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Oppo R11 review: An affordable iPhone 7 Plus?

By James Lu - 1 Aug 2017
Launch SRP: S$699

Benchmark Performance, Imaging, Battery life, and Conclusion

Performance Benchmarks

The Oppo R11 runs on Qualcomm's new mid-range Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM. The Snapdragon 660 is the successor to Qualcomm's 653 processor, with the biggest change being the processor fabricated from a more efficient 14nm process technology, down from 28nm on the older Snapdragon 653. Qualcomm has also introduced its Kryo 260 CPU cores in the Snapdragon 660, rather than the octa-core ARM Cortex-A72 and A53 big.LITTLE combination seen in the Snapdragon 653.

The GPU on the Snapdragon  660 has also been upgraded with a more powerful Adreno 512 GPU, up from the 510 model seen in the Snapdragon 653.

For the performance assessment, we've amassed other mid-range Android devices that we've recently tested, along with the Oppo R11 predecessor, the R9 series:-

  Oppo R11 Oppo R9s Oppo R9s Plus OnePlus 5 (6GB RAM/64GB) Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) ASUS ZenFone 3
  Oppo R11 Oppo R9s Oppo R9s Plus OnePlus 5 (6GB RAM/64GB) Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) ASUS ZenFone 3
Launch SRP
  • From S$699
  • From S$679
  • From S$779
  • From S$699
  • From S$648
  • From S$498
Operating system
  • Android 7.1 Nougat with Color OS 3.1
  • ColorOS 3 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • ColorOS 3 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0.1 (Nougat) with Oxygen OS 4.5
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Android 6.0 with ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Octa-core (4x2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 653
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • Samsung Exynos 7880 Octa-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A53
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core, 2.0GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 4GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
  • 3GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi) / AMOLED
  • 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) AMOLED
  • 6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) AMOLED
  • 5.5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi) / AMOLED
  • 5.7-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (386 ppi) / Super AMOLED
  • Always-On Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (~401 ppi) / IPS
Camera
  • Rear: 16-megapixel f/1.7 + 20-megapixel f/2.6, 2x optical zoom
  • Front: 20-megapixel, f/2.0
  • 16MP f/1.7 rear camera with dual PDAF, optical image stabilization, and Dual Tone LED flash
  • 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with Beautify 4.0
  • 16MP f/1.7 rear camera with dual PDAF, optical image stabilization, and Dual Tone LED flash
  • 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with Beautify 4.0
  • Primary Rear: 16-megapixel, f/1.7, contrast detection autofocus, EIS, LED flash, 1.12 µm pixel size
  • Secondary Rear: 20-megapixel, f/2.6, phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1.00 µm pixel size
  • Front: 16-megapixel, f/2.0, 1.0 µm pixel size
  • Rear: 16-megapixel, f/1.9, 27mm, LED flash
  • Front: 16-megapixel, f/1.9
  • Rear: 16-megapixel, f/2.0, TriTech AutoFocus, 4-axis OIS
  • Front: 8-megapixel, f/2.0
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR, GPS, GLONASS
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual band), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, DLNA, USB Type-C, USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 9 (up to 450Mbps), Bluetooth 4.1, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, USB 2.0 Type-C, Wi-Fi Direct
Storage Type
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable up to 256GB (via microSD shared with SIM 2 slot)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable storage via microSD (up to 256GB)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable storage via microSD (up to 256GB)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 256GB (MicroSD)
  • 64GB storage (expandable via microSD to 2TB)
Battery
  • 3,000mAh
  • 3,010mAh with VOOC Flash Charge
  • 4,000mAh with VOOC Flash Charge
  • 3,300mAh
  • Dash Charge
  • 3,600mAh
  • 3,000 mAh
Dimensions
  • 154.5 x 74.8 x 6.8mm
  • 153.0 x 74.3 x 6.58 mm
  • 163.6 x 80.8 x 7.35mm
  • 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
  • 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9 mm
  • 152.59 x 77.38 x 7.69 mm
Weight
  • 150g
  • 147g
  • 185g
  • 153g
  • 186g
  • 155g


Sunspider Javascript

SunSpider JavaScript measures the browsing performance of a device when processing JavaScript. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. 

The Oppo R11 showed a big improvement over the R9s and R9s Plus, and was only beaten by the Snapdragon 835-powered OnePlus 5. In real world usage, the R11 was snappy and responsive for web browsing.

 

Quadrant

Quadrant is an Android benchmark that evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performances. Take this benchmark with a grain of salt, because so far all of our 835-powered smartphones have massively underperformed here, and the R11 also didn't perform up to our expectations. We suspect one aspect of the Quadrant benchmark is incompatible with Qualcomm's newer processors.


 

 

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

3DMark Ice Storm is designed to test the gaming capabilities of a device, putting its GPU through a rigorous OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark test that uses fixed off-screen rendering with high quality textures and post-processing effects. The Unlimited version of the benchmark disables v-sync, display scaling and other OS factors, making it ideal for chipset comparison.

