The R15 and R15 Pro are the latest R-series smartphones from OPPO, retailing at S$749 and S$899 respectively. I have completed the review of the R15, so here is the R15 Pro review.
After weeks of brief usage, the OPPO R15 Pro feels just slightly better in user experience. The rear glass is 3D curved to give a perceived slimness, though the overall size is slightly bigger. I will not re-write my impressions related to the software, as I have shared extensively on the R15 review. You can read all about it here.
The R15 Pro display size is identical though the screen colour is slightly more white-blue, but one could easily tweak the colour tone from the display settings.
Of course, the R15 Pro offers more hardware capabilities, like the avail of NFC (great for cashless payment), Bluetooth 5.0, IP67 water resistant. Running benchmark tests, the R15 Pro exhibits higher results thanks to the Snapdragon 660 processor running at 2.2 GHz compared to the MTK Helio P60 running at 2.0 GHz on the R15. Having said that, the real life performance do not differ significantly.
Additionally, the dual camera specs on the R15 Pro is 16MP + 20MP both at f/1.7 results in slight differences in the images between the 2, given the same scene. I reckon the secondary 20MP lens on the R15 Pro is provides more clarity in analysing the scene than the R15.
Indeed, the R15 Pro is somewhat better in bringing out the contrast and details, while the R15 seems to bias towards a warm tonality.
The secondary lens is crucial for processing 3D portrait images, and while the increased pixel count is better in theory, the results are not apparent for me to conclude that R15 Pro is significantly better. This is because despite the difference in the pixel count on the secondary camera, all images are saved with the primary 16MP camera, and both R15 and R15 Pro has the same Sony IMX519 sensor.
Putting the comparison aside, I like the balanced image output of the OPPO R15 and R15 Pro. They appear to have sufficient sharpness without too much saturation nor contrast. Unlike other AI-camera smartphones, the OPPO R15 series do not indicate the scene tags, and neither is there an option to disable the scene processing. I prefer it that way, as it does not disrupt my shooting process with unnecessary information.
For a less over-sharpened output, shoot with the “Expert” mode with Ultra HD enabled so that the camera captures the scene with more 64MP. And I am certain the R15 Pro will make use of the extra pixels on the secondary camera to generate better Ultra HD shots.
Despite claiming with a large 1.22 um pixel size, the low light photos aren’t great.
The R15 Pro is an appealing phone from the design to the hardware specs. It feels like a better phone than the R15, deservedly so. But the price positioning on both the R15 and R15 Pro is on the high side, and with all the me-too design elements like the notch, curved glass back, dual cameras, there is hardly any significant wow factor to attract new consumers. Nevertheless, being the number 2 smartphone brand in China (and number 4 globally), OPPO has developed a strong following of young consumers with its portrait-friendly features like AI beauty technology and AR stickers. The camera quality for day-to-day scenes are also well-tuned without appearing over-processed. And for now, this is OPPO’s best smartphone.
OPPO R15 Pro: Brief Specs
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Adreno 512
- OS: ColorOS 5.0 (Android 8.1)
- RAM: 6GB
- ROM: 128GB
- Expandable Storage: up to 256GB
- Image sensor: Sony IMX519 1.22 um
- Front camera: 20MP f/2.0
- Rear camera: 16MP f/1.7 + 20MP f/1.7
- Battery: 3430 mAh
- Bluetooth: 5.0