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Oppo’s F11 Pro is yet another example of why mechanical cameras are cool but they are not everything

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When Vivo showcased the Nex for the first time, there was enough evidence on tap to say that phones with pop up mechanical cameras could be the next big thing. However, naysayers believed that the mechanical selfie camera wouldn’t have the longevity of a standard camera module and so far biggies like Apple, Google and Samsung have resisted the temptation of such a camera phone. But today, yet again, Vivo’s fellow BBK brethren Oppo is back with the F11 Pro smartphone which is yet another example of why these mechanical cameras are cool. Let me explain.

  • •The removal of the selfie camera enables one to have all screen. For instance, the F11 Pro has a massive 6.5-inch LTPS display which has a screen to body ratio of more than 90 percent. All this is also packaged in a frame that’s around about the same size as a phone like the OnePlus 6T.
  • •up camera, as Oppo likes to call it, also allows one to potentially cram a larger sensor, unlike teeny tiny sensors that one sees on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10. This is reflective in even the performance of the front camera which has a 16-megapixel resolution and an f/2.0 aperture. It also does pretty decent bokeh.
  • •Then there is just the cool factor associated with a mechanical camera system. The sound also that comes along makes it a sweeter gratifying experience apart from the fact that it has motion detection to automatically shut off in case the phone was falling down.
  • •As the mechanical system potentially makes the phone chubbier from one end, it can also allow for other frills like the massive 4,000mAh battery, and the huge 1/2-inch 48-megapixel rear sensor on the back which can take some very impressive images.

What’s not great

Even though this pop-up camera system is impressive and the 48-megapixel camera system on the back is powerful, these are not unique by 2019 standards. They, in fact, are now being overdone by Vivo and Xiaomi. So that brings one to the overall package which doesn’t look the most competitive on paper and the potential frailties of the pop-up camera make such a device even murkier.

  • An Helio P70 chip in a phone that costs above Rs 20,000 sounds quite a sacrilege. One would’ve expected either an Helio X class of processor or minimum a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 or 710.
  • The display is quite decent but it is not mind-blowing and certainly not the sharpest around. Even phones that cost half as much can match this screen.
  • Oppo’s Color OS is an acquired taste at best and is known to be sluggish, glitchy and is untimely with software updates. Only time will tell if this has been fixed. One can only hope.
  • The body is made out of polycarbonate which just a stronger form of plastic — there is no glass or metal on the exterior which is unfortunate. That said, there is a neat gradient finish called thunder black and it looks cool.
  • Oppo has VOOC 3.0 fast charging, but in 2019, you shouldn’t be selling a phone above Rs 20,000 without USB Type C.

Long story short — this phone has interesting camera technology but by no measure, it is best in class camera performance and to top it, it doesn’t look like the most powerful package you’ll get around, though it will be widely and easily available and will turn heads at least for a while.

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