Oppo N1 Mini: First Impressions

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Oppo N1 Mini: First Impressions
Oppo is still a relatively new player in the smartphone market and has only launched eight smartphones globally, including the new N1 mini. The Chinese smartphone maker however has made a mark by introducing some of its flagships with high-end specifications at budget prices, not to forget the innovative rotating camera of the original Oppo N1.

The N1, Oppo's flagship, was launched in January this year. However, following the global trend of launching a 'mini' version of a flagship, Oppo has now introduced a compact version of the N1 called N1 Mini.

Oppo on Monday brought its N1 mini to India with a price tag of Rs. 26,990. The smartphone was first introduced in China back in May.

We spent a short time with the Oppo N1 Mini and here are our first impressions of the smartphone.

Design and Display
The Oppo N1 Mini is a lightweight smartphone at 150 grams, which is lighter than many other handsets flaunting the same screen size. It measures 148.4x72.2x9.2mm in size; similar to the Google Nexus 5 in breadth and width, but slightly taller.

In addition to being easy to hold, the smartphone's functions are easily accessible with one finger. With a curved back, the N1 Mini also fits comfortably in a user's palm. Oppo, with both its N1 and N1 Mini, has created a flat and simple hardware design. The sides have a metal finish, giving this device a premium look.

oppo_n1_mini_menu_screen_front_ndtv.jpg

The N1 Mini has a power button on the left and volume buttons on the right. Both are almost equal in length, which might confuse users initially. The bottom houses a speaker, Micro-USB port, 3.5mm jack and noise-cancelling microphone.

The 5-inch HD (720x1280-pixel) screen, which dominates the front, is pretty crisp and clear while browsing the web or watching videos. However, the difference between the quality of an HD screen and a full-HD screen is evident. One of the downsides of the smartphone is its display's viewing angles. While the Oppo N1 Mini display is good to use in low-light situations, it becomes bit faded in daylight and worse under direct sunlight.

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Camera and Software
Oppo has given the N1 Mini the same innovative and iconic Swivel camera as the original N1. The rotating camera features a 13-megapixel sensor. It comes with an LED flash and a variety of modes suited well for photography enthusiasts. Besides the HDR mode, which is not unique anymore for smartphones, the N1 Mini has a GIF mode, slow shutter mode (up to 32 seconds) and a special UltraHD mode that lets users shoot images at 24-megapixel resolution by extrapolating sensor data to stitch six individual images into a single 24-megapixel HD frame.

oppo_n1_mini_camera_screen_ndtv.jpg

The camera UI is simple and all the options are present on the side bars for easy access.

On the software front, the Oppo N1 Mini is powered by Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is now dated. The firm however promises to roll out the latest version of Android (KitKat) to the smartphone with no confirmed dates as of now.

The company's own user interface, ColourOS version 1.4, is smooth to operate on the N1 Mini. The Android skin is simple in design without many animations. The notifications shade looks a bit cluttered with quick shortcuts to the Wi-Fi, Mobile Data, Sound, Screen Rotation, Brightness and other settings. The UI however does not make any radical changes to Android like Samsung's TouchWiz UI and Gionee's Amigo UI.

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Specifications and Performance
The Oppo N1 Mini's under-the-hood specifications are almost the same as those of the Oppo N1 but with a couple of differences in the screen, processor and battery. The N1 and N1 Mini are based on quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 400 processors respectively. While the Oppo N1 is clocked at 1.7GHz, the N1 Mini's processor is clocked at 1.6GHz. Both phones have 2GB of RAM, 16GB of inbuilt storage and a 13-megapixel swivel camera.

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As mentioned before, performance was smooth even after leaving several applications open in the background. Considering its mid-tier price point of Rs. 26,990, the Oppo N1 Mini might not be the first choice of customers as some other smartphones in this price segment offer better value. For instance, LG's Google Nexus 5 (Review | Pictures), which comes with 5-inch full-HD screen, Android 4.4 KitKat, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of inbuilt storage and a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, is currently available for Rs. 26,999 from leading Indian e-commerce websites.

While we did not get enough time to test the N1 Mini's battery life, a 2140mAh battery in a smartphone powered by a Snapdragon 400 with an HD screen should work out to be good enough.

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Final Words
The Oppo N1 Mini inherits most of the specifications of its elder brother, the Oppo N1. Its performance is snappy and impressive. However, there are some downsides such as the older version of Android, the HD screen, and the Rs. 26,990 price tag that might dampen all the hype. With a little drop in its price, the N1 Mini would give handsets such as the Gionee Elife E7, Oppo R1 and Lenovo Vibe Z a run for their money.


Oppo N1 Mini: First Look
product The Oppo N1 Mini is a snappy 5-inch smartphone which inherits most of the specs of its elder brother, the Oppo N1, though its price might be a sticking point.
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Good camera performance
  • The swivel camera design is unique
  • Bad
  • Expensive
  • Below average battery life
Display5.00-inch
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 400
Front CameraNo
Rear Camera13-megapixel
RAM2GB
Storage16GB
Battery Capacity2140mAh
OSAndroid 4.3
Resolution720x1280 pixels
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