Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G Review: Mr Steady stuck in a spec-tacular crowd!

Stuck in heavy competition

by: - Last updated on: April 15th, 2021

There was a time when the Rs. 25,000 – Rs. 35,000 price bracket was bossed by OnePlus and OnePlus alone. It was not like there were no phones being launched in this segment. But all of them were getting massacred by OnePlus’ flagship killing potential. Then one fine day (sometime in early 2019), OnePlus decided to enter the flagship showbiz and left this price window wide open. Ever since then, this price segment has become a new competition hotspot. A wide variety of phones is being launched in the segment and one of the latest to try and carve a niche for itself in this formerly OnePlus zone comes from Oppo – the recently launched Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G. How does the newbie fare in this densely populated segment and where does the phone stands amongst so many competitors:

oppo-f19-pro-plus-review

A typical design, but not a ‘typical Oppo’ design

Oppo’s design language has been pretty out there for a while now. The brand has never shied away from creating designs that would not only turn heads but will also make one stop and stare. Its smartphone designs can be polarising but they will definitely spark conversations. The Oppo F19 Pro+, however, speaks a different language. Oppo for once decided to go with a slightly more subtle, mainstream-looking phone as opposed to the in-your-face design that the brand generally creates.

The F19 Pro+ follows a very mainstream, trendy design blueprint which is the foundation of most smartphones these days. The phone comes with a tall, thin bezel-ed display on the front with a comparatively thicker chin and a punch hole on the top left corner. The back is just as mainstream. There is an almost rectangular-ish, slightly raised camera unit on the top left corner of the back. The back itself is polycarbonate but comes with a shiny yet matte finish. All of which is basically every other smartphone being launched nowadays. This does not mean the phone looks bad. Far from it. The design is trendy because it works and it does so here as well. The phone looks good. Really good. But just is not as distinct as some of the Oppo phones we have seen in the past.

oppo f19 pro plus review 8

We received the silver color variant of the phone which makes the back look more like matte metal than polycarbonate and gives the phone a very premium look. It has a hint of shine which comes through on certain angles. The back curves out on the edges which makes the phone really comfortable to hold and use. We would have liked dust and water resistance, though. You can read about our initial design and spec take in more detail in our first cut.

Main sensor, main star

If there are two things Oppo religiously works on in its smartphones, they are (generally) design and cameras. And while the F19 Pro+ may have taken the road not-so-less traveled to reach its design department, it has still brought in major camera guns on the smartphone. It comes with a quad-camera setup on the back comprising a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle macro camera, a 2-megapixel portrait mono camera, and a 2-megapixel macro mono sensor.

oppo f19 pro plus review 14

The main sensor on the Oppo F19 Pro+ is the real deal on the device. It performs really well in sufficient light, captures a lot of detail, and delivers very sharp-looking results. We were particularly impressed with how closely it reproduced color to the real settings. The HDR mode does bring in some saturation but the camera otherwise gets the colors almost right. The camera is also very snappy and fast. You can tap to autofocus and take snaps one after another and you will not feel a lag there. A little noise can creep in your shots as the light around you dims, but Oppo has added a Night mode to the phone which manages to cancel out a lot of the noise and brightens up the setting. Yes, it does get a clearer, better-colored result but a picture at night might not end up looking like a night shot, which is another story for another day.

[Click here for full resolution pictures and additional samples]

IMG20210302101114

IMG20210302101125

IMG20210302101220

IMG20210302111341

IMG20210302111407

IMG20210302191404

IMG20210302191442

IMG20210302191450

IMG20210304170436

IMG20210302110635

The other cameras are, however, disappointing. There is no autofocus on the ultra-wide lens which means you have to depend on the phone to focus on your subject. And it often does a pretty good job but when it does not then the results can be quite fuzzy. There is a dedicated sensor for portrait shots which is a hit and miss. It is a little inconsistent and more often than not merges the background with edges of the subject in the foreground. The phone also has a macro sensor which is not too great either. It takes a lot of hit and trial and back and forth to get the macro subject in focus with the phone which means if you are short on time or patience, you will definitely not end up with a good macro shot.

In the video department, Oppo offers support for up to 4K video recording at 30 FPS, which sounds great but is best used when your phone is super steady, else you might end up with really jerk-ridden footage. The brand has added HDR video, Ultra Night Video mode, and a feature called Dual-View Video, making videos one of the USPs of the camera. As in stills, the camera performs well in well-lit conditions but the video results get somewhat noisy as the lights dim. The Ultra Night mode makes the setting brighter but does not eliminate noise altogether. The 16-megapixel front-facing camera takes decent selfies and captures quite a bit of detail – definitely social media worthy.

