Oppo takes on budget buyers with a $299 metal phone

Just because you don’t want to spend almost a grand on a phone doesn’t mean you can’t get the goods, and Oppo is keen to show it, announcing a budget smartphone that will bring premium looks to a value phone.

You may not know the name Oppo, but if you’re looking for a phone and don’t want to spend all that much, going for value over everything, prepare to become familiar with the brand.

This week, Oppo has announced that it will sell a device hitting a $299 price point that encompasses the company’s commitment to quality without pushing the envelope on pricing.

The model in question will be called the “F1”, and while the name might imply a fast car for many, others might just see it as a bit of help when phones are costing more and more.


Oppo’s F1 will attempt to bridge the gap between the expensive devices and the regular budget models by bringing an eight-core Snapdragon 616 processor to the table and pairing it with 3GB RAM, specs that tend to be common in the mid-range. Accompanying this processor and memory set will be 16GB storage with room to move via a microSD slot that can also be used as a secondary SIM slot, but not both.

Yes, you can either have a 4G phone with one SIM and one expandable memory microSD slot, or a 4G phone with two SIMs and no expandable memory. It’s your call.

Depending on which you opt for, you’ll find a version of Android 5.1 “Lollipop” found here, with Oppo using its iOS-inspired Color OS 2.1 platform. That means you still get Android, but that it looks and feels more like what Apple uses on its phones.


You can also expect a 5 inch HD display protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4, making it scratch resistant and with a screen protector applied to the phone out of the box.

The body on this handset also looks fairly premium, with an aluminium-alloy chassis encasing the screen, the innards, and two fairly well-spec’d cameras, with a 13 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front-facing selfie camera.


All up, the specs certainly win points for netting the mid-range, and for Oppo to deliver it to a budget price point, we are most definitely surprised.

“The F1 is a great example of how premium doesn’t have to be pricey,” said Michael Tran, Marketing Director at Oppo Australia.

“I think a lot of Aussies are starting to realise that they don’t need to pay over the odds to have a quality device, so we’re expecting the device to be well received locally.”


There’s no doubting that the $299 price point is attractive, but what you get makes this even more enticing, with the sort of features we expect for closer to $500.

If anything, the two catches for the F1 may well be in operation and battery life, because while Oppo’s Color OS isn’t the worst Android overlay out there, it can still be a little jarring given how iOS-like it is. Battery life is the other catch, and with a battery of only 2320mAh, we’re not anticipating much more than a day.


Still, at $299 the Oppo F1 might still be worth it. We’ll let you know when we’ve reviewed it.

If you can’t wait, however, you’ll find the Oppo F1 in Dick Smith stores and online at Oppo for $299 now.