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Oppo F21 Pro Review: Powerful Cameras Steal The Show
Oppo has released a plethora of smartphones and other accessories in the Indian market over the years. One of the constant features spotted on Oppo phones is the enhanced selfie camera with beauty and portrait modes for the same. The new Oppo F21 Pro is another such smartphone that packs some of the latest technologies to capture that perfect selfie.
- Unique leathery rear panel
- Powerful selfie camera
- 33W SuperVOOC fast charger
- Lacks 5G Connectivity
- Heating issues
That said, the Oppo F21 Pro has a couple of shortcomings. For one, it doesn't support 5G despite several other devices offering 5G support in this price segment. I've been using the Oppo F21 Pro for the past few days and discovered everything the phone has to offer. I've discussed the performance, camera features, design texture, and much more in this detailed review.
Display: 6.4-inch AMOLED
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
Memory: 8GB RAM
Battery: 4,500 mAh
Platform: Android 12 with ColorOS
Camera: 64MP triple camera with microlens
Oppo F21 Pro Design: Unique Texture Enhances Experience
One of the first things that strike the eye on the Oppo F21 Pro is its unique design. Oppo has used the industry-first "Fiberglass-Leather Design" on the smartphone. This gives a unique touch and feel to the smartphone, makes it scratch-resistant, and is ideal for rough-and-tough use. The OPPO Glow logo is embossed at the bottom of the phone.
The Oppo F21 Pro reviewed here is the Sunset Orange variant, which also makes a bold style statement. The camera bump at the rear is quite evident but the overall chassis of the phone is sleek and lightweight. Additionally, Oppo has brought in the Orbit Light, which encircles the rear cameras and glows during notifications, gaming, charging, and so on.
The Oppo F21 Pro features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The display is also Amazon HDR and YouTube HD certified, presenting a life-like and crystal-clear viewing experience. I used the Oppo F21 Pro for a wide range of activities, both indoors and outside. I found the display to be smooth irrespective of the external light, offering an immersive experience.
Oppo F21 Pro Camera Performance: Selfies Steal The Show
The Oppo F21 Pro packs a triple-camera setup at the rear with a 64MP primary lens, a 2MP micro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. Additionally, there's a 32MP ultra-sensing selfie camera with the Sony IMX709 lens in the front. I found the cameras on the Oppo F21 Pro to be very impressive, especially the selfie camera and the microscopic lens.
Oppo has always emphasized its selfie camera prowess and it's done a remarkable job with the selfie camera on the F21 Pro. The Sony IMX 709 RGBW lens is capable of capturing more light, which is combined with the Oppo Quadra Binning Algorithm. The result is beautiful selfies, which are further enhanced by features like Bokeh Portrait, AI Portrait Enhancement, and Selfie HDR.
I also loved the microlens on the Oppo F21 Pro. This 2MP lens can magnify 15x or 30x times into an object and give you its microscopic view. I used this lens on my pet's mane and discovered its unique texture. Similarly, one can explore the microscopic world of leaves, fabric, and just about any object - making it a unique, outstanding feature of the Oppo F21 Pro.
Apart from this, the Oppo F21 Pro offers the Night mode. However, this mode wasn't as satisfactory as the microlens or the powerful selfie camera. I've also used the powerful Night mode on the Oppo Find X5 Pro with the MariSilicon X NPU - and nothing compares to it! Nevertheless, the cameras on the Oppo F21 Pro certainly steal the show.
Oppo F21 Pro Performance: Benchmark Evaluation
The Oppo F21 Pro draws power from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Users can further expand both the RAM and the default storage. Users can virtually expand the RAM by up to 5GB and the overall storage by up to 1TB via a microSD card.
The Snapdragon 680 chip doesn't support 5G, making the Oppo F21 Pro a 4G smartphone. I ran a couple of benchmarks to determine its performance and to see where the phone stands in the vast competition. Firstly, I ran the Geekbench test and the phone scored 385 points in the single-core test and 1,667 points in the multi-core test.
I also ran the 3M Mark benchmark to determine the Oppo F21 Pro's GPU and gaming powers. Here, the phone scored 443 points in the overall performance, indicating the phone isn't designed for heavy apps or even GPU-heavy gaming titles. The benchmarks reveal the Oppo F21 Pro is best suited for routine smartphone use.
Oppo F21 Pro Real-Life Performance: Good, Can Be Better
The benchmark results revealed the Oppo F21 Pro offers decent performance for regular apps. I used the phone for a wide range of activities like browsing, watching videos, taking photos, making video calls, and also explored a few gaming titles. I found most of these activities were done without a glitch.
I also found that the Oppo F21 Pro could handle gaming titles like BGMI and Free Fire. But more graphics-heavy apps wouldn't offer the top-notch experience. Plus, the ColorOS experience with Android 12 makes the overall experience a good one. The pre-loaded features and apps are handy, especially ones like SoLOOP, MyOppo, Hot Apps, and so on.
Oppo F21 Pro Battery: Powerful Fast Charger Saves The Day
The Oppo F21 Pro packs a 4,500 mAh battery paired with a 33W SuperVOOC fast charger. Most phones in this segment offer a 5,000 mAh battery. It's a tad bit disappointing to find the Oppo F21 Pro featuring a smaller battery. Yet, the performance is commendable, allowing me to use the phone for a day on a single charge.
The 33W SuperVOOC fast charging adapter is one of the best features of the phone. The phone can fully charge in about 90 minutes. I found the Oppo F21 Pro can last a day if I used it for non-gaming apps. All in all, the battery performance is made better with the fast-charging support.
Oppo F21 Pro Verdict: A 4G Phone Worth Considering
The sub-Rs. 25K segment in India is now filled with 5G options. If buyers could shell out a few thousands more, they would even get premium 5G smartphones. In this case, it wouldn't make sense to get a 4G phone like the Oppo F21 Pro. That said, 5G is still in its infancy in India, which makes 4G the go-to network.
Phones like the Oppo F21 Pro offer premium features, especially in the camera department. If you're willing to overlook the 5G factor, the Oppo F21 Pro makes a good choice in this segment, especially for its powerful selfie camera. If not, you always have its counterpart, the Oppo F21 Pro 5G!