Oppo K1 review: Good performance & battery life, great camera quality
Oppo's K1 has brought a super amoled screen and in-display fingerprint scanner to the sub Rs17k bracket.
Title - Displays a lot of promise
Price - Rs 16,990 (4/64GB)
Specs - Snapdragon 660 AIE, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB storage (expandable, dedicated slot, up to 256GB), 6.4-inch waterdrop notch super amoled display (2340 x 1080 pixels), 3,600mAh battery, 156 grams,
Pros - Brilliant amoled screen with waterdrop notch & Gorilla Glass 5, in-display fingerprint scanner, good performance & battery life, great camera quality, box includes clear soft case & 3.5mm wired earphones
Cons - Plastic back panel (also prone to smudges), you can get SD675 in cheaper competition (Redmi Note 7 Pro), still uses microUSB port, only one variant (4/64GB)
Normally, features from premium flagship phones take a while to trickle down to the mid-range segment. That's why it caught us off guard when Oppo announced a Rs17k phone with a super amoled screen and in-display fingerprint scanning technology. Both of these features are highly coveted and that fact that Oppo is able to offer them at this price is great for consumers.
You always want to phone to look more expensive than it is right? That's what Oppo has pulled off with the K1. The Astral Blue variant we received reflects light in all directions while the blue-purple combination is eye-catching to say the least. The glossy colour extends from the back to the frame as well. If you don't want to be noticed from across the room, they also have a reflective piano black. While the back panel is certainly premium looking, it's still plastic. And plastic is prone to scratching and smudging. Good thing then, that Oppo includes a clear plastic case in the box. Actually, they also include a decent pair of 3.5mm earphones too and a high-quality screen protector is pre-applied.
Oppo uses the same optical fingerprint scanning technology used by sister companies Vivo and OnePlus. It works fast and is easy to use. Like the others, you can change the finger scanner animation style (an area of the screen above the scanner lights up to allow the optical scanner to read your finger). You probably know by now that in-display fingerprint scanning only works with amoled screens (because they're permeable to light). That's why amoled and in-display scanning go hand-in-hand.
Talking about the display on the K1 - it's a 6.4-inch 2340 x 1080 pixel (FHD+) unit with a tiny waterdrop style notch. The notch houses the 25MP f2.0 front camera and the usual sensors (proximity, ambient light). Above the notch is the tiny earpiece. This is a pretty typical design now so no surprises here. What's surprising is how great the amoled display is at this price. It wouldn't be out of place on a Rs30-40k phone either. It's got the same punchy colours and deep blacks of a OnePlus 6T with other features like night mode, colour temperature adjustment and always-on clock display.
Talking about performance, most users won't find reason to complain. Despite the heavy Color OS layer it feel snappy and handles all games well. Camera quality is excellent from both cameras and the app includes a full pro mode, a portrait mode that works on both people and objects, front camera depth effect, 4K video and time-lapse. The 3,600mAh battery lasted us through the day without issues.
All things considered, we couldn't find much reason to complain. Granted, it should have had a glass back, slightly larger battery and USB type C port but none of these are deal breakers. Given that it's taken us a while to publish this review, we now know that the Redmi Note 7 Pro is around and it starts at Rs14k (4/64GB). The Redmi is just a superior phone in every way except display quality - better performance from the SD675 processor, superb 48MP camera, glass front + back and a larger battery. Samsung's M30 with 5,000mAh battery and amoled screen is also cheaper (Rs15k) while the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 with SD660 and 5,000mAh battery is much cheaper at Rs12k. What you choose depends on what's more important to you.