Looks and design have been one of the purchasing factors of a smartphone, we have been reviewing a lot of these and some of them offered a pretty good user experience despite not packing speedy hardware internals. Oppo’s R series smartphones have been a great example of such smartphones and in this case, we have been using the company’s R1x for a while, it has a beautiful faceted glass back cover and stainless steel frame construction, most importantly it doesn’t cost a bomb to be bought.

Decent mid-range hardware with a beautiful design

Take some time to browse Oppo’s smartphone portfolio, you will realize that the company isn’t just another Samsung or Apple in terms of making smartphones, the company’s phones don’t necessarily come with the latest processor, nor does it come with the most amount of RAM and storage. In the case of the Oppo R1x, the company has packed a trusty Snapdragon 615 processor under the hood which delivers a decent overall smartphone performance and great thermal control, the phone’s 4.7-inch display also ensures that you don’t need to stretch your fingers a lot to reach the entire screen estate, the display fortunately has good visibility under glaring sunlight.

In other aspects, the R1x is suited for left handed users as the power button is placed on the left, which most people would use their thumb to press on. The speaker grilles located at the bottom can however, be a nuisance if you are watching videos or gaming horizontally as your hands tend to block its way. In addition, you might just want to snap the transparent case provided by Oppo on the phone, as the glass backcover can get pretty greasy with fingerprints over time. Otherwise, the R1x is well designed and it isn’t a cheap iPhone knock off like many other Chinese products.

Reliable but outdated software

Our last encounter with Oppo’s N3 has been a positive one, I’ve even called it the best Chinese smartphone that I’ve ever used all thanks to its reliable software. Just like other Chinese phone manufacturers, Oppo has been playing the very same software game by implementing its own custom launcher with similar elements – no app drawer, a theme store and full of gesture gimmicks. In the case of the Oppo R1x, we are happy that Oppo has maintained the very same satisfactory software experience like its previous devices.

However, the real problem here isn’t about its reliability but rather, I was rather disappointed with the company’s decision to continue using Android 4.4 KitKat for a new device despite still being the most reliable build of Android. As for this case, there is actually no guarantee if Oppo is ever going to upgrade the phone’s operating system to Android L, because this would mean a waste of the phone’s 64-bit hardware potential. For instance, Oppo’s very own Find 7 is still stuck on Android 4.4.2 despite having flagship internals, while most phones on the same range are already on Google’s latest operating system. Of course, if you aren’t the kind of user that is worried about using the latest and greatest Android OS, the Oppo R1x will definitely serve you well as a daily driver with very rare cases of app crashes and freezes.

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Camera

ppo has literally given the R1x a pretty good pair of cameras and with its PureImage 2.0 image enhancement engine, you’ll be getting pretty good shots from its 13-megapixel f/2.0 Sony image sensor, the phone’s camera software offers a number of shooting modes that is found on higher end Oppo smartphones and they work really well when used appropriately, check out some of the pictures taken down below.

Benchmarks, Battery Life and Call Quality

In benchmarks, the Snapdragon 615 processor isn’t much of a high score achiever but you can be rest assured of a great day to day performance, gaming performance is decent on the R1x thanks to the lower resolution display.

Back in our vivo x5max review, the phone’s battery lasted exceptionally well despite having a worrying small capacity, the R1x’s 2420mAh battery has fortunately produced the very same positive results and delivers a one day battery life. The phone however, has omitted Oppo’s VOOC rapid charging technology which is a shame.

All thanks to the phone’s compact design, holding up the phone to make phone calls have been rather comfortable, there is no encounters of signal drops and callers have been reporting a clear voice from our end.

Verdict

If we were to give a beauty award to a mid-range smartphone, the Oppo R1x definitely comes into mind as the choice of devices. The R1x delivers a beautiful smartphone experience in both hardware design and software, which is what the company intends to deliver with the R series smartphone line up. The Oppo R1x retails at RM1199, it isn’t the most expensive Snapdragon 615powered device and your decision on picking up one will not be wrong if you are looking for a reliable smartphone.

The Good:
+ Compact and beautiful design
+ Decent smartphone performance
+ Capable cameras
+ Reliable software

The Not so Good:
– No VOOC rapid charge
– Uninspired sound quality
– Software roadmap unknown

We give the Oppo R1x a score of 8.5/10.

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