Oppo has managed to hold a strong position in the offline segment in India, and the company does sell some of its smartphones online as well. But Oppo is looking to expand its online presence even further, and it hopes to do that with the new Oppo K-series. The company announced the new series in India on Wednesday with the launch of the Oppo K1. The Oppo K1 is pretty unique phone in the sub-Rs 20,000 as it not only brings an in-display fingerprint sensor but also an AMOLED display.
The Oppo K1 has been launched at a pretty competitive price point of Rs 16,990. This is close to its China price, which is great to see. At this price, the Oppo K1 touts a number of striking features as the phone looks to take on the likes of the Realme 2 Pro and Mi A2 in the online sphere. I spent a brief amount of time with the Oppo K1 during the launch, and here’s what I found.
The Oppo K1 has a familiar look if you are accustomed to past Oppo phones like the Oppo F9 Pro and Oppo A7. Like these phones, the K1 also brings a waterdrop display and a glossy rear panel with horizontal dual cameras and gold accent around. Yet, the K1 feels more premium, even though it’s priced cheaper than the F9 Pro and similar to the A7. This is largely due to a combination of a gorgeous AMOLED display on the front and a glass-like 3D curved back panel. That’s right, the K1 brings an AMOLED display at a price of Rs 16,990, which is pretty exciting to see in this segment.
The Oppo K1 sports a 6.4-inch FHD+ (1080×2340) Super AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, over 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio and Gorilla Glass 5 on top. The display looks stunning with punchy and saturated colours and good viewing angles. You are still greeted with a typical ColorOS UI with chunky app icons that makes the UI look a little date, but the display manages to bring some life into it. I will have more to say on the quality of the screen, the viewing experience and brightness under different lighting conditions in an in-depth review.
The back of he Oppo K1 is not made up of glass, but it looks premium enough thanks to a 3D injection molding process that makes the K1 glisten and shine as light hits the surface. I checked out the Astral Blue colour during the launch event which offers hues of blue that takes up the top half, gradually shifting towards purple on the bottom. The phone is also offered in a solid colour Piano Black, but I couldn’t check that out. The K1 comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom along with a single spearker grille and a microUSB port. This is a dual SIM smartphone with support for dual standby.
The Oppo K1’s USP is that it brings an in-display fingerprint sensor at an affordable price. This is currently the only phone under Rs 20,000 to offer an in-display fingerprint sensor, which makes it pretty unique. The fingerprint sensor is pretty standard to what other phones have to offer. Registering your fingerprint takes a bit of time, and unlocking is slower than a physical fingerprint sensor. I reckon the speed is comparable to what the OnePlus 6T offers. Based on a few tries, I found the sensor to be mostly accurate. The K1 also offers a face unlock feature which is much faster.
Powering the Oppo K1 is a capable octa-core Snapdragon 660 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM. Oppo did not bring the 6GB RAM variant to India, which is kind of a bummer. But the base model with 4GB of RAM still offers a pretty solid configuration for power users, In my brief interaction with the device, I found the K1 to work effortlessly while browsing through apps and generally working with the UI.
Of course, I will need more time with the device to really push it to its limit, but the chipset has proven to be a performance beast in the past, so that leaves me optimistic about the K1. It’s also quite nice to see Oppo go with a SD660 chip after launching the Oppo A7 for the same price with a Snapdragon 450 processor.
Like most Oppo phones, the Oppo K1 is also a selfie-centric smartphone with a 25MP AI camera housed inside the droplet notch. The sensor is offered with a f/2.0 aperture and typical beautifying modes to make selfies look smooth and bright. I was able to capture a few selfies indoors under average lighting. The selfies had good brightness with pretty accurate skin tones.
The dual camera system on the back includes a 16MP primary camera with a wide f/1.7 aperture and a 2MP secondary camera for depth sensing. As you would expect, there’s a lot of AI backing for the primary camera as well. Thanks to an AI-powered chipset, the camera is able to detect a number of scenes and will automatically adjust the setting according. The primary camera supports portrait shots, but the front camera does not.
The Oppo K1 houses a 3,600mAh battery with support for 10W charging over micro-USB port. It is a little disappointing to see a microUSB port in this segment in 2019, but I hope to see Oppo make the transition to Type-C port for its affordable phones by the end of the year. In my brief time with the K1, I could not test the battery life, but Oppo feels it’s enough to keep users happy. It will be interesting to see how the battery holds up inside a phone that packs an AMOLED display and a power hungry Snapdragon 660 chipset.
My initial impressions of the Oppo K1 is quite positive as I feel the company has priced the K1 competitively. At Rs 16,990, the phone offers an in-display fingerprint sensor, but even if that doesn’t impress you, the K1 also comes with an AMOLED display and a powerful chipset under the hood, making quite a promising contender to take on the competition. I will reserve my judgement until the review, so do stay tuned for that.