For those of us who consume and watch plenty of smartphone related videos on YouTube, there’s no way you could have escaped the ad (unless you use an adblocker) for the OPPO F11 Pro. You know the one, the annoying jingle featuring Malaysian pop starlet, Ayda Jebat, with the translations that make no sense.
In that video, she mainly hypes up the low-light photography of the device but not so much the other aspects of the F11 Pro. So is the F11 Pro just a one-trick pony? Read on to find out.
Design & Build
The OPPO F11 Pro is essentially the cousin of the Vivo V15 and V15 Pro and I have to say it’s without a doubt, the better looking one. Both devices share quite a few similarities such as the edge-to-edge notchless display, pop-up selfie camera, gradient paint job and polycarbonate unibody build.
It may be personal preference but I do feel as though the F11 Pro has a more elegant and refined design. From the more subtle and less protruding camera bump to the less garish and sparkly colour. My review unit came in the Thunder Black colourway and while it didn’t exactly change colours, I like how the top right is dark purple while the bottom left is a dark blue with the middle being plain black.
As mentioned, the entirety of the device is built using glass-like polycarbonate; it doesn’t just feel like glass but also attracts fingerprints and smudges like glass. Not to mention, it can also get scratched quite easily, so I advice using the bundled case. Overall though, the F11 Pro has solid build quality.
The display is a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080×2340. There’s no notch and bezels are almost non-existent so you’re getting a screen-to-body ratio of 90.9 percent–which is great and immersive if you like watching videos on your smartphone.
For those with smaller hands like myself, the device is a little hard to use one-handed but it is overall comfortable to hold due to its rounded edges and corners.
Buttons and ports that come with the F11 Pro are pretty much the standard fare. The clicky volume rockers are on the left, power/unlock button and hybrid SIM slot is on the right and on the bottom of the device are the 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB charging port and speaker. The rear houses the dual camera array and capacitive fingerprint sensor while the top has the pop-up selfie camera, noise-cancelling mic and ambient light sensors.
The similarities of the F11 Pro and V15 don’t just end in design and aesthetics. It also continues in the hardware department. Much like the V15, the F11 Pro uses the Mediatek Helio P70 CPU, Mali G-72 MP3 GPU, has 6GB of RAM and either 64- or 128GB of storage. Although at the time of writing, it seems as though OPPO Malaysia has phased out the 64GB variant, which is the one used in this review.
If you thought the F11 Pro would have a different capacity battery, you’re wrong. Much like the V15, it also comes with a 4,000mAh battery, which isn’t a bad thing really. The device also features OPPO’s VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 technology.
One area that the V15 “trumps” the F11 Pro is in the camera department. The V15 comes with three cameras while the F11 Pro only has two, a 48MP main camera with an f/1.79 aperture and a secondary 5MP depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. It’s a shame that OPPO didn’t opt for a wide-angle or telephoto lens for the secondary shooters as that would definitely make it a little more on-par with the V15.
Even when it comes to the selfie shooter, the V15 features a 32MP shooter whil the F11 Pro comes with a 16MP shooter with an f/2.0 aperture. While I do like how mechanised pop-up selfie cameras allow smartphones to have edge-to-edge displays, the trade-off is having to wait a few seconds for it to pop-up and there’s also the question of durability. So, you might want to keep that in mind.
Connectivity and network features of the F11 Pro include support for Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz or 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS and Beidou. If you tend to use NFC quite a fair bit, then the F11 Pro isn’t for you, as it doesn’t come with that feature.
The last time I reviewed a device with OPPO’s ColorOS was on the Realme 2 Pro and I absolutely hated the experience and to be perfectly honest, I was dreading having to go back to that nightmare with the F11 Pro.
To my absolutely surprise though, OPPO has done a good job with the changes and updates in ColorOS 6. It’s a lot smoother and also more user-friendly and intuitive. Heck, you can now even choose if you want to use it with the app drawer or not.
While it still doesn’t exactly resemble Google’s Material design language, it is a step closer in that direction. Besides the inclusion of the app drawer, the other updates I like is the new quick settings shade where the buttons are much larger and easier to press and the Smart Sidebar, which is similar to Samsung’s Edge panel which lets you add shortcuts to some of your other favourite apps or functions.
OPPO definitely deserves a high-five when it comes to the changes made in ColorOS 6 but it also deserves a few stern words as the F11 Pro comes with some really unnecessary bloatware such as Opera Browser and ORoaming.
Seeing as the F11 Pro and V15 share the exact same hardware setup, I sort of knew what to expect when it came to performance especially in synthetic benchmarks. The scores produced by the F11 Pro in 3DMark, PCMark, AnTuTu and Geekbench were very similar to the V15 and was just either a few marks higher or lower.
However, when it came down to day-to-day usage, the F11 Pro felt a lot smoother but this is most likely because of the optimisations made in ColorOS 6. Apps launched quickly and multi-tasking for me was not a problem. Although I did notice occasional split second delays going from one app to another when I had quite a few apps running in the background.