Oppo R11 once again showed big improvements over the R9s and R9s Plus, but was no match for the 835-powered OnePlus 5.



 

Imaging

The R11 features Oppo's first dual rear cameras setup.

  • The primary camera is a 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor with an f/1.7 aperture
  • The secondary camera has a 2x longer focal length and a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 sensor with an f/2.6 aperture.

This setup operates in almost exactly the same way as the dual camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus. In fact, the default camera app is a clone of the iOS camera app, with every icon and setting in exactly the same place, including the zoom icon. Tap it to switch between 1x and 2x zoom, or tap and drag to bring up a circular dial to make smaller adjustments to the zoom.

Oppo R11 camera app  Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera app

Image quality from the R11 is decent, with good color reproduction and contrast, although there is some softness towards the edge of the frame. There's no noticeable difference in quality between both rear cameras, but there is some slight processing lag when using the 2x camera, as the phone has to combine the images taken by both cameras in order to produce the zoomed in image. 

The R11 lacks any optical image stabilization (OIS), which makes it tricky to shoot in low light, and as a result, less than ideal lighting conditions tend to result in either soft focus or extremely noisy images. The lack of OIS also makes it hard to capture stable video footage, especially if you're using the 2x zoom.

Click for full-size image

Just like the iPhone, the dual-camera configuration also allows for a hardware/software hybrid depth effect. The depth effect is activated when shooting with the rear cameras in Portrait mode. Pictures taken in Portrait mode had a fairly convincing bokeh, although the iPhone 7 Plus' Portrait mode bokeh tends to be more pronounced and creamier overall.

Oppo R11 Portrait Mode  Apple iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode

On the front, there's a whopping 20-megapixel f/2.0 shooter. There's no bokeh effect for shooting selfies, but if you select Portrait mode when using the front-facing camera, there's a beauty filter that smoothens your skin and removes blemishes.

 

Battery Life

Our standard battery test for mobile phones has the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

The Oppo R11 is powered by a 3,000mAh capacity non-removable battery, which is slightly on the small side for a smartphone with a 5.5-inch display. Nevertheless, the R11 performed well, lasting thirteen hours and 42 minutes in our video looping benchmark. We can attribute this to its power efficient Snapdragon 660 processor and AMOLED display.

Strangely enough, Oppo has stuck with the outdated micro-USB standard for the R11's charging port. It doesn't make much difference, but as someone that's gotten used to the reversible USB Type-C port, it was annoying having to go back to checking the orientation of the cable before plugging it in.

As with Oppo's other phones, despite using a Qualcomm processor, the R11 uses Oppo's own VOOC fast charging technology (which we've found in the past to be the best out of all of the fast charging technologies out there). The latest version of VOOC will charge the phone from 0 to 70 percent in just thirty minutes and to 100 percent in just over an hour.

 

Conclusion

Can I copy your homework? Sure, just change a few things so it's not obvious.

The idea of a really affordable iPhone 7 Plus running on Android 7.1 Nougat sounds quite enticing, but the reality is quite the opposite. For starters, Oppo's continued habit of just copying everything Apple does as closely as possible instead of picking and choosing only the good bits has resulted in some particularly frustrating design choices, notably in the software - some things that make sense on iOS just don't work on Android, but Oppo copies them anyway.

The phone's design is sleek, but the R11 looks too similar to the iPhone 7 Plus to award it any points for creativity. And the one area where Oppo decided to deviate from Apple's design, the ultra thin tapered edges, actually makes the phone less comfortable to grip - Oppo would have been better off just sticking with Apple's rounded edges. The dual rear camera setup is a reasonable reproduction of Apple's iPhone 7 Plus dual camera setup, but the cameras themselves aren't as good, and when you're shooting at 2x zoom, you really need optical image stabilization (which is lacking on the R11).

Finally, at S$699, the R11 is quite pricey for a mid-range phone and its set of features. For S$70 more you can get the 6GB RAM/64GB OnePlus 5, which has a very similar dual rear camera setup, looks almost exactly the same, and has a much more powerful flagship-level Snapdragon 835 processor. It also has a UI that's closer to stock Android instead of the iOS clone you get with the R11. Alternatively, the Xiaomi Mi 6 is available for about S$130 LESS than the R11 (export units on Lazada) and also has a dual camera setup (with the added benefit of optical image stabilization) and a Snapdragon 835 processor.

6.5
  • Design 6.5
  • Features 7
  • User-Friendliness 6.5
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 6
The Good
Good battery life with fast VOOC charging
AMOLED display
Expandable storage
Decent dual camera setup
The Bad
Poor UI experience
Cheap screen protector and no oleophobic coating
Edges are too thin
micro-USB is outdated
No NFC
Expensive for a mid-range offering