Breezy but not “Snap(dragon)py”

oppo f19 pro plus review 12

The Oppo F19 Pro+ is powered by MediaTek 5G Dimensity 800U chipset which is paired with 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage. You can expand the storage on the phone up to 256 GB by using a MicroSD card and you will not have to compromise on a network for it as the phone brings a dedicated slot for it. While the idea of a MediaTek chipset powering a mid-segment chipset might disappoint some accustomed to seeing Qualcomm Snapdragons in the driving seat, the fact is that many MediaTek processors have proved their mettle and should not be discriminated against simply on the basis of branding.

The Dimensity 800U is a mid-range processor which is known to handle gaming well. That stands almost true in the case of the Oppo F19 Pro+. The phone will satisfy the performance hunger-pangs of an average user. If you mostly switch between incessant social media scrolling, religious texting paired with casual gaming and frequent mail fetches, the smartphone will not disappoint you. It will easily breeze through your multitasking demands and daily chores. And the case remains the same in the casual gaming department. The phone can run high-end games like Call of Duty and Asphalt 9: Legends and while there will be no distinct lags but the phone does not feel as snappy as we would have liked. You will feel as if the phone is just not as smooth for high-end gaming. The absence of stereo speakers is also a bit of a let-down, although there’s a 3.5 mm audio jack onboard.

oppo f19 pro plus review 10

The smartphone comes with a bright, 6.43-inch full HD+ AMOLED display which comes with really popping colors and offers rich contrast, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. It is also home to an in-display fingerprint scanner which works reasonably fast. The smartphone has features like “Rise to wake”, “Double-tap to wake” and “Always on Display”, and all these slivers of features add up to a good overall viewing experience of the phone. Those who have been rotten spoiled by the likes of OnePlus Nord that offers a 90 Hz refresh in this segment, might feel disappointed by the run-of-the-mill 60 Hz refresh rate, but we think the display of the Oppo F19 Pro+ is a delight. The phone also comes with support for 5G connectivity, making it future proof for when 5G arrives in the country.

A Crowded UI

oppo f19 pro plus review 9

The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G is powered by Android 11 topped with Oppo’s ColorOS 11.1. In the world of clean, clutter-free, easy UIs, Oppo has chosen to be more crowded than clean, although it has been trying to clean matters up of late. That said, it may not be a bad thing for everyone. The interface is loaded with features and comes with a number of pre-installed apps that Oppo has not even tried box in. It is all out there, in your app drawer.

Now, this is a great thing for those who like feature-rich UIs and love it when their phone offers them a feature for everything. It also saves you from the hassle of installing some really common apps like Snapchat, Flipkart, Netflix, Facebook amongst others. But at the same time, there are a number of the relatively lesser-known (and lesser useful) third-party apps on the device as well. Oppo’s UI is not to our taste. There is so much happening that a new user, jumping ships from a relatively cleaner UI will definitely get intimidated. Learning ColorOS’ ropes takes some time. We wish Oppo would clean up its UI a bit, make it a little more organized if it does not want to cut back on features and bloatware. Of course, this is just us.

Fast Charging on board

oppo f19 pro plus review 3

The Oppo F19 Pro+ comes with a 4,310 mAh battery with support for fast charging. That is a reasonably big battery although not in the class of the 5000 – 7000 mAh battery monsters being offered by some players in the segment. The device can see you through a busy day and will make it to the next day if you are careful enough. Mind you, if you run out of charge, recharging is a brisk process. There is a 50W charger bundled with the phone and thanks to it, the phone gets completely charged from zero to 100 percent in under an hour. That’s brisk in our book. Mind you, there is no wireless charging here, although that is a relative rarity at this point.

A regular fella in a busy part of town

oppo f19 pro plus review 13

Priced at Rs. 25,990, the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G finds itself in deep competition-infested waters. The smartphone is good looking, has great main cameras, is a steady performer with decent battery life but with the likes of the OnePlus Nord, Xiaomi Mi 10i, Realme X7 Pro, and Samsung’s Galaxy Fleet (M51, F62, A52) around, the phone does not really have anything exceptional to distinguish itself. Against opposition that thrives on high refresh rates, big megapixels, and massive batteries, the F19 Pro+ 5G comes across as a bit of a steady performer in a city of high-profile players. Yes, it is a great option for someone who is looking for a device that ticks off all the regular boxes, and there are takers for those, but it is not going to jump out and scream for attention.

Pros
  • Clean design
  • Good main camera
  • Sharp display
  • Fast charging
Cons
  • Cluttered UI
  • Not the greatest additional cameras
  • No stereo speakers
Review Overview
Build & design
Software
Camera
Performance
Price
SUMMARY

The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G is looking to carve a niche for itself in the Rs 25,000 - Rs 35,000 space, which has no dominant player ever since OnePlus moved up the price ladder. At this price, Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G goes up against the likes of the OnePlus Nord and the Samsung Galaxy M51, Galaxy F62 and A52, and also the Realme X7 Pro.

3.7

Weekly Newsletter

Sign up for a specially curated Tech Newsletter.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *