Oppo is turning them over fast, and it seems to be paying off. According to Counterpoint Research data, the Oppo A57 phone – reviewed here – was the fourth biggest selling phone globally in July this year, and the second biggest Android model. It was beaten out of third and first place respectively by … the Oppo R11, Oppo’s newest flagship. This takes over from the Oppo R9s (reviewed here, just six months ago).
So let’s see why everyone seems to be buying the R11. Well, why 2.1% of the global purchasing public were buying it in July.
Of course, a top of the line Oppo model is priced somewhere in the middle of the price range for several other brands. The R11 is actually $49 less than the R9s was on its release. Yet just about everything has been upgraded: processor, camera, OS (now Android 7.1.1) and I’d say the screen as well, although others may differ.
The screen has actually shrunk a little. It’s 5.5 inches, down from the very nearly 6 inches of the R9s. But its full HD resolution (1080 by 1920) is now delivered via an AMOLED display, for deeper blacks and colours. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The Android home button is below the screen, as are the return and apps soft keys, so the full resolution is available for showing whatever. The apps key is to the left, the return key to the right. The home key doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
The rest of the construction is metal. The phone is thinner than average at 6.8mm. There is about a millimetre of bump for the two (!) cameras. A slim back-and-sides case is supplied with the phone. If you put that on, there’s no longer a bump. The phone is available in black, gold and rose gold. UPDATE: And now red has been added.
The phone runs a new Qualcomm processor, the octacore Snapdragon 660, with four cores running at up to 2.2GHz, the others to 1.9GHz, and there’s 4GB of working RAM. It has 64GB of storage built in and you can add a microSD card of up to 128GB.
WiFi is dual band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. Bluetooth is 4.2 LE. There is no NFC. If you forgo the memory expansion you can load up two 4G SIMs.
The power connection is still Micro-B USB. It supports On The Go connections, but Oppo retains its uniquely inconvenient requirement that you have to switch it on via the setup menu after ten minutes of non use.
The front camera is a 20MP f/2.0 model with the inevitable “Beauty” function. You can leave your beauty unaltered, or boost it by as much as six! There are two rear cameras. They seem to work less like the iPhone 7 Plus model of a main and telephoto, and more like the Huawei/Leica model of a main camera with assist. The main image-capturing one is a 16MP f/1.7 camera – the one closer to the corner of the phone. The assist camera is a 20MP f/2.6 unit next to it. Oppo worked with Qualcomm to customise an image processor to work with this system. Given the amount of processing that is performed on smart phone photos, the provision of more data from an extra camera is welcome.
A 3000mAh battery is built in. The phone supports Oppo’s VOOC fast charge system and a compatible power adaptor is provided for the purpose.
It took a little longer to set up than usual because I followed a path that turned out to be a dead end. I doubt I’ll be the only one.
You see, you can’t just transfer your Google credentials over to the phone from another via NFC, so you have to key them in. That’s fine. Then Oppo gives you a choice: do you want to set the phone up as a new phone, or import stuff from an old one. I chose the latter, and then was given a choice of importing from an Android phone or an iPhone. I chose the former, to be greeted with a large QR code which I was to scan using the old phone. Specifically, the Clone Phone setting under Backup & Restore.