Right phone, wrong focus

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on December 13, 2017

Oppo F5 may not be a great camera phone; but it’s still a good buy

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now an obsession among phone-makers. Most of the up-and-coming smartphone chips include an AI processor as well — Huawei’s Kirin 970 is an AI-dedicated processor, for instance. Huawei’s Mate 10, Honor ‘s V10 and many others now sport the so-called AI chips, enabling the gadget to have a mind of its own and understand what users want better, especially when they take selfies. Oppo is the latest to join this bandwagon. The Oppo F5 comes with an AI-powered beautification mode in its camera app, which the phone makers claim will help you “capture the real you”. Cool copy that is, but on ground things are a tad different. Turns out, Oppo F5 is a good phone with a slightly bad sales pitch.

Oppo F5’s camera doesn’t work as great as it is advertised to be, especially on the AI front. In our experience, the AI functions poorly. The 16 MP rear camera’s operations are also not hassle-free. The settings are hard to find and there is not much manual fiddling available. The Oppo F5 doesn’t shoot 4K video (720 p and 1080 p options are available). That said, the camera output is fairly good. Photos from the main camera look bright and vivid even in low-light, but where the camera really fails is where it really matters — on the selfie front. The 20 MP selfie camera, whatever AI it anchors on, is pretty amateurish even with f/2.0 aperture and 1/2.8” sensor and the depth (bokeh) effect it delivers (optional) looks rather artificial. In low-light, the camera really stumbles. Oppo needs to invest more intelligence on this constituency, frankly. That said, interestingly, Oppo F5 performs really well in all other departments. The design is beautiful and the body is super light (152 grams) and the six-inch-plus 2160x1080 display is a delight. The low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT screen is fingerprint-free and negotiates colours with surprising alacrity. The F5 comes in three colours and sports 4 GB RAM with an octa-core processor.

It ably handles speedy browsing, continuous gaming and other tough tasks. The device manages energy impressively. Its 3,200 mAh battery lasts a lot better than in most phones in this category and charges really fast. The dual-sim phone’s facelock and fingerprint functions work without blemishes.

The audio is super clear and loud enough. At ₹19,990, the Oppo F5 is a good buy if you are looking for a power-packed, performing phone with a decent camera.

Price: ₹19,990

Pros: Display, battery, performance, design, build

Cons: Selfie camera fares below expectations

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Published on December 13, 2017
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