OPPO F11 Pro review: the next great mid-range camera phone?
With its 48 megapixel camera and pop-up camera, the OPPO F11 Pro is a mid-range smartphone that offers some features usually reserved for the flagships. It's an excellent phone for the price, with bling-bling features, yet it still missing a few strings to its bow.
- Bezel-less display
- Pop-up camera
- Audiovisual experience
- Quick charge (VOOC 3.0)
- Good battery life
- No USB-C charging
- Camera quality
- Slippery surface
- No IP certification
A very competitive price
Unveiled on March 5, 2019, the Oppo F11 Pro is a worthy successor of the F9 Pro, and remains in the same price range, i.e. a mid-range product at just over $300. Unfortunately, it is not available in Europe, and for the moment, no release date is planned. On the other hand, if you absolutely want to get it, it is available in Southeast Asia, the Middle East or North Africa. You can also import it from India for 24,999 rupees, which is the equivalent of about £269.
A nice evolution
In terms of design, there has been a lot of change since the OPPO F9 Pro. What immediately impressed me was this bezel-less display, which has ditched the notch in favor of a pop-up camera. A nother eye-catching feature at first glance are the smartphone's highly detailed colors. It is available in two colors: Thunder Black, with black and purple reflections that resemble a starry sky in summer, and Aurora Green, a blue/green with reflections that remind me of the ocean on a heavenly beach postcard. In short, these are colors that let you escape. I tested the green version.
The location of the camera on the back of the smartphone is another change. The two cameras were located at the top left on the OPPO F9 Pro. Now, everything is in the center. Starting from the top of the photo module, you find the flash, followed successively by the two lenses. Just below, the fingerprint reader is placed, followed by the "Designed by OPPO" line and the brand's logo. This then creates a line that splits the phone in two, creating a kind of boundary between the blue reflections on the left and the green reflections on the right.
I would say that the design of the OPPO F11 Pro is very well crafted for its price. The finish is also very good. But I would still criticize the Chinese manufacturer for having opted for a material that is a little too slippery. It's a hard plastic that feels a lot like glass, which means that when I do not use the protective shell, the phone regularly slips out of my hands. Another aspect that scares me a little bit is the screen that sticks out slightly from the frame, giving a more imposing, wider feel to the phone.
A bezel-less display
This is one of the biggest strengths of this smartphone: the bezel-less screen. With the removal of the notch, OPPO offers a screen-to-body ratio of 90.9% on its F11 Pro , a nice figure for a mid-range product! Especially since the IPS display is large, very large, in fact, at 6.5 inches. This makes it an ideal companion to watch TV shows on Netflix or for gaming.
Its definition is also super high since it is 2340 x 1080 pixels and 397 ppi. The colors are quite stunning, the blacks intense, the reds piercing and the blues deep. According to the technical data sheet, the device can reproduce no fewer than 16 million colors. Video viewing is therefore very pleasant on this smartphone, and the light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness relatively well. I just regret that it is slightly slow to kick in when I am on the street on these bright summer days.
Another point that does not completely satisfy me is the screen material that leaves something to be desired. It gets dirty faster than I am used to, and fingerprints alter the experience, like when I want to look at the pictures I have taken, for example.
ColorOS on the menu
On board the OPPO F11 Pro, we find the Android customization we're used to from Chinese brand Oppo: ColorOS 6. This interface, presented in 2018 to mark OPPO's 5th anniversary, is designed for bezel-less smartphones and is therefore perfectly suited to this phone.
Based on Android 9, ColorOS 6 offers its own navigation gestures, which are very easy and quick to use. It is possible to manage a multitude of actions by going to Settings > Convenience Help > Actions and Movements. From there, you can take a screenshot by sliding three fingers down the screen or open the camera app by drawing an O on the screen, for example.
On the design side, the interface is striking at a glance. OPPO wanted to focus on a very colorful user experience, hence the name. With a base always made of immaculate white, there are color touches on all pre-installed applications such as the Party Mode and the Settings menu.
I expected a bit more performance
With a nice design, a battery that holds more than you'll need, and state-of-the-art photographic features, there has to be a place where the Oppo F11 Pro makes cutbacks. And it is, of course, the performance. Be careful, I'm not saying it's catastrophic, let's say it's about right for a mid-range phone. No more, no less.
Under the hood, we find a Helios P70 processor, far from being the best on the market today, but it is enough for a typical user who doesn't really care about performance and just wants his phone take nice pictures and hold enough battery for a day. When it comes to storing all the photos taken, the average user will be happy, because the OPPO F11 Pro has 128 GB of internal storage and the ability to add an additional SDcard.
