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Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: A Mixed Bag
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G is the latest entrant in the ever-so-growing mid-range 5G smartphones in India. The smartphone was launched with the Oppo F21 Pro, which is a 4G only smartphone. The Oppo F series has always been known for offering a striking design with decent specifications, and the Oppo F21 Pro 5G follows the same trend.
- RGB light right around the cameras
- Trendy design
- In-display fingerprint sensor
- 60Hz Display
- No stereo speaker setup
- No 4K video recording support
With a retail price of Rs. 26,999, the Oppo F21 Pro 5G competes against the likes of the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, and the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G. Can Oppo F21 Pro 5G take on its contemporaries? Here is the full review of the Oppo F21 Pro 5G, which answers this very own question.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Design
While the 4G variant of the Oppo F21 Pro is a clear winner in looks and aesthetics, the 5G Oppo F21 Pro is also impressive, just like most of the previous generation Oppo smartphones. The plastic body of the Oppo F21 Pro 5G makes it more durable but takes away a few points from the build quality, especially when compared to the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, which comes with a glass back panel.
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G comes in Cosmic Black and Rainbow Spectrum colors, and I have been testing the latter variant. While I really liked the rainbow-like color-changing back panel, the massive camera lenses do look a bit misplaced. The flat frame on the Oppo F21 Pro 5G is reminiscent of the latest iPhones, which offers a great in-hand feel.
Despite having a 4,500 mAh battery, the Oppo F21 Pro 5G feels really light on hand with a good amount of weight distribution. I also liked the fact that the phone does have a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the device does not have a microSD card slot for additional storage expansion. The Oppo F21 Pro 5G continues to shine on its design and is definitely one of the best-looking phones at around Rs. 25,000.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Display
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G has a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution and a 90.8 percent screen-to-body ratio. This is a 60Hz display, hence, the phone does not feel as snappy as something like the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G or the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G. However, the presence of a 180Hz touch sampling rate is said to improve the gaming performance to an extent.
The Oppo Find F21 Pro 5G has an in-display optical fingerprint sensor, which is something I personally prefer over a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Although this isn't the fastest fingerprint sensor, it did register and unlocked the phone 9 out of 10 times without any issue even with a screen guard. The display has a peak-rated brightness of 600nits but does not support HDR streaming on any platform.
As the device uses an AMOLED display, videos look vivid with punchy colors, and good contrast. I enjoyed watching a few movies on Prime Video and YouTube. The Oppo F21 Pro 5G has Widevine L1 certification and can stream up to 1080p videos on popular video streaming platforms like Prime Video and Netflix. As mentioned before, not having stereo speakers does slightly affect the multimedia consumption experience on the Oppo F21 Pro 5G.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Cameras
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G has a triple camera setup at the back with a 64MP primary camera accompanied by a 2MP monochrome sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. This could have just been a single-camera setup, as there is no dedicated ultra-wide angle or a telephoto lens. At the front, there is a 16MP camera with an f/2.4 aperture.
In a typical Oppo fashion, the camera app on the F21 Pro 5G is loaded with features such as Night Mode, Expert Mode, Portrait Mode, Macro mode, and more. There is also a built-in sticker mode, which will make your photos social media ready. Due to the limitations of the processor, the Oppo F21 Pro 5G does not support 4K video recording.
The main 64MP sensor on the Oppo F21 Pro 5G does a fine job of capturing a good amount of details and produces good-looking pictures in day-light conditions. Do note that, although this is just a 64MP sensor, the smartphone can capture 108MP images with plenty of details.
Oppo smartphones are known for selfies, and the F21 Pro 5G is no different. The 16MP camera captures good selfies. Make sure to turn off any sort of filters like skin texture to get natural-looking selfies. For the asking price, the company should have included at least an 8MP selfie camera which is seen on almost every other smartphone in this price range.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Performance
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, an octa-core processor which a peak clock speed of 2.2GHz. On Geekbench 5, the device scored 681 points on single-core and 1805 points on multi-core CPU tests. Similarly, on AnTuTu, the Oppo F21 Pro 5G posted 310725 points. The Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G with the same Snapdragon 695 SoC offers better performance in AnTuTu when compared to the Oppo F21 Pro 5G.
When it comes to gaming, the smartphone is capable of handling titles like COD: Mobile and BGIM at medium to high graphics settings and not in ultra graphics settings. The phone does offer around 60fps on COD: Mobile, and does not heat up much even with the continuous gaming.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Software And Connectivity
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G ships with ColorOS 12 based on Android 11 OS. Again, given the time of launch, the phone should have come with Android 12 OS. ColorOS 12 has evolved a lot over the last few years, and it has plenty of features and customization options. The Oppo F21 Pro 5G also has plenty of bloatware, while some of them are uninstalled, you will still be left with plenty of third-party apps that you cannot even disable.
The smartphone has dual nano-SIM card slots with support for a 5G network on both slots. The Oppo F21 5G Pro can support up to six 5G bands, and the device also supports Bluetooth 5.1 and dual-band Wi-Fi. I got a good cellular reception on the Airtel network and face no issues on both voice and video calls.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Battery Life
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G houses a 4,500 mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging via the USB Type-C port. The charger is included in the box, which takes a little over an hour to fully charge the battery. If you are a heavy user, then you might have to charge the smartphone for a couple of minutes at the end of the day to get going.
Again, when compared to the competition, this isn't either the fastest charging smartphone or has the largest battery. The company should have done either of these, which would have added more value to the whole package.
Oppo F21 Pro 5G Review: Verdict
The Oppo F21 Pro 5G is a mid-range smartphone that has a few highlights like the RGB light ring on the camera module. The phone comes in a trendy yet lightweight design, and the AMOLED display also makes this a great smartphone for content consumption.
Although it does offer a better value-for-money proposition when compared to the devices like the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, the devices like the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G and the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G are a lot better than the Oppo F21 Pro 5G in almost every aspect. If you want a mid-tier 5G smartphone that looks great, then you can get the Oppo F21 Pro 5G.