Gaming performance is also very similar to the V15 as I had to set the graphics settings to medium for games such as Asphalt 9, Dead Trigger 2, Into the Dead 2 and Marvel Future Fight to get the best experience. So, if you don’t mind textures that are slightly muddy and with a few jagged edges here and there, then the F11 Pro would still serve you well.
If you’re not much of a gamer and more of a video consumer, you will be very happy with the F11 Pro’s display as the quality could easily be the best in this class. Colours produced by the display are accurate albeit slightly oversaturated, blacks are fairly deep and the viewing angles are pretty good. The display also does get quite bright and had no problems whatsoever under bright sunlight. Texts were also crisp with no bleeding whatsoever.
Much like most mid-range devices with just a single bottom-firing speaker, the F11 Pro does just okay. On maximum volume, it gets quite loud but I found music to lack depth and there was distortion from time to time. Another similar gripe here would be the fact that it easily gets blocked when held in landscape mode. At least, there’s still the headphone jack though.
Battery life on the F11 Pro is quite impressive especially for light to medium users. On most days, I would use the phone for about 15 hours from 9am to 12am and I’d still have about 30 percent left without charging in the middle of the day. As always, I mainly use my smartphones for streaming music on Spotify over Bluetooth to my car stereo, using social media and messaging apps, around an hour of gaming and also about an hour or more of video streaming via YouTube. Due to the limitations of ColorOS 6 though, I wasn’t able to get an accurate screen on time.
Charging the device is also really no problem as VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 gets the job done extremely quick–able to recharge up to 50 percent of battery in a mere 40 minutes. So, battery performance isn’t something you need to worry about with the F11 Pro.
Finally, let’s talk about what made Ms. Jebat go “Wow” in her jingle–the cameras. Did it really make me go “Wow” or “Ow”? I’d actually have to say it’s a bit of both but leaning more towards “Wow”.
While the main camera boasts 48MP, much like most other 48MP cameras, it uses pixel binning to combine four pixels into one for sharper and clearer 12MP images. Photos captured in daylight or well-lit conditions were really good as they had plenty of detail, high dynamic range, accurate colours and very little noise. HDR also helps to improve images without going overboard.
So all in all, the F11 Pro does daylight photography very nicely. This isn’t really too surprising as we’re now at a point where mid-range devices are able to produce images with quality almost similar to those of flagship devices.
As for its supposed main selling point, night photography, the F11 Pro actually does live up to the marketing hype. Even without turning on Ultra Night mode, the f/1.8 aperture and pixel binning helped to create images that retained a good amount of detail, low noise and good contrast. I did notice a little bit of moire and motion blur but that’s to be expected as there’s no optical image stabilisation.
With Ultra Night mode turned on however, I noticed that while the images were brighter and with slightly better contrast, details were a little over-smoothened thus appearing a little smudged.
On the selfie side of things, the 16MP shooter does a pretty job as it is able to retain a good amount of detail and produce sharp images with fairly accurate colours. The selfie shooter is also able to create fairly nice looking portraits with decent edge detection. The only thing I would advise is to make sure you turn off or tone down the beautification mode as it makes you look overly pretty and doll-like.
Video-wise, the F11 Pro is strangely only able to capture videos in [email protected] but the Helio P70 is in fact, capable of capturing 4K videos. With that said though, video quality was good with plenty of detail and accurate colours and decent audio quality. Plus, with Electronic Image Stabilisation, it was always nice and smooth.
In the box
- Oppo F11 Pro unit
- VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 charger
- micro-USB cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Full display with no notch
- Solid build quality
- Commendable performance
- ColorOS 6 is nice to use
- Battery life & fast charging
- Good overall camera experience
- Lack of NFC
- No 4K video recording
- Pre-installed bloatware
Essentially as an overall package, I would say the OPPO F11 Pro is a “Wow” device with lots of positives going for it such as good looks and build, decent performance, excellent battery life and good photography capabilities.
However, the one major downside to it, is its price. At MYR1,299 the OPPO F11 Pro faces stiff and competent competition such as the Redmi Note 7, Pocophone F1, Realme 3 Pro, Vivo V15 Pro and even the OPPO F11 (non-pro) that are all either slightly cheaper or offer more value; and may hold an edge over the F11 Pro.
Pricing and availability
The OPPO F11 Pro retails for MYR1,299 or if you’re a Marvel fan, you can also get the Limited Edition Avengers variant with 128GB storage at MYR1,399. Both are available for purchase exclusively from the OPPO Online Store. For more info, head on over to the F11 Pro product page.
Check out sample photos in the next page.
SUMMARY & RESULTS
The OPPO F11 Pro is a good mid-range smartphone that does well on most fronts and was definitely made to “Wow.” At the same time though, its asking price may be its biggest challenge to overcome.
Colour me wowed
Design + build
Pricing + value for money