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Oppo N1 Mini Hands On Review

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Taking selfies is a norm these days. People are now looking for a smartphone with better front facing cameras. But what if you can rotate your rear facing camera to the front? Oppo has taken selfie cameras to a new but different level with the N1 Mini. We used this as our daily driver for more than a week and here’s our full review.

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Oppo N1 Mini:

  • 1.6GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Adreno 305 graphics
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory, no memory expansion
  • 5-inch HD IPS LCD display (1280 x 720 pixels) 294ppi
  • 13 megapixel rotating camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • LTE, HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, USB OTG
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,140 mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jellybean with Color OS (upgradable to Android 4.4 Kitkat)
  • SRP: P16,990 (sale price as of this writing, original price – P19,990)
  • Status: Available on Oppo stores and retailers

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HARDWARE AND DESIGN:

When we first laid our eyes and hands with the Oppo Find 7a during its launch last year, we were very impressed with Oppo’s build quality. The company is trying remove the stigma that China-made smartphones are low in quality. Once you get a hold with the Oppo N1 Mini, you’ll feel its very sturdy constuction like everything was put together perfectly. Just like you, our concern at first was the rotating camera’s build quality. Oppo claims that as per testing, its rotating capabilities will last up to 7 years. Impressive!

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DISPLAY:

Despite only having a 720 x 1280 resolution, the 5-inch display is absolutely gorgeous. Good color reproduction, good viewing angles and acceptable outdoor and sunlight legibility. We just think that the auto brightness was a little off at times. It dims and brightens unnecessarily.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:

The Oppo N1 Mini has its own custom UI called ColorOS. Normally, we find custom UI on top of Android to be buggy and sluggish. That’s why we love smartphone running vanilla Android. But in ColorOS, it is surprisingly smooth and very fluid. We never encountered a single instance of lag during our 10-day duration of our review. Playing Dead Trigger 2, Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Soda is lag free and enjoyable with this phone. The N1 Mini is still running Android 4.3 Jellybean which is a bummer but Oppo promised a Kitkat update soon. We hope they could make update much faster or even make Android 5.0 Lollipop available to all current Oppo smartphones.

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CAMERA:

Of course the phone’s selling point is the camera. We will not comment further on how amazing the 13 megapixel rotating camera is so  we’ll let you be the judge. Just take a good look at the sample photos below.

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CONNECTIVITY:

Expect blazing internet speeds with this smartphone thanks to its 4G/LTE capabilities. We manage to get 10 to 15 Mbps download speed on LTE and 3 to 5Mbps download speed on HSPA+ using our Globe SIM. Calls are generally clear and according to our callers, our end of the line was very clear despite talking to them in a noisy environment. That is because of the phones noise cancelling microphones found on different parts of the device.

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BATTERY:

We must say battery was a little on the below average. Heavy users like us will be disappointed with the phone’s battery life. We only managed to get 3 hours and 4o minutes of screen on time with WiFi and 4G/LTE on and 75% brightness. Our battery drain test includes 1 hour of You Tube, an hour of I Want TV, gaming and social networks.

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VERDICT:

Taking selfies will never be same once you’ve used the Oppo N1 Mini. Photos are great thanks to its 13 megapixel Sony sensor. Display is good, build quality is astounding, excellent camera, and smooth performance. If you can forgive the somewhat slightly below average battery life and its non expandable storage capacity, then this is the phone for you.

If you own this smartphone, please do share your experience with us. Got questions? Tweet and follow us @filipinotechie and @immarkmarcelo on Twitter and Instagram.