Ever committed to giving consumers a flagship feel at a reduced cost, Chinese smartphone maker Oppo’s latest handset is the R11s, a device that delivers a premium experience in almost every aspect of its design.
While the original Oppo R11 was an exceptional mid-range phone, the Chinese electronics firm has managed to improve on it in every way with this new upgraded model. So much so, in fact, that it might even sway cost-minded consumers away from the likes of Apple and Samsung.
In the West, the 6.01-inch R11s has only launched in Australia so far, where it’s priced at AU$659 (about $518, £370). Those who prefer their handsets even more phablet-sized also have the choice of the Oppo R11s Plus, which has a 6.43-inch display and is priced at AU$779 (around $612, £438). In both instances, the phones are less than half the AU price of an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which will be quite a selling point for many people.
That said, despite sporting some high-end features, the R11s is undeniably a mid-range phone, as it lacks a few of the key aspects we’ve come to expect from flagship handsets. Still, if you can look past those shortcomings, the Oppo R11s offers terrific value.
- Tiny bezels make the R11s feel modern
- 64GB of internal storage can be expanded to 256GB
- Dual Nano SIM option
- Rear fingerprint scanner is lightning fast
One of the key improvements that the R11s holds over its predecessor is a drastically-reduced bezel size, giving the phone a similarly-modern look to the the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.
Those smaller top and bottom bezels (which are less than half of the size of what the were on the R11) mean Oppo’s had to drop the physical home button that’s featured on the front of pretty much every one of its phones up until this point. Instead, the company’s now opted to use an on-screen navigation bar, while also moving the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the phone.
As is typical of most smartphones, you’ll find the power button on the right side of the screen and a volume rocker on the left. It’s got a combination dual SIM and microSD slot on the right side of its all-metal unibody chassis, which has such thin edges that it actually feel a little strange in the hand when the phone is naked.
When its case is off (Oppo continues its much-appreciated tradition of including a clear gel phone case in the box), it also has a significant camera bump, made all the more noticeable by its wide, dual-camera nature.
Music lovers will be happy to know that a 3.5mm headphone jack has been mercifully included on the bottom of the unit to the right of its Micro USB port. Yes, you read that correctly – it appears that Oppo isn’t ready to jump on the USB-C bandwagon just yet.
Along the top and bottom edges of the phone you’ll find some fairly subtle iPhone 7-style antenna lines, which were barely noticeable on our black review unit.