Sam Sung and App Le are dolls that I had brought with me when I had visited Seoul a few years back. They converse with each other and whenever I manage to shut all other ambient noises even I am able to hear snatches of what they are talking about. This morning as I was fiddling with the Oppo F1S and was so immersed in the functions of the smart camera that it has, I happened to hear them clearly.
Sam Sung said, ‘I see this man walking around with the best of smartphones and yet struggle when it comes to taking great selfies.’
‘And he has a selfie stick as well,’ chipped in App le, his wife. By the way, I gave them these names and they never had any objection to it.
‘Photography,’ went on Sam Sung, ‘is an intrinsic function of camera abilities and the way a selfie is composed.’
‘Yes, I agree with that,’ said App le, ‘but I guess a lot depends on a person trying out these abilities in a set of different light conditions.’
I had been hearing them talk and so replied, ‘Hey! You know I can listen to what you guys are talking about. Allow me to click a few selfies of you as you seem to be dolls without hands and then…’
‘Oh no, not yet,’ they protested, ‘we don’t want embarrassing selfies. Tell us something about the camera first and then we’ll let you know if you can go ahead.’
So I told them that the OPPO F1S had a 13MP, f/2.2 camera on the rear, but a 16MP, f/2.0 sensor on the front.
‘What?’ they shouted in unison, ‘this is unheard of. A 16 MP selfie camera! We’re impressed.’
‘Wait for more,’ I replied, ‘Even the front selfie camera has the advantage of Beauty 4.0, a picture-tweaking mode with 7 levels of beautification to ‘improve’ your selfie game from fair to rosy!’ I added that timelapse, 1080p videos, and panorama shots were also possible even in the selfie mode. ‘Not just these,’ I said, ‘I can shoot a double exposure, create GIFs, and even dive into Expert mode to control shutter speed, ISO and white balance, and even save in RAW format. And I can do all this in square, rectangle or full-screen formats.
‘Hmmm…’ murmured Sam Sung, ‘This is interesting. What else do you want to tell us?’
‘A lot,’ I replied, ‘ever since I have this smartphone with me, I’m certainly not missing my iPhone. But let me tell you that though it seems that I am working on iOS, the F1s is actually powered by Oppo’s own Color OS 3, a colourful, Apple-inspired take on Android 5.1.’
‘That’s enough,’ they said together, ‘we’re ready to be shot by the camera in the smartphone that you have. You can talk about other things later.’
So that was when my selfie journey with Sam Sung and App Le began. We clicked over a dozen selfies… well, the first one has me in it because the couple from Korea insisted that this was mandatory. But then later we did experiment with filters, shot a b/w selfie, and went around my home to click them with objects they loved. Yes, there was a double exposure as well and App Le remarked, ‘This shot is so philosophic… it appears that I am a part of him and he is a part of me!’
We tried clicking with them positioned at a distance, one in the kitchen where the light was low, a reflection, and even one with them perched on the window ledge with bright daylight in the background. There was one with all their friends posing with them and another where the camera looked up at them.
‘It is such a long time that we had our selfies taken,’ murmured App Le happily.
‘Come on, don’t you remember the one that a tourist clicked with his iPhone at the Seoul airport and kissing you he even said that you were the apple of his eye!’ laughed Sam Sung.
‘Don’t even remind me of that messed up shot,’ said App Le, ‘it was dark and gloomy and I looked like a witch in the picture.’
Well, it was at this point that they started browsing through the shots and so let me first share them all with you here…
Both Sam Sung and App Le were doing a head dance by this time because this was all the spring that attached their heads with their bodies allowed… but this was enough appreciation for me. It was at this stage that I told them that the phone came with 32 GB of storage which meant they could click hundreds of selfies without being bothered about space. ‘By the way,’ I added, ‘there is space for two nano SIM cards here and you can give up one to add a microSD card if you still need more space.’
‘The battery… the battery…’ whispered App le with urgency, ‘is it good enough because I don’t like to run to recharge every now and then.’
‘Oh yes,’ I said, ‘a 3075mAh battery is powerful enough to keep you happily clicking forever… and this means you can click all the selfies you want, whatsapp or email them all. Look at me… I have been watching so many YouTube videos today, have browsed the internet for ages and the last time I charged the phone was almost 24 hours ago.’
‘I wish I had hands and pockets,’ mused Sam Sung, ‘I’d have borrowed this one from you and flown back to Seoul to show to the Samsung team asking them to be inspired by such a device!’
‘You must,’ is all I could muster.
My experience with the phone allows me to say that every function is seamlessly optimised and apps pop up without a lag even after hours of playing games or watching videos. I am not a techy but I guess this could be because of its octa-core MediaTek CPU and 3GB of RAM.
As I was about to carry them to their pet resting place among my 5000 books at home, Sam Sung said, ‘I loved watching our selfies on the 5.5 inch LCD screen. The output is heart-warming.’ I informed him that this was probably because of the 1280×720 resolution which means 267ppi. ‘By the way, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4,’ I added, and he smiled.
App Le had been silent for some time and then she suddenly spoke up, ‘I noticed that there was no shake in any of the pictures you shot. What could be the reason for this?’
‘I’m an expert,’ I said, and then laughed as I added that the OIS or optical image stabilisation in the camera was perfect. ‘This one has larger sensors, bright lenses, and even optical zoom that makes photography such a pleasure.’
This was the point when I suddenly remembered a crucial facet of this phone and I hurriedly said, ‘A 10W charger comes with the box. This means that a full charge is possible in under four hours.’
As they bid me farewell, they said in a voice loud enough for me to hear, ‘Sam Sung and App Le are not in OPPOsition with your choice for a selfie smartphone.’
23 August 2016