, though not glass, but this color should help hide fingerprints compared to the ‘Lightning Black’ trim. When we picked up this phone, what caught our attention was how thin and light it is. With 7.9mm thickness and 172 grams in weight, it’s quite comfortable to carry around.
However, due to the 20:9 aspect ratio of the 6.4-inch display, the Oppo F15 is a tall phone. You get an AMOLED panel with full-HD + (2400×1080) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The display gets sufficiently bright and is readable even in sunlight. Colors are good and so is the sharpness of icons and text. There is a prominent notch at the top for the selfie camera, and a visible chin at the bottom.
The shiny sides make the Oppo F15 a bit slippery. The power and volume buttons are conveniently placed on the sides. At the bottom is the headphone socket, USB Type-C port and speaker grille. This phone has a triple card slot for two nano-SIM and a microSD card. The back panel curves slightly at the edges for better ergonomics. The quad camera module on the rear protrudes a bit, but not as much as on other phones such as the Realme X2. We also have the Oppo logo, placed vertically in the lower left corner.
Overall, the Oppo F15 manages to look premium, at least in this colour. We would have preferred more premium materials at this price, such as the glass back. It’s also quite thin and light for a phone with such a large display, which is something we don’t often see.
Specifications and software of Oppo F15
Oppo’s choice of SoC in the F15 is a bit sluggish. The MediaTek Helio P70 SoC was also used in the F11 series last year. While the chip itself offers decent performance, it is at the level we would now normally expect a phone to be closer to Rs. 10,000 points (such as the Realme 3). The Oppo F15 definitely feels underpowered, considering that the Realme X2 and Redmi K20 offer Qualcomm’s better Snapdragon 730 series SoCs at the same price.
The Oppo F15 is available in only one configuration, which is 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The latter uses the UFS 2.1 standard, which is good. Other features include dual 4G with VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, Widevine L1 certification, GPS and the usual suite of sensors. There is no FM radio in this phone. You also get a 4,000mAh battery with Oppo’s VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge technology.
Oppo recently started a trial run of ColorOS 7 for some of its phones, so for now, we’ll have to make do with ColorOS 6.1.2 on the Oppo F15, which is still based on Android 9 Pie. The look and feel of the interface is similar to what we have seen on recent Realme offerings, as they share the same OS. There are some minor differences, such as the absence of a system-wide dark mode.
Our unit had the January 2020 security patch, along with features such as Google’s Digital Wellbeing, lots of shortcuts and gestures, and several preinstalled apps. Most third-party apps can be uninstalled if you wish. There’s not much new to talk about here, and you can read about ColorOS in our recent reviews of the Oppo A9 (2020) (Review) or the Realme 5i (Review).
Oppo F15 performance and battery life
We used the Oppo F15 as our primary device for a few days, and the experience was great. It’s not the easiest phone to fit in a pant pocket, but other than that, we liked its lightness which made it easy to use. You can enable one-handed mode via the toggle switch in the notification shade, but sadly, there are no gestures to trigger it. The phone did not heat up even when using the cameras extensively or playing games, which is good.
The game also went well. PUBG Mobile defaulted to the ‘Medium’ graphics preset and the gameplay was smooth. There’s also Oppo’s Game Assistant, which can be accessed within a game and offers options to block notifications etc. Other tense titles such as Asphalt 9: Legends also ran well, albeit with slightly lower graphics quality.
Oppo F15 also performed well in benchmarks. AnTuTu returned 194,983 points, while GFXbench’s T-Rex test gave us 36fps. While these numbers are decent, this phone lags far behind more powerful models powered by the Snapdragon 730 or 730G, such as the Redmi K20 and Realme X2 respectively.
The fingerprint and face recognition systems of Oppo F15 also work very well. Authentication is quick and Face Unlock works well even in dimly lit places. The phone holds good grip for media playback as well. Full-HD videos look sharp, with punchy colors, and viewing angles are quite wide. The mono speaker gets quite loud but it lacks bass.
Battery life is pretty solid. In our HD video battery loop test, the Oppo F15 lasted 14 hours and 48 minutes, which is a decent amount of time. With regular usage, we managed to use this phone for more than a full day even with a lot of gaming and camera usage. The F15 also charges very quickly. We were able to get the battery up to 47 percent in half an hour and up to about 88 percent in an hour. After this it took about 20 more minutes for full charge.
Oppo F15 Camera
Compared to the Oppo F11, the F15 gets a much-needed camera upgrade. There is a 48-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.7 aperture; an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera that doubles as a macro camera; a 2-megapixel depth sensor; And finally a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. On the front, we have a 16-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture.
The camera app is similar to what we’ve seen on Oppo and Realme devices recently, though some features are missing. The primary camera oversamples 12-megapixel stills by default but there’s no option to shoot at the full 48-megapixel resolution. Other features such as the ability to use Night Mode for super-stable videos and the selfie camera are also absent.
In daylight, the main sensor captures fairly detailed landscape shots. Colors are vivid, details are good, and there’s little or no noise in darker areas. The HDR effect could have been better in some respects but overall it is not bad. The wide-angle camera has autofocus, so photos taken with this sensor have decent detail – not quite as good as what’s possible with the main sensor. Close-ups are sharp and detailed too, and if you get too close to your subject with the wide-angle camera, you’ll be able to get good macros. We like this implementation better by having a dedicated camera for macro photos.
Portrait mode worked well with human subjects and you can adjust the level of blur before taking a shot. Edge detection was good and image quality was good when shooting in good light.
We found a slight drop in image quality in landscape shots in low light. Details were weak and noise was visible in darker areas. The ‘Night’ mode helped brighten up the scenes but the details didn’t improve much. Shooting with the wide-angle camera at night, we got comparatively dark images with poor details and colors. Close-ups performed a little better, with good detail and not a lot of visible noise.
The selfie camera manages to take some good looking pictures in broad daylight. The skin texture is smoothed out a bit but the HDR does a good job and colors are well represented. With a good amount of artificial light all around, we managed to take ample selfies even at night. Portrait mode doesn’t work very well with the front camera, unfortunately, whether it’s day or night.
The Oppo F15 can only shoot at 1080p resolution and not 4K, which most of its competitors support. Video quality is slightly above average and there is stabilization when shooting using the primary camera. With a wide-angle camera, videos don’t freeze. In low light, video quality was quite poor with poor detail and constant flickering in footage with the slightest movement. You can also shoot up to 1080p using the selfie camera, but without any stabilization.
The camera app feels familiar, and in the viewfinder, you’ll find shortcuts for 2x and 5x digital zoom. The app also has Oppo’s ‘Dazzle Colour’ toggle which increases the saturation level of the photos. Other shooting modes include Timelapse, Panorama, Slow-motion, AR Stickers and Expert. There is a shortcut to activate Google Lens as well.
The new Oppo F15 is a good looking smartphone, and quite a good upgrade over the Oppo F11. However, the sub-Rs. The 20,000 segment has changed significantly compared to a year ago, which is why the F15 feels underpowered compared to its main rivals – the Realme X2 (Review) and the Redmi K20 (Review). The new camera setup is a nice upgrade, but the overall image and video quality isn’t quite as good.
The specialty of this phone is that it has slimness, low weight and good display. However, the price is Rs. 19,990, we think you’d be better off with either the Realme X2 or the Redmi K20 – both of which offer better performance, more premium build quality, and a more modern design.