X

Oppo R11s review: A midrange phone with a fantastic camera

The Chinese-made Oppo R11s impresses with both its camera and comfortable design.

aloysiuslow.jpg
Aloysius Low
aloysiuslow.jpg

Aloysius Low

Senior Editor

Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.

See full bio
3 min read

Oppo was one of the biggest phone manufacturers of 2017, and the R11s makes it easy to see why. 

oppo-r11s-005
8.1

Oppo R11s

The Good

The dual cameras take pretty good photos, even in low light. Battery life is great, and the 6-inch display is bright and vivid.

The Bad

Oppo's custom take on Android borrows too much from iOS and doesn't feel as polished. The price is higher than most midrange phones.

The Bottom Line

The Oppo R11s is a great midrange phone with a brilliant camera and fantastic battery life.

For a midrange phone, the R11s packs plenty of goodies, including a fantastic camera and well-made hardware that feels good in the hands. The phone's definitely worth the AU$659 ($505 and £365 converted) that is, if you haven't already spent your hard-earned cash on the earlier R11. Unfortunately, the phone isn't planned to go on sale in the US or the UK, but it's also on sale in Singapore for S$699.

The R11s, a phone that only debuted six months after the R11, is a much better phone all around than even its already impressive predecessor. The 6-inch 18:9 display is bigger. The camera is just as good, and even better at certain types of shots. It sports a slim metal body and there's a little groove at the bottom of the phone where the speaker and Micro-USB port are tucked in.

Both the 16MP and 20MP cameras work in a way unlike conventional dual-camera designs. In most dual camera phones, one camera acts as a monochrome or telephoto lens and the phone selects the secondary lens when desired, such as when there isn't much light or when you want to zoom in on something. The R11s handles this differently by automatically selecting the best camera for the job. And when it comes to low-light situations, the 20-megapixel sensor fires up for better images.

Check out the gallery below for our test shots.

Oppo R11s camera test shots

See all photos

If there's one thing that really holds the phone back, it's Oppo's misguided attempt to copy the iPhone. The user interface feels like iOS 10, right down to a control center that appears when you swipe up from the bottom. To be frank, I prefer the control center that appears on most Android phones when you swipe down from the top. It's a lot cleaner, and I never accidentally bring it up while trying to use the home button. The iOS control center works because it has a physical Home button, but the R11s doesn't.

I suppose it's no secret that plenty of Chinese phone makers take a lot of inspiration from Apple's iOS, but Oppo's version feels like a pale imitation. While you can copy the look and some aspects of the design, such as the camera app's user interface, it doesn't feel natural. It's like slapping a Ferrari engine into a Tesla, it should work, but probably wouldn't feel right.

oppo-r11s-controlcen-001

The control center looks awfully familiar.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Packing a midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, performance is decent -- you'll be able to play 3D-intensive games such as Asphalt 8 or Vainglory with a smooth framerate, but other more powerful phones will run them better. Battery life is great, though. The phone lasted 18 hours, 12 minutes in my video loop test.

Oppo R11s performance chart

Oppo R11s 1,605 5,838 25,050Oppo R11 1,606 5,831 24,337Moto X4 869 4,114 16,796
  • Geekbench (single-core)
  • Geekbench (multi-core)
  • 3DMark Ice Storm: Unlimited
Note: Longer is better

I wasn't expecting the R11s to be as good as it is, given my previous experience with Oppo devices which tend to ape the iPhone's looks but deliver a subpar user experience and less than fantastic camera performance. The R11s however has managed to redeem the brand. There's still much to be said about its iOS copycat Android skin, but I'll take the good with the bad.

Oppo R11s specs comparison chart


Oppo R11sOppo R11Motorola Moto X4HTC U11 Life
Display size, resolution 6-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 401ppi401ppi424ppi424ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.11x2.97x0.28 in6.1x2.9x0.27 in5.8x2.9x0.31 in. 5.9x2.9x0.32 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 155x75.5x7.1 mm154x74x7.8 mm148.4x73.4x8mm 149.1x72.9x8.1 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.4 oz; 153g5.3 oz; 150g5.7 oz; 163g 5 oz; 142g
Mobile software Android 7.1.1 NougatAndroid 7.1.1 NougatAndroid 7.1.1 NougatAndroid 7.1 Nougat
Camera 16-megapixel standard, 20-megapixel telephotoDual 16-megapixel + 20-megapixelDual 12-megapixel + 8-megapixel16-megapixel
Front-facing camera 20-megapixel20-megapixel16-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video capture 4K2160p4K4K
Processor 2.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660Qualcomm Snapdragon 6602.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 6302.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
Storage 64GB64GB32GB, 64GB32GB
RAM 4GB4GB3GB or 4GB3GB
Expandable storage MicroSDUp to 256GBUp to 2TBUp to 2TB
Battery 3,200mAh3,000mAh3,000mAh2,600mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back of phoneBeneath screenBeneath screenBeneath screen
Connector Micro-USBMicro-USBUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone jack YesYesYesNo
Special features Portrait mode, dual-SIM, fast chargingPortrait mode, VOOC Flash chargeWater-resistant, selfie-flashWater resistant (IP67)
Price off-contract (USD) Converts to $505Converts to $440$399 (Google)$349 through HTC.com
Price (GBP) Converts to £365Converts to £340 £349Converts to £263
Price (AUD) AU$659 ($505 and £365 converted)AU$649Converts to AU$600Converts to AU$456
oppo-r11s-005
8.1

Oppo R11s

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 7Camera 9Battery 10