The wait for 5G services is finally over after a long period of anticipation. Phone companies including Oppo have been testing the waters with 5G phones for a long time. Oppo’s latest comes in both 4G and 5G variants. However, we received the Oppo F21s Pro in 4G version.
The Oppo F21s Pro has a plain, clean, no-nonsense design, just like the previous F-series devices with a matte-finished back and side band. The camera platform is metal, which offers some protection to the lens. The chrome finish on the camera bump and a red dot of one of the sensors somewhat breaks the monotony in design. The front camera has a punch hole design. Both the surfaces are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 panels. The phone is offered in Dawnlight Gold and Starlight Black colourways. The F21s Pro is a lightweight device. The display appeared bright and sharp in our experience. Fingerprint and facial recognition worked flawlessly, and the interface was quite smooth to navigate.
The phone uses the 6nm Snapdragon 680 octa-core CPU along with Adreno 610 GPU. It offers 8GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB onboard UFS2.2 storage. The F21s Pro uses ColorOS 12.1 based on Android 12. The phone houses a 6.43-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED display that provides up to 90 Hz refresh rate and a peak touch sampling rate of 180Hz. A 95 percent DCI-P3 gamut coverage ensures that the monitor displays a wide range of colours. The Oppo F21s Pro is a mid-level phone, and it is not expected to offer the best in performance. However, the device proved powerful enough for everyday tasks including action games with medium graphics. You may experience some lag in heavy games, but that is expected from a device of this specs.
The smartphone uses a triple camera system at the rear. The main camera is a 64-megapixel unit with f/1.7 aperture. The other two are 2-megapixel modules for Macro and Monochrome. There is no telephoto or wide-angle camera. The front camera uses a 32-megapixel sensor. The camera allows up to Full HD (1080p) videos at 30 fps. The main camera helps you capture beautiful images in good lighting conditions especially outdoors, but the lack of optical zoom or wide-angle lens limits its utility. Low-light images are noisy. The most interesting camera feature is the Microlens mode, which allows you to observe and capture microscopic details in a subject and provides some interesting perspectives. It lets you zoom into dust particles and moulds for up to 30x magnification. It is challenging to keep the subject in focus with the extremely shallow depth-of-field, but the ‘orbit light’ around the depth lens switches on and keeps the subject perfectly illuminated for a shake-free image.
The Oppo F21s Pro is powered by a 4,500 mAh battery and supports 33W Supervooc fast charging. The device supports dual SIM and includes a dedicated MicroSD memory card slot in the card tray. Coming to multimedia, the device offers good visuals combined with powerful audio. However, we have been quite unhappy with the lack of stereo speakers in the previous Oppo devices, and this device doesn’t change it. The phone houses a 3.5mm audio jack.
WE’RE IMPRESSED Decent design, good camera, microlens, price
WE’D IMPROVE 5G support, stereo speakers
THE LAST WORD The Oppo F21s Pro offers some credible performance and imaging capability for the price, but the lack of 5G support spoils its chance in the market. We would have liked to review the 5G variant of the F21s if we had a choice, but since we did not get a chance to experience it, we cannot comment on its performance.