Oppo is the second smartphone brand in China after Huawei. It has planned to sell over 100 million units in 2016, but it was able to implement the plan by only 95%. Can you guess what devices helped the manufacturer to outrun companies such as Meizu and Xiaomi? Surely, we are talking about the Oppo R9 and R9S. The real legend is the former one, while the latter has been designed to boost the sales. Well, when a smartphone maker comes in with a lucky device, it should do its best to provide corresponding continuation. As for Oppo, seems there is no problem. Its next-level flagship dubbed as the Oppo R11 was announced on June 10, and today it started the official sales.
The start for the Oppo R11 looks quite amazing – it took only 5 minutes from this device to become the best-selling smartphone at Jingdong. It even could outrun the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X. Therefore, Oppo is the best-selling brand at the aforementioned retailer. What does this mean? We can come in with a list of assumptions, but let’s take a closer look at the next-gen Oppo selfie-focused smartphone and assess it by facts.
Oppo R11 Design
Earlier when the Oppo R9S was out we hurried to get our hands on it and come in with a design review. I am talking about R9S’ appearance, because the Oppo R11 doesn’t differ much from it. So when looking at the R11 for the first time we have a feeling this is an R-series handset.
Like its predecessor this model comes with rounded corners for better ergonomics and 2.5D arc glass. Moreover, we can see a familiar double-U shape antenna design, which is common for iPhone like handsets. The phone’s appearance has got an official name of ‘Xiaoman Yao’. In comparison to the previous models this one comes with a higher degree of curvature at the edges.
The Oppo R11 is packed with a 5.5-inch FULL HD screen. This means the manufacturer plans not to yield other top models, but there is no change in comparison to the Oppo R9S. Like the Huawei Honor 9 the R11’s screen comes with a night eyecare mode. There is also a color temperature adjustment support seen on the Xiaomi Mi Max 2. As for the black frame around the display, the official data says it’s only 1.6mm. The Oppo R9S came with a 1.66mm frame. So seems there is no real change in this feature. Actually, the frame is narrow, but it can be clearly seen when looking at it closely. We are reviewing the gold variant, but I guess the black Oppo R11 will ‘hide’ the frame accurately.
Generally, a regular smartphone has 2-3 holes above the screen. They are made for the camera, speaker, proximity sensor, microphone, and so on. But as you can see, there are only two holes on the Oppo R11. One of them belongs to the front shooter, while the second opening is for the speaker. However, you don’t have any reason to worry, as this phone has all the standard sensors. They are just hidden under the panel.
The front panel is not changed much. But this statement is not true for the back. The micro-slot antenna technology made the Oppo R9S not to stay behind. So it’s quite logic to see the same antenna design on this model.
The manufacturer also decided to make the rear camera a bit bulging. This approach has been used by Apple on its device, and many manufacturers do the same. It’s mainly related with the fact the housing of smartphones has become thinner, and they need to place a camera module on them. By the way, the sensors are protected with a metal ring around them. So their protruding look won’t make them damageable.
As for the interfaces, seems nothing has been changed. The volume rocker is on left.
The power button and the microSIM card slot are on right.
And the 3.5mm audio jack, microphone hole, speaker and a micro USB port are on the bottom. Seems many top brands have already switched to USB Type-C. But this doesn’t concern the Oppo R11. Probably it’s related with VOOC technology. We hope the manufacturer will improve it in the future, and USB Type-C will appear on upcoming models.
Oppo R11 Camera
We want to focus on the camera of this handset for two reasons. First, camera is the selling point of all R-line handsets. And second, this is the first dual-camera smartphone of this manufacturer.
Reportedly, the Oppo R11 sports a 16MP+2MP rear camera coming with f/1.7 aperture, 2x zoom, portrait mode and many more. As for the front shooter, it has got enhanced and now it comes with a 20MP sensor. The latter also supports Zhen Mei self-timer, HDR, second-gen background blurring system, etc.
However, we should state the image processor on this phone has been designed for 18 months. Oppo and Qualcomm were working on it such a long time to come in with a customized image processor. As a result, we are dealing with the first Snapdragon 660 handset supporting Spectra 160 ISP.
It has a 6-layer noise reduction algorithm, better pixel compensation technology when focusing, 2x double-zoom and so on. Shortly, the Oppo R11 is powered not only with an enhanced hardware, but the camera algorithm comes with a hardware-level optimization as well. Plus, Qualcomm has become the first chip maker to use the Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) on its 600 series chips. The latter supports high-performance low-power shooting process, while providing better quality camera experience.
As we can see, the sharpness is at a good level, and the camera is able to control the white balance as well. Honestly, daytime photos are good at the most smartphones. So we have to take a look at other samples for more realistic imagination.
Thanks to a dual-camera (wide-angle + telephoto) the Oppo R11 also supports double-zoom function. The photos below show this feature works great for daytime photos, but when trying to use it in low light conditions, the results are not impressive.
Things change completely when it comes to macro shooting. As we are dealing with a 16+2MP camera that also comes with an f/1.7 aperture, it’s expected to see perfect close-up photos. Moreover, we have experience with the blurring function, and we have to state it works perfectly.
The Oppo R11 is capable of taking great photos when capturing in low-light conditions. Looking at the photos taken in the night, we can say the phone represents the lightened subjects very well. Plus, the noise reduction is at a good level.
Below are photos proving the 20MP front camera and all of its features will provide good sales numbers. I mean the front camera is the selling point of this handset, and it’s reasonable to see useful features such as second-gen blurring system, autoHDR, backlit selfie system and many more.
Oppo R11 Performance
If the camera improvements are noticeable, the performance should be discussed and tested. The Oppo R11 comes with a Snapdragon 660, which is the improved version of the Snapdragon 660 that can be found on the Oppo R9S.
The Snapdragon 660 was launched only 5 months ago. It’s the latest Snapdragon 600 series chipset. This means in comparison to Snapdragon 653 and other mid-range chips it comes with a list of enhancements in terms of architecture and process technology. Reportedly, it exceeds 100.000 points. You can compared the changes via the table below, but we have to focus on one feature – it uses 14nm process technology instead of a 28nm technology.
As for architecture, the Snapdragon 660 uses Kryo 260 architecture (4×2.2GHz +4 x1.8GHz). In comparison to the Snapdragon 653 the performance is improved by 20%. It also supports 2 × 2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi dual antenna, up to 8GB RAM configuration. But this device comes with a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.
The Oppo R11 was tested via a few benchmarks. It scored 118.989 at AnTuTu. This is a quite nice result, as the previous chip models such as Snapdragon 652/653 scored up to 80.000. So we can say the Snapdragon 660 is close to Snapdragon 820 in terms of performance.
As for 3D Mark and XGeekBench 4, the Oppo R11 scored 1368 points and 1607/5823, respectively.
Though we are dealing with the latest mid-range chip of Qualcomm, it is still capable of providing smooth 3D game experience. Most of time it provides 30fps.
Oppo R11 Performance Battery
The Oppo R11 still supports VOOC fast charge technology (5V / 4A). It’s not the best fast charge technology we have ever seen, but it still provides good experience. Plus, the phone features a 3000mAh battery, which seems to be a bit smaller than expected. Well, let’s test it and make conclusions only after it.
It took 68 minutes to charge the phone fully. But we have to mention it reached to the mark of 55% in 30 minutes. This sounds acceptable, but you have to use a special charging head for it. Other chargers are incompatible with this technology.
As for discharging, the screen brightness was set at 50%, and there were held 6 tests such as web surfing on WiFi, playing games, video playback, calls and so on. Totally it took 6 hours to complete the overall test (60 minutes on each test). As a result, the Oppo R11 consumed 56% of power.
Oppo R11 Software
This handset comes with Color OS 3.1 based on Android 7.1. Thus this is one of those unique handsets coming with its custom-made UI. The manufacturer has added a few changes in comparison to the previous version. One of the most attractive parts is the improved security. But it’s recommended to take a closer look at some of its features.
Lock Screen/Home Page
Seems we are dealing with the Color OS 3.0 lock screen as well as home page, because not that much has been changed. We can notice only symbolic changes concerning system icons such as calendar, clock, settings, music and other system-level applications
The notification bar layout has been changed a little, but it looks modern.
We have to mention there are a few new features in the toolbar named Oppo share, Night Eye, ApliPay, and one more payment function.
This feature allows users to transfer files between any Oppo devices easily. It works like Bluetooth but it uses WiFi for file transfers. So the efficiency is the way higher for large files.
Safety detection / payment protection / security features
Mobile security is an agenda for all manufacturers. Many smartphones launched recently come with their own-designed protection systems. We can just recall the Gionee M6S Plus, which comes with a hardware-level data protection system. The Oppo R11 is no exception. It comes with a list of software such as ‘safe keyboard’, ‘false WiFi detection’, ‘verification code security’ and so on. Thus all security features work only at software level. Though we’d like to see the same at hardware level, it’s a step forward.
- Stylish design
- 1080p screen
- Dual camera on back
- 20MP front shooter
- Snapdragon processor
- VOOC fast charging support
- Custom UI
- 3000mAh battery
The Final Words
The Oppo R11 comes with many hardware upgrades. The most impressive improvements refer to the processor and camera. The same is not true for the appearance. On the other hand, the company has to change the body as well in order to set a dual-camera on it. So what we can say – the Oppo R11 differs from its predecessors much, but the company has kept many liniments the same. In this sense, we appreciate all the aforementioned enhancements, and now we understand why many people have pre-ordered this amazing handset.