I haven't had much opportunity to play on the F11 Pro, but it offers a mode for gamers. With its bezel-less design and its very colorful display, the OPPO smartphone promises a gaming experience with dedicated functionality. This way, gamers can switch to Game Mode and cut themselves off from the world! However, the lack of power of the device will limit it for the most complex and demanding games.
In short, nothing extraordinary to say except that for the price, this performance is not very surprising.
|OPPO F11 Pro||Galaxy A50||Xiaomi Redmi Note7|
|3DMark SlingShot ES 3.1||
|3D Mark Sling Shot Vulkan||1263||1394||1303|
|3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0||1721||1235||2063|
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0||22188||15487||26386|
|Geekbench 4 - single core||1564||1718||1634|
|Geekbench 4 - multicore||5853||5642||5904|
Oppo F11 Pro camera
With the camera, OPPO shows its best asset and thus will seduce the general public, who are fond of smartphones with photographic quality worthy of professional cameras. And here, the hardware is quite interesting for a $300 phone: a double 48 and 5-megapixel rear camera, aperture with a focal length of 1.79 and an artificial intelligence module capable of recognizing more than 20 different scenes.
In practice, it performs quite well, especially the scenes recognized by artificial intelligence. Among the 23 scenes are Macro, Interior, Blue Sky, Green Plants (not to be confused with grass), Text, Landscape, Portrait, Backlight, Projector... And I must admit that artificial intelligence has proven itself very well. When I zoomed into one of my flowered pants, it activated the Green Plants mode.
Two other features are quite stunning: ultra night mode and super bright mode. The first is a combination of AI and the ultra bright mode, and gives very bright pictures in low light. The second uses color mapping algorithms that enhance the color of the images.
Here is an example of a picture taken with the super bright mode:
Having bet everything on the quality of the dual camera, but also on its artificial intelligence software, I have the impression that the Chinese company has not, on the other hand, taken the time to look more closely at the image processing software. Indeed, if we look in more detail at the picture above, we notice a certain veil and a kind of grain that distorts the image.
It should be noted, however, that it is not such a simple image, as is the picture below. The camera is almost flawless before the picture is taken (with its AI software), but the image processing software does not follow. It is sometimes slow, especially when it requires a complex mode (such as super bright mode) and the rendering is not always up to my expectations. But we must not forget that the smartphone is a mid-range device, and as a result, performance is equal to the price.
To conclude on the camera, I would say that OPPO had bet big with the main 48-megapixel sensor, and the results are not quite up to expectations. But let's be honest and put things in perspective: for a mid-range phone, it's more than satisfying.
Oppo F11 Pro battery
Battery life is one of the aspects that amazed me the most about this device. The 4,000 mAh cell, with which Oppo promises 15.5 hours of battery life, 12 hours of video viewing and 5.5 hours of gaming time, is widely tested and approved.
I can confirm this by having used my F11 Pro in a moderate way, where it can easily last two days. By moderate use, I mean a few messages sent via Messenger and WhatsApp, one hour of listening on SoundCloud per day, a video call of more than one hour, a moderate consultation of social networks such as Instagram and Facebook, etc. By intensive use, I mean watching videos, sending messages almost continuously, two and a half hours of video calling, three hours of SoundCloud listening on a Bluetooth device... And even at the end of an intensive day, I had well over 10% left.
In short, with the F11 Pro, there is no reason to think about taking your charger in your bag or having to sweat when the phone announces 20% of the battery remaining since it almost never happens.
This is different from my iPhone, where when I got the warning that I was on 20% of battery, I often panicked at the thought of not being able to charge my phone within the hour and immediately switched to airplane mode.
Another miracle of technology, which is on the Oppo F11 Pro, is of course the VOOC 3.0 fast charge. OPPO guarantees here that its new technology allows the smartphone to reach its full load 20 minutes faster than its previous version. And I can guarantee you, in less than an hour, I managed to recharge 100% of my F11 Pro completely drained of its battery. The only problem? We're dealing here with a micro USB. It seems that OPPO has refused to switch to USB-C...
Oppo F11 Pro technical specifications
The OPPO F11 Pro is, therefore, a worthy successor to the F9 Pro. With a design close to high-end phones (with the pop-up camera) and a 48-megapixel sensor, OPPO wanted to move up the range.
In fact, I can only be satisfied with this smartphone given its price, which positions it in the mid-range phones, while the range for daily use is quite impressive and the fast charging is very efficient. Despite everything, I remain a little disappointed with the quality of the photo rendering of the OPPO F11 Pro, especially when it uses a sensor of such good quality. But the quality-to-price ratio remains very interesting.
To conclude, this pretty phone with its very slim design does neither too much nor too little for a phone in its price range. However, competition in the field is extensive and it is necessary to go through the import system to obtain it.