With its massive 6.43-inch screen and iOS-inspired ColorOS, the Oppo R11s Plus presents a compelling and affordable alternative to Apple's iPhone.
Realising the demand for an Apple-style approach at a more budget-friendly price point, Chinese electronics manufacturer Oppo began producing a range of Android-powered smartphones that channel the simple and elegant design of the iPhone. The Oppo R11s Plus is one such smartphone. As a bigger and slightly more powerful version of the regular Oppo R11s, the R11s Plus continues to ape the Apple aesthetic from both a hardware and software perspective, incorporating Oppo's iOS-inspired ColorOS operating system to provide budget-conscious smartphone buyers with an iPhone-like experience bolstered by the versatility of the Android ecosystem.
Massive 6.43-inch screen lends itself well to on-the-go entertainment
Hits all the key Apple design points, except for the lack of NFC
For the R11s Plus, Oppo has taken cues from both the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. The basic handset design is similarly sleek with its rounded corners and curved aluminium frame. As with the iPhone X, it features a screen that almost completely encompasses its face. Only two narrow bezels sit at the top and bottom of the phone, with the R11s Plus opting for virtual back and menu buttons rather than the physical ones common to many smartphones.
Speaking of the screen, the Oppo R11s Plus has plenty of it. Where the regular R11s measured in at 6.01 inches, the R11s Plus expands that to a massive 6.43 inches, making it one of the largest handsets on the market. Resolution and aspect ratio remain the same as the R11s at 2160 x 1080 and 18:9. The screen again makes use of AMOLED technology to deliver a bright and crisp viewing experience.
Security is becoming an increasing concern for smartphone users, and the Oppo R11s Plus tackles this with the inclusion of both a fingerprint sensor and facial recognition. With no room on the front of the handset, Oppo has shifted the fingerprint sensor to the rear which could make it slightly more difficult to use for those with smaller hands. The facial unlocking feature would seem to counteract this, but Oppo itself warns that the face detection is susceptible to false positives, making it less secure than Apple's FaceID as well as less secure than both a fingerprint and a regular PIN.
One key limitation of the Oppo R11s Plus that holds it back from matching Apple's flagships is the lack of NFC, or Near-Field Communication. NFC is required for the short-range data transfers used by payment systems like Google Pay, and its absence means you can't use the R11s Plus for making quick digital payments in physical retail stores.
On the flip side, the Oppo R11s Plus benefits from a few Android perks that the latest iPhones do not. You've got a standard 3.5mm audio jack for connecting traditional wired headphones in case the support for Bluetooth 4.2 headsets doesn't interest you. You can also expand the 64GB of onboard storage by purchasing a microSD card, though the R11s Plus will only take cards of 256GB or less.
Where the Oppo R11s Plus really channels its Apple inspirations is in its custom operating system, ColorOS 3.2. Built upon Android 7.1 "Nougat", ColorOS 3.2 redesigns the Android interface to closely mimic the streamlined approach of iOS, ditching the app drawer so that all apps are listed on the home screen and prioritising Oppo's built-in apps over those installed through the Google Play store. This can make tweaking certain smartphone settings more cumbersome than on stock Android, but for folks craving the simplicity of Apple's software, it's a surprisingly close facsimile.
20MP lenses enable sharp photography using both the rear- and front-facing cameras
Beauty mode promises to automatically enhance your selfies with over two million beauty effects
A high-quality camera is a core component of any premium smartphone, and the Oppo R11s Plus does not disappoint. Like its smaller sibling, it packs a dual-camera array at the rear that combines a 20MP zoom lens with a regular 16MP lens. Both sport large f/1.7 apertures for sharper performance in low-light conditions, and the 20MP zoom lens is capable of 2x optical zoom.
For all you selfie lovers out there, the R11s Plus includes an impressive 20MP front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture. As with most Oppo phones, selfie snaps benefit from Oppo's "Beauty mode", a feature that promises to automatically touch up your self-portraits with effects like colour adjustment, image smoothing and increased sharpness to enhance your appearance. Oppo claims this feature uses neural networks to identify and analyse 254 different facial features in order to select the most appropriate effects for you.
With these solid specs, the Oppo R11s Plus is capable of producing clear and sharp photos both with its front camera and its selfie cam. You can check out some sample shots in our review of the regular Oppo R11s, since it features the exact same camera configuration as the R11s Plus.
6GB of RAM provides more capacity for smooth multi-tasking
Not quite as powerful as the iPhone 8, but still more than capable of handling most apps and tasks
To deliver an iPhone-like experience without the hefty price tag, Oppo has had to make a few compromises with the R11s Plus. Performance, for instance, isn't quite as bleeding-edge as the iPhone 8 or more recent iPhone handsets. This is due largely to the Snapdragon 660 processor powering the R11s Plus, as it's a mid-range chip from 2017 that lacks the raw power of Apple's custom processors as well as newer processors in the Snapdragon line.
All that said, the Snapdragon 660 is still a highly-capable processor fit to handle the vast majority of typical phone tasks. As you can see in the benchmark tests of the similarly-specced R11s, it holds its own against other mid-range smartphones and should be more than powerful enough to suit the needs of the average smartphone user.
It's also worth noting that the Oppo R11s Plus packs an extra 2GB of RAM over the regular R11s, making for a total of 6GB. More RAM typically leads to smoother performance when multi-tasking or when using complex apps like 3D games or video-editing software, so the R11s Plus should deliver even better performance in such activities than its smaller sibling.
4,000mAh battery should be ample for all-day battery life
Fast-charging is handy, though lack of support for the Qualcomm Fast Charge standard is disappointing
The significant jump in screen size from the Oppo R11s to the R11s Plus means battery drain sees a bump up, too. Larger displays require more juice to light up, after all. To offset this, the R11s Plus boosts its battery capacity to an impressive 4,000mAh, placing it up there with some of the most power-packed smartphones on the market.
In practical terms, this should ensure that the R11s Plus is entirely capable of lasting you through a full day of moderate use, and perhaps even multiple days if you're more of an infrequent phone user. Our testing of the similarly-specced Huawei Mate 9 backs this up, with the Mate 9's 4,000mAh battery giving it plenty of legs to get you through the day on a single charge.
Charging, for that matter, is quick and convenient with the R11s Plus thanks to Oppo's VOOC fast-charging technology. According to Oppo, just five minutes of charge can provide enough battery for two hours of talk time, minimising the frustration of that low battery indicator. The only downside is that VOOC requires the use of Oppo's proprietary charger and cable, so you can't take advantage of Qualcomm's more-common fast-charging standard.
Pricing and availability
Oppo R11s Plus
A big and bold iPhone alternative
The Oppo R11s Plus recreates the core appeal of the iPhone in an affordable Android-powered handset.
The Oppo R11s Plus currently retails for $679 at JB Hi-Fi.
Matt Sayer is a writer for Finder, covering all things technology and telecommunications. Along with reporting on events like CES and Mobile World Congress, he has produced comprehensive guides for popular products like smart speakers and graphics cards. He has a Bachelor of Computer Science from RMIT University and is passionate about helping Aussies leverage technology to better their lives.
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