The Oppo R15 announcement was overshadowed by a massive media charade. A barrage of clickbait articles claiming this phone shows us what the OnePlus 6 will look like, took the spotlight off the actual product announcement and misfocused the attention on something else entirely. You won’t see any of that here, this review is all about the latest fashion-centric smartphone duo to come out of the Chinese company – the Oppo R15 and R15 Pro.
Oppo R15 (Purple) next to the R15 Pro (Red)
Oppo has worked hard to establish its recent smartphones as more than just handsets. Professional designers hired to create hues, famous people advertising the R series, big flashy concerts, fashion brand partnerships – Oppo’s persistence worked and anybody living in Asia could tell you an Oppo is more than just a phone, the brand is becoming part of popular culture .
The latest R15 and R15 Pro flagships, just like the newest Huawei P20s, have signature paint jobs that make them eye-catchy and easily recognizable. What we have here is the flat-back R15 in Nebula Purple and the curvy R15 Pro in Ruby Red.
Oppo R15 Pro
Made of glass, those two devices feature the season’s favorite tall aspect ratio screens complete with a notch up top. Oppo is returning the AMOLED panels and has worked hard on building up the Selfie Expert branding with lots of selfie-centric features.
The rest is mostly incremental upgrades – an improved rear camera with a new 16MP primary sensor and some AI capabilities, Helio P60 or Snapdragon 660 chip, and a large battery with VOOC fast charging.
Oppo R15 and R15 Pro specs
Body R15: Aluminum frame, flat glass back, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front
Body R15 Pro: Aluminum frame, curved glass (or ceramic) back, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front
Display: 6.28-inch AMOLED, 1080x2280px, 401ppi, 2.5D glass
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.0 on top
Chipset R15: Mediatek Helio P60, 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53, octa-core CPU, Mali-G72 MP3 GPU, 6GB RAM
Chipset R15 Pro: Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660, 4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260, octa-core CPU, Adreno 512 GPU, 6GB RAM
Storage: 128GB internal with microSD hybrid (SIM2) expansion slot
Rear Camera R15: Dual – 16MP, f/1.7, 1/2.6″, 1.22m, PDAF, plus 5MP, f/2.2, LED flash
Rear Camera R15 Pro: Dual – 16MP, f/1.7, 1/2.6″, 1.22m, PDAF, plus 20MP, f/1.7, 1/2.8″, 1.0m, LED flash
Video recording: Regular – 4K@30fps, 1080p@60 fps; Slow-mo – 720@240fps, 1080p@120fps
Front Camera: 20MP, f/2.0, 1080p video recording
Connectivity: Dual SIM, Dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, A-GPS/GLONASS, NFC, microUSB 2.0
Battery: 3,400mAh non-removable, VOOC Flash Charge 5V/4A
Misc: Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted)
The R15 and R15 Pro are not that different with the most notable exception being the design. While the chipsets are from different makers, they should deliver equal performance. Then there is this megapixel bump on the secondary rear camera on the Pro, which should improve the low-light performance, at least in theory. But we all know how this turned out for the OnePlus 5T and Oppo R11s, so we won’t be holding our breath here.
We got to spend some time with the Oppo R15 and R15 Pro, so we’d be using both devices for the most part of this review.
Unboxing the Oppo R15 and R15 Pro
Both Oppo R15 and R15 Pro come packed with the same accessories. There is a VOOC-compatible microUSB cable and 20W plug, a pair of headphones, and a transparent silicone case.
Note that you can only enjoy VOOC charging by using both the proprietary cable and charger. Any other cable or plug limits the device to 5W or 10W charging.
The Oppo R15 comes with pre-applied protectors on both the screen and its glass back. The R15 Pro has a protector, too, but only on its screen. Of course, both phones use Gorilla Glass 5, so it’s really up to you to decide whether it’s worth sticking to those extra layers of protection or not.