5G smartphones are a dime a dozen these days in India, even in the value segment. In many ways, the OnePlus Nord can be credited with paving the way for affordable 5G smartphones in India. Manufacturers are constantly introducing 5G models across their portfolios, and a few months ago, Oppo’s F series got its first 5G offering in the form of the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G.
Priced at Rs. 25,990, the F19 Pro+ 5G can be seen as a direct competitor to the OnePlus Nord, but it also has competition from lower priced offerings such as the Realme X7 5G, Xiaomi Mi 10i, and the Moto G 5G. The big selling points of the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G are its low weight, very quick charging, and AI camera features. Are these enough to make it a compelling product? It’s time to find out.
Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G design
Oppo has really nailed the slim form factor and weight of the F19 Pro+ 5G. At just 173g and 7.8mm thick, it’s hard to believe this phone actually has a battery and other components inside. The finish is pretty nice too. The plastic frame has a glossy chrome finish, while the plastic back has a frosted matte finish. The silver unit that I had for this review did attract fingerprints but these weren’t easily visible.
The layout of the ports and buttons feels ergonomic, and Oppo has even managed to fit a headphone jack on the F19 Pro+ 5G. The triple-slot tray lets you use two Nano-SIMs and a microSD card. The display is a large 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch protection. The display looks sharp, colours are punchy, and the in-display fingerprint sensor is reliable. Sadly, it only supports a 60Hz refresh rate and nothing higher, which would have been nice to have at this price.
In the box, you’ll find the typical contents such as a case, USB cable, headset, and charger. The charger actually supports Oppo’s 65W SuperVOOC standard, but the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G charges at a maximum of 50W. This 65W charger cannot be used to fast charge phones that don’t support SuperVOOC charging or even devices such as laptops.
Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G specifications and software
Oppo has gone with a pretty popular budget 5G SoC from MediaTek, the Dimensity 800U. According to Oppo’s website, the F19 Pro+ 5G supports four 5G bands, which isn’t a lot, but is still better than some other more expensive Android phones. Only one configuration is available in India, which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G also supports the usual sensors and satellite navigation systems, plus dual-band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1, and FM radio.
The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G runs on ColorOS 11.1, based on Android 11. My unit recently received a software update which claimed to have improved system performance and stability, and it also added the April Android security patch. ColorOS is incredibly feature-rich but this phone also comes with a lot of bloatware which did a terrific job of always ensuring I had unwanted notifications. The Theme Store and Browser are notorious for this. You can limit these alerts by fiddling with the settings but these apps can’t be uninstalled.
Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G performance and battery life
The performance of the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G was predictably good during the review period. This Dimensity SoC is something we’ve seen before in numerous phones and its performance is pretty solid for the price. Benchmark scores weren’t too shabby, and the F19 Pro+ 5G scored 3,43,176 points in AnTuTu. Multitasking was generally snappy but the phone lacked the smoothness and fluidity that you would experience with a high refresh rate display. I think Oppo should have included it, at least on this ‘plus’ model.
I didn’t face any issues regarding heating either. The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G ran fairly cool for the most part, and only got a bit warm while gaming. Speaking of which, games ran very well on this phone. The visuals looked great thanks to the bright and punchy colours of the OLED display, and the bottom speaker got decently loud for an enjoyable experience. There are plenty of shortcuts and tweaks that can be used while playing via the Game Space app.
Battery life was more than satisfactory in my experience. The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G has a 4,310mAh battery, and it lasted 19 hours and 42 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is surprisingly good for such a capacity. With regular gaming, camera, and social app usage, I was easily averaging about a day and a half on a single charge. The battery charges very quickly too, completing a zero to 100 percent top-up in less than 50 minutes.
Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G cameras
I felt the cameras on the Oppo F17 Pro, this phone’s predecessor, were a bit underwhelming, and the F19 Pro+ 5G doesn’t seem to have made any major upgrades in this area. We have a main 48-megapixel camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and two token 2-megapixel cameras for macros and a black-and-white filter. For selfies, there’s a 16-megapixel camera in the display’s hole-punch cutout.
Since video is one of the big selling points of this phone, let’s cover that first. The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G has an ‘AI Highlight Video’ toggle button in the viewfinder. With this on, the camera app will automatically simulate HDR in video or increase the exposure when shooting at night, which is indicated by a change in the AI icon. Both these features do work but the resulting video quality is strictly average even when shooting in daylight.
Coming to standard videos, the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G can record at up to 4K 30fps, but without stabilisation.Video shot during the day is just about passable, but it gets grainy and pretty bad at night. Other video modes include dual-view for recording a combined stream from the rear and selfie cameras. Subject tracking is also available, which works well provided your subject doesn’t drop out of the frame while shooting.
Daytime landscape photos lack clarity and detail, especially if the camera has to apply HDR aggressively, like when shooting on a sunny day. The ultra-wide camera captures weaker details than the main one, but it is useful if you want to get more of any scene in one shot. The macro camera is not great, but that was expected given the size of the sensor. Regular close-up shots actually look good, given the right amount of light. At night, landscape stills suffer from weak textures and poor details. Things improve slightly with Night mode, but not by much.
Selfies tend to look unnaturally processed with the default settings. Skin tones and textures improve a bit once you select the ‘Natural’ option in the beauty filter. HDR is handled quite poorly and if you happen to use Portrait mode for a selfie in a backlit frame, the background tends to get blown out. Noise is handled well when shooting selfies indoors and under good light, but skin tones don’t always look great.
Overall, the camera performance of the Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G is very underwhelming and this is not something I expected from a phone costing nearly Rs. 26,000.
The Oppo F19 Pro+ 5G is not the upgrade to the F17 Pro that I was expecting. Its improvements are better battery life, quicker charging, and a faster 5G SoC, but that’s about the extent of it. The slim design, low weight, AMOLED display, and cameras are pretty much the same as what its predecessor offered. In fact, I’d argue that the cameras have dropped a notch or two in quality, which is a shame. Oppo seems to be focusing more on its Reno series now, and in the bargain, hasn’t really done enough with the F19 Pro+ 5G to justify its price.
I’d say the OnePlus Nord is still the stronger contender between the two, and I’d recommend it over the F19 Pro+ 5G. If you want to save a bit, then phones such as the Xiaomi Mi 10i offer better performance and features for much less. There’s also Realme’s X7 5G which offers very similar features, physical dimensions, and specifications as the F19 Pro+ 5G, but with better cameras and a more attractive price tag.