The Oppo N1 is among the most interesting phones released this year. I use the word interesting primarily because the phone came with a rotating camera which negated the need for a good front facing camera. However, the N1 was a flagship phone beyond the reach of many selfie junkies. Enter the Oppo N1 Mini, the budget version of the N1.
Quick Tech Specs: 5-inch IPS LCD 720 x 1280p display | Quad Core 1.6 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor | 2GB RAM | 16GB internal memory, no microSD slot, USB OTG | 13MP camera with AF | micro-SIM (GSM) | 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4 | 2140 mAH battery | Colour OS
Price: Rs. 26,990
Design: The Oppo N1 Mini is predictably a carbon copy of the Oppo N1, though a small copy as this has a 5-inch screen instead of the 5.9 inches on big brother. The most remarkable feature is the rotating camera, but the overall build quality is something you will like. This has been differentiating Oppo from the rest of the pack since the first phone came to India. Also, I got to review a Mint coloured unit, which is very unusual. The double metallic rim that runs around the phone gives it a premium finish.
Screen: Compared to the Full HD screen of the N1, the Mini has to do with a 720p HD screen. However, the screen is pretty good and I loved the experience of binging on John Oliver shows on this one. The audio quality is also pretty decent.
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Performance: I did not face any performance issues with the Mini and for a change it is not a phone that heats up all that much. Multi-tasking is smooth and there was no log while launching apps or switching between them.
Memory: This is one of the pain points with the phone. It comes with 16GB internal memory of which you get to use just over 11GB. If you are the type that is going to really use the camera on this phone, then it won’t be long before you run out of space. Having a cloud backp and investing in an OTG USB is advised.
Connectivity: Not an issue as it worked even in our basement office.
Software: All Oppo phone run the Colour OS based on Android Jelly Bean. It is an acquired taste and might not please pure Android fans. But Oppo has a better version of the OS compared to some of its Chinese rivals. Features like the half camera window on the homescreen are handy.
Camera: This is without a doubt the best feature of the phone and it has nothing to do with the camera’s ability to rotate. The 13MP sensor can produce some stunning images even as the rotating camera lets you find new angles to capture mundane subjects. The camera has a fast auto focus though it takes time to execute a click. It performs reasonably well in low light too. There are some modes to play around with, but I would have loved to see a manual option in this one.
Battery: The battery should be able to see you through the day if you keep the screen brightness low. However, we found it to be a bit unpredictable, especially when you are in the red. For while clicking some pictures with 10% juice left, the battery just rained in a matter of minutes.
Verdict: In the present scenario, when affordable value for money Android phones are flooding the market you will be paying a premium to buy this phone at its present price tag. Go ahead if you think a rotating camera which promises good results and great build quality are worth extra moolah you will pay for this phone.