Mobiles & Tablets

Betting big with the Mini

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on September 04, 2014

Oppo N1 Mini

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Oppo’s N1 Mini, is priced right up the Nexus 5 alley. But does it offer the same value for money?

When you compare Oppo with the existing smartphone brands, is still a relatively new player in the Indian smartphone market. But that’s not to say that the Chinese smartphone maker is immature – on the contrary, it’s one brand with defined goals. So far, Oppo has strictly pitched entries in the premium segments, with big screens and innovative features in its N1 and Find 7 models (which we at Technophile liked quite a lot).

Oppo’s latest offering for the Indian market is the N1 Mini, presumably for users who wouldn’t want to wield a smartphone with a rather large form factor, such as the N1. We spend some time with the (relatively) smaller version, and see if it’s got enough oomph to woo the Indian buyer.

Design and build

The ‘mini’ version of any flagship, by what we have seen in the market so far, is marked by a smaller display, slightly downscaled specs and obviously, a less expensive selling price. The Oppo N1 Mini follows the same trend. However, since the original N1 is a device with a large footprint, the N1 Mini is ‘compact’ with a 5.0-inch display.

In terms of design, the N1 Mini is almost identical to the N1, which means that the former is just as elegant in the looks department. The N1 Mini carries forward the brushed steel frame that follows the entire edge of the body, adding a touch of class to the sturdy polycarbonate body.

The N1 Mini is also a very ergonomic phone – it’s not exactly very slim, but at 151 grams, it is on the lighter side (considering what other phones weigh with similar screen sizes). The device also has a curved back that makes it very user-friendly for both one and two-handed usage. The disappointing bit is that the N1 Mini does not come with Corning Gorilla Glass or similar hardened glass for display protection – we have come to expect that in premium smartphones (and with Moto E and G, it’s beginning to catch up with budget segments as well).

Specs and performance

The Oppo N1 Mini's tech specs are not too different from that N1. While the bigger N1 comes with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, the N1 Mini comes with a Snapdragon 400 processor that is clocked at 1.6GHz. The N1 Mini’s display has also been brought down to a 1280x720 pixels resolution. The common specs include 2GB of RAM, 16GB of inbuilt storage and the proprietary 13-megapixel Swivel camera.

Although the N1 Mini doesn’t come with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, Oppo has overlaid the Color 1.4 UI on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. The customised UI is very fluidic, and comes with very handy tools for clearing memory and managing power. The device scored 10,500 points on average, on the Quadrant Standard Benchmark app, which is on par with most mid-range and budget devices.

The best feature of the N1 Mini, however, is the Swivel camera. It features a 13-megapixel Sony sensor that produces brilliant images under all lighting conditions. Like the N1, this camera can be rotated to be used as a front camera. There are a lot of modes to play around with as well.

Verdict

The N1 Mini does offer a good camera, a well-laid out UI, and most importantly a good design and sturdy build quality. However, the Oppo N1 Mini is not the best phone for those who want a number-crunching device. It doesn’t have the latest OS, nor has the specs that most phones have in this price segment. In fact, for its specs, it is a bit pricey. If you want an all-rounder, you’re still better off with an LG Google Nexus 5.

₹26,990

Love – Sturdy build; good camera

Hate – Older version of Android; pricey

Published on September 04, 2014

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