The Oppo F1s is the Chinese brand’s latest smartphone in the Kenyan market.
Right from the get-go, the inspiration it draws from Apple’s recent iPhones is hard to ignore. For instance, the packaging does look familiar and that’s not because I had seen it before but because there are hints of the iPhone 6s’ packaging that one cannot miss.
In the box, one gets a SIM-ejection tool, a free plastic clear case, some documentation (user manual and warranty information), a pair of white earphones, a USB cable and a wall adaptor.
The Apple iPhone inspiration goes far and beyond the external packgaing. It is there every step of the way.
Taking a keen look at the Oppo F1s once you have unboxed it, you cannot fail to see how close it is in appearance to an iPhone. The only difference? That it runs on Android. However, that does not go a long way in stopping the Apple influence on the device.
Color OS, Oppo’s own custom overlay which on the F1s is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, borrows heavily the looks of Apple’s iOS. From the overall theme to the app icons to the lockscreen notifications to the slider that shows up when you need to power off the device.
So, is it just a cheap iPhone running Android then?
At first glance, it feels like it. The all-metal body with similar accents and accompanying software are all tuned to be aspirational to Apple’s premium smartphone. While that is surely something that is unlikely to excite people like myself, I guess Oppo does address a certain chunk of the market that would want an iPhone without parting with the much it takes to get an iPhone.
Perhaps that explains why the Oppo F1s costs a pretty penny at its Kshs 28,000 asking price because let’s face it, you can get other desirable mid-range smartphones in the Kenyan market with similar specifications and equally good designs (just not wholly inspired by the iPhone) at much less.
What you won’t get elsewhere, though, is the 16-megapixel selfie shooter on the Oppo F1s’ front. You can’t miss it and neither can you fail to appreciate the work it does. As the main selling point of the device, is it really enough to justify its high pricing?
I’ll be back, hopefully, with the answer(s) in a few days when I drop the full review.