This week, Oppo has announced that $299 is no longer the place budget phone buyers can look to if they’re looking for a best-of phone with the works, as the smartphone manufacturer finds another price point to take its all-rounder F1 phone to: $199.
Working with Optus, Oppo’s metal-encased 4G F1 smartphone is cutting a hundred bucks off the outright price for people keen to save a quid, with a buck shy of $200 getting Optus customers a new smartphone.
There are a couple of differences with the Oppo F1 being released through Optus for $199 versus the one we reviewed that costs $299 outright, though these pretty much appear to be an issue of being locked and a modified modem.
For instance, there is no second modem in the Optus Oppo F1, with a spokesperson for Oppo telling GadgetGuy that while the second SIM slot is technically there in the Optus variant, there’s no second 4G modem for it to talk to. That means this version of the phone will only take microSIMs natively, with that second slot being used to upgrade the 16GB on-board storage with a microSD card, but nothing else.
That should be fine for most people, mind you, because dual-SIM devices aren’t as popular in Australia as they are in some parts of the world.
The other major change is that unlike the $299 model, the F1 from Optus is locked to Optus, something that isn’t a major shock and likely attributes to the price drop.
A spokesperson for Oppo did say that the Optus Oppo F1 can be unlocked, however, for either $80 or $80 of Optus credit (if you’ve accumulated that much spare credit), which means if you have spare credit, the $199 Optus Oppo F1 could just be the least expensive metal 4G phone you’ll see all year.
“We’re delighted to be working with Optus to bring the OPPO F1 to market and believe it will be a very popular choice among consumers,” said Michael Tran, Chief Marketing Officer at Oppo in Australia.
“Aussies are realising that they don’t need to spend a fortune to have a quality smartphone, and the F1, with its metal build and premium features, is testament to that.”
You’ll find the Oppo F1 4G phone in Optus stores shortly for $199 in silver only, while its outright brother of the standard dual-SIM F1 will continue to be available in the few Dick Smith stores left open and online for one hundred more at $299 in both gold and silver.