If 2015 taught us anything, it’s that there’s a huge opportunity in the smartphone market for high-spec, affordable mid-range phones. Companies like OnePlus, Xiaomi and Huawei have all churned out some fantastic devices at competitive prices. Remarkably, one of the fastest growing Chinese companies is Oppo, and they sent us their newest smartphone, the F1 Plus.

Let’s tackle the elephant in the room first: Yes, this phone looks like the lovechild of an iPhone 6 and a Samsung Galaxy S. It even has user interface elements within the OS which are very reminiscent of iOS. But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the phone as a clone, it has some great features, some unique and genuinely useful.

In the box, you get all the regular stuff. There’s a shiny, slim oval SIM ejector tool and — just like the OnePlus X — it comes with its own slim, transparent case. You also get a couple of guides and a pair of earphones that look like the ones that shipped with the original iPhone.

But it does get interesting. Oppo ships this phone with a VOOC Flash Charging adapter and compatible USB cable. Unlike Quick-Charge, this means you’ll fill your battery up really fast, while still being able to use the phone, and not have it get overly warm.

The attractive, soft-finish anodized aluminum on the back has with rounded corners, and a couple of antenna bands running along it, as well as the fashionable protruding camera on the left corner. What’s more, there are volume buttons on the left edge, a power button and SIM tray on the right, and the 3.5mm jack, mic, charging port, and machined holes for the speaker grille on the bottom edge.

Before diving in to specs it’s worth noting two things. First off, the VOOC Flash Charging technology can get the 2850mAh battery from 0-100% within an hour, and the phone can be used, and won’t overheat during charge. Second, it has one of the most accurate, and insanely quick fingerprint sensors I’ve used. On par with Huawei’s. The phone unlocks instantly as soon as I place my thumb on the home button.

On the front, there’s a bright and colorful 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display in a front panel with very little screen gap or bezel. It boasts a generous 4GB RAM and 64GB storage which you can expand, but the octa-core Helio P10 chip inside it doesn’t overly impress in my early benchmark tests.

Animation was a little stuttery in AnTuTu 3D, and scores were pretty middle-of-the-road in GeekBench 3.

It runs Color OS on top of Android Lollipop (yeah, Lollipop, not Marshmallow) which also has something of an iPhone-like feel to it. The multitasking screen, calendar and calculator are virtually identical to iOS. Still, initial use seems pretty smooth and relatively stutter free.

Despite the lack of imagination with software and hardware design, it’s hard not to like the Oppo F1 Plus. It looks great, has a nice display and genuinely useful charging technology. I’ll be testing it further over the coming days and will bring you my full review later on.

It’ll cost £299 in the UK when it hits Amazon, or €389 in continental Europe. While it won’t make it to the US, it is available to pre-order in India for just under 29,000 Rupees.

KEY SPECS

  • 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display
  • 2.0GHz Octa-Core MediaTek Helio P10
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage (expandable up to 128GB using SIM 2 slot via MicroSD)
  • 13.0MP f/2.2 rear camera
  • 16.0MP f/2.0 front camera
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with Color OS 3.0
  • 2,850mAh battery with VOOC Flash Charging (50% in 30mins)
  • 151.8 x 74.3 x 6.6 mm

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