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Oppo launches new camera-centric F series

On Thursday the Chinese smartphone maker released the F1 in India, with an F1 Plus racing not far behind.


On Thursday Oppo revealed it had sold 50 million smartphones in 2015, with a good deal of those units coming out of South Asia.

It's not so surprising, then, to hear that the Chinese smartphone maker is launching a new line of smartphones designed for India. The camera-focused F1 was released in the populous country on Thursday, with Oppo announcing it would be rolling out a higher spec version of the phone, the F1 Plus, in April.

The F1, which is similar to the A35 launched in China not to long ago, is selling in India for 15, 990 rupees ($235, AU$330, ‎£165), and has been made available for pre-order throughout Europe for €229. The more expensive F1 Plus will retail for 26, 9900 rupees ($400, AU$560, ‎£270).

Oppo is marketing the two phones on the back of their cameras. The F1 comes with a rear facing 13-megapixel and front-facing 8-megapixel combo, as well as a suite of software, including Beautify 3.0, for taking selfies, and PureImage 2.0, for filters. Like Apple's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the phone's display also can work as a flash for low light selfies.

This announcement comes on the back of solid progress in 2015 for the Dongguan-based company, who became the world's 8th largest handset maker. India being the first country to get the F1 highlights the growing prominence of the subcontinent amongst phone makers, with IDC predicting that India will overtake the US smartphone market by as soon as next year.

Outside of its camera and photography functions, the Oppo F1 is best classified as a budget-to-mid tier smartphone. It packs a 5-inch HD 720x1,080-pixel screen and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 2,500mAh battery. It also features dual-SIM functionality, 16GB of storage and, at just 7.25mm, is rather slim.

Oppo has not revealed the spec sheet for the F1 Plus, teasing only that it had a 5.5 inch screen and 4GB of RAM.

"The Oppo F1 is a milestone for us as we delve into the world of smartphone photography," Oppo Product Manager Jeremy Tan said. "We realised how underrated the importance of a good front camera is, which is something that has bothered consumers for some time."