Opinion: Oppo N1 Exciting or Disappointing?


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Oppo were the last of the big 3 Chinese phone makers to launch their latest Android device. Now after seeing the Oppo N1, its features and specifications how do you feel?

With the Oppo N1 launch over we have pretty much finished the big Chinese phone launches of this year. Sure we still have 8-core and 4G Mediatek phones to look forward too, and there are going to be some great surprise phones from other brands, but for most International readers Xiaomi, Meizu and Oppo are the 3 to keep an eye on.

oppo n1 hero

Oppo’s marketing was a little different than others for the N1. Instead of letting wild rumours run wild, Oppo released teaser videos and images and corrected news articles which announced incorrect details. Oddly though some teased features didn’t make an appearance such as the detachable NFC camera lenses, one of the biggest and most exciting features of the phone!

Oppo N1 strengths

I’m going to try and be as neutral as I can by listing what strengths and weaknesses I think the N1 has. If you think I am wrong or missed something then feel free to leave a comment.

Color ROM

Oppo have a lot of neat features in their Color ROM, and the latest version appears to be the most featured packed and polished to date! And if you decided you don’t like it you can always…

CyanogenMod

oppo n1 cyanogenmod

A CyanogenMod version of the Oppo N1 is a great addition. It will offer a great alternative to users and is a wonderful first step for CyanogenMod as a company. It’s just a shame we didn’t see it in action during the launch.

In fact Oppo’s attitude towards developers and their fan community as a whole is a benefit they have over most other phone makers.

Battery

With a 5.9-inch 1080 display we are going to want a nice size battery to keep the phone going. The Oppo N1 has a 3610mAh battery which isn’t as big as some, but still larger than most.

Innovation

oppo n1 rotating front camera

Innovation isn’t quite the right word here, evolution is better suited to the Oppo N1. Oppo might enjoy claiming the N1 is the world’s first phone with rotating camera, but it isn’t, not by a long shot. Samsung, NEC and others all had the same feature on their phones years ago. The rear touch panel is a nice touch too, but hardly ground breaking.

Weaknesses

Length

Some of you think I am out to get any phone with a large display so I’ll say this one more time. I personally don’t mind a large display, if it is part of a great, fully optimised design. The Oppo N1 has a 5.9-inch display, which isn’t all that huge by today’s standards, but it does measure in at a rather long 170.7mm.

oppo n1

Most of the extra length is due to the rotating camera in the top of the phone, but surely that could have been fixed my having a regular camera set up?

Gimmicks

I’ve not used the rotating camera on the N1 so I don’t know how good it is. I do like to think I have a good imagination though and can’t quite think of myself as being overly amazed at the idea of rotating a camera around to take a photo.

I look at the N1 and feel that it could have looked so much better with a narrow top (like the bottom) and a regular front and rear camera arrangement. At 9mm thick the N1 is more than thick enough to have dual cameras, which would also have helped make it a little less heavy.

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oppo n1

The rear touch, like the rotating camera, seem like great ideas but I’m not sure just how useful it is going to be.

We’ve seen these features before Oppo, and they died off.

Durability

I actually don’t think durability is going to be an issue with the N1 and its rotating camera. Oppo seem to have tested it to a high standard, and their manufacturing has always been very good.

That doesn’t stop others thinking the camera is the weak link though. Ive already seen numerous comments from readers concerned with the rotating camera. So although the durability might be fine, people have already started to think it might not.

Price

Possibly the largest issues here is price. Compared the Xiaomi Mi3 and Meizu MX3 the Oppo N1 is a much more expensive phone.

oppo n1 price hero

Not only is it more expensive but it also has a lower specification processor! The Mi3 has either a Snapdragon 800 or Tegra 4 and the Meizu MX3 has an 8-core Samsung Exynos chip.

Who is the Oppo N1 for?

Oppo have placed the N1 a genre of phone aimed at camera phone enthusiasts. The camera is unique by today’s standards, it offers some great features and with the hardware we can see it is going to perform well.

oppo n1 lens attachment

But, where are those detachable lenses? They were part of the teaser images and they are nowhere to be seen. Was Oppo just saying that the N1 has NFC and so can use a Sony lens? In that case FAEA should do the same with the F1 and Xiaomi with the Mi2A, not to mention all the flagship devices with the same function.

Cyanogenmod chinese phones

So is the N1 for Android enthusiasts and hackers? It comes with the option to run CyanogenMod from the box after all. No, I don’t think so. If you were a modder I believe you would go for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 or even Oppo’s very own Oppo Find 5.

Oppo have created a very niche product with the N1, I hope they do well with it but I just can’t imagine seeing many N1’s out on the street when it launches especially when there are some many other options for the same price or even less.

Oppo N1 – Exciting or disappointing?

Personally I am more than a little disappointed with the N1. After seeing what Oppo are capable of with the Oppo Find 5 and even the R819 I was hoping for something more exciting.

black oppo find 5

If Oppo had made the N1 with a regular camera set up, shorter body, updated the CPU to the S800 and knocked the price down then I would be much more excited and would even consider buying one! As it is though if I was to buy an Oppo (and I am considering to as a second phone to use with an Mi3) I’ll get a Find 5.

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Do you think the Oppo N1 is an exciting product or are you disappointed too? Take part in the poll above and leave your comments.

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