Oppo R11s Review: Camera

By 05:00 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments

The OnePlus 5T capturing camera still doesn't create sense

It's so rare we start a chapter with a critique, but that's the reality. It doesn't really matter if OnePlus or Oppo came up with this recent dual-camera setup, it still doesn't create any sense as an advancement to us.

Just like the Oppo R11, the R11s packs a 16MP+20MP dual capturing camera setup with the same sensors on its back. But now those sensors share the same equivalent focal length of 27mm, compared to the R11's 24mm+36mm kinda-sorta wide/tele arrangement. Both apertures are equally wide, too, at f/1.7.

Both OnePlus and Oppo claim the secondary 20MP capturing camera purpose is to improve the low-light shots and assist gather info for the portrait shots, of course. And while even a 2MP secondary cam would have done a fine job for portraits, we once again wondered how a higher-res capturing camera with the same lens as the primary one will improve the low-light quality. And if it happens you, just like us, hoped to find some answers this time around, we are sorry to disappoint you.

But before we dig into details, let's hold a see at the capturing camera app. The interface has borrowed a lot from the iOS app, of course. Most settings are on the left (or top, depending on the orientation), while different modes can be selected on the correct next to the shutter key. Strangely, the left-hand side also has a few additional modes that didn't find a spot in the correct carousel.

Photo • Portrait • Filters • Manual mode

There are a few settings, including location tagging and guidelines, separated out in their own menu in the phone's settings. There is a total lack of any clear resolution control for stills. All you acquire is a choice of aspects, between the standard 4:3 one, 1:1 and 16:9. It's not clear which aspect ratio is native to the sensor, and how choosing any of the other affects the resolution of the images.

Expert mode is available for those seeking more manual controls. It comes with a handy horizon level and can change most settings on the primary capturing camera (this mode doesn't work on the selfie cam). The shutter speed control lacks fine adjustment, fine mostly for very low-light shooting - it starts at 1s and increments at full stops to a maximum of 16s. Manual focus adjustment is present as well.

The Portrait mode offers a regular (2x telephoto-like) view, or you can opt for the outzoomed option from the dedicated virtual key.

Image quality

The regular samples turned out very fine with lots of detail, excellent contrast, and lively colors. The dynamic range is about average. There is small oversharpening here and there, but that's hardly noticeable unlike the somewhat noisy skies.

Oppo R11s 16MP capturing camera samples

The 2x pictures are far worse than the 1.6x we got from the R11. They were cropped and then digitally upscaled to 16MP and you can disclose correct away.

Oppo R11s 16MP 2x zoomed samples

Low light is where the second capturing camera comes into play. It automatically starts in low-light conditions. With its intelligent technology it merges 4 pixels into one aiming to cancel out noise - in our book this leaves a 5MP image. However, what we acquire is a 16MP so it must be upsampled. This sounds like just what the OnePlus 5T is doing, though on the R11s you will always acquire a 16MP image, whereas the 5T sometimes spits a 20MP one.

It doesn't see like the two (16+20MP) cameras work together by merging their images to acquire a better discontinue result, as each one is on its own. You can check out the soft low-light shots from below.

Oppo R11s 16MP low-light samples

Just like on the 5T, we may not completely understand the process and we wouldn't have cared what was going on under the hood if the resulting photos were awesome, but that's not the case. The noticeable benefits of the second capturing camera seem to be diminishing fast.

Even the long exposure shots can't match the R11's.

Long exposure, 5s shutter • Long exposure 2x, 5s shutter

And as for the 2x mode in low-light mode, well, let's just say it doesn't acquire any better than what we've seen so far.

Oppo R11s 16MP 2x low-light samples


The 180-degree panoramic images are flagship-worthy. They are about 2,500px tall and can continue for up to 25MP. There is plenty of detail, excellent colors and contrast, and fine sharpness.

Oppo R11s panorama sample

Portrait mode

Portraits are pretty good, both wide or telephoto-like. Subject separation works well, there aren't abrupt transitions from sharp to blurred, the bokeh is nice, and overall - those are among the better portraits we've seen. Yay, the second capturing camera finally came in handy!

Telephoto-like portrait • regular portrait • telephoto-like portrait • regular portrait


The 20MP selfie cam looks more promising than the 20MP rear one. It doesn't have autofocus, which isn't an issue in and of itself - it's just that the focus plane is all too close to the phone. There isn't enough detail, but the colors and contrast are great. And given the high resolution, those pictures would see perfect once downsampled to any other size.

Oppo R11s 20MP selfies

The R11s may lack a secondary selfie sensor for the bokeh shots, but it still does remarkable in detecting and separating the person from the background. Sure, you can notice the processing tries to mask the borders with some forced blur, but this actually improves the effect instead of hurting it. The R11 did a remarkable job with the portrait selfies and the R11s is continuing the fine work.

Oppo R11s 20MP portrait selfies

Picture Compare Tool

Finally, you can head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the Oppo R11s handles the controlled environment of our studio. We've pre-selected the Oppo R11 and OnePlus 5T, but you can replace those with any other two phones you feel like.

Oppo R11s vs. Oppo R11 vs. OnePlus 5T in our Photo compare tool

Video recording

The Oppo R11s records videos in 4K and 1080p at 30fps. There is no digital stabilization available on any resolution.

The standard 2160p/30fps mode is encoded at about 42Mbps, on par with the flagship crop. Audio is recorded in stereo at 96Kbps - far from impressive.

The 4K videos are a bit softer than we prefer, but with enough detail and remarkable contrast. The frame rate is steady, and we liked the color rendition. The excellent dynamic range is among the things worth mentioning, too.

The 1080p videos came out even softer than the 4K clips despite the 20Mbps high bitrate usually recommends the opposite. The resolved detail is mediocre, but the dynamic range and contrast are the same.

You can, of course, download untouched video samples, the way they came out of the Oppo R11s - 2160p at 30 fps (10s, 53MB) and 1080p at 30fps (9s, 24.5MB).

Finally, for some extra pixel peeping head over to our Video compare tool, where you can examine the Oppo R11s output against any phone we've tested before. We've pre-selected the Oppo R11 and the OnePlus 5T, but you can of course pick your own set.

2160p: Oppo R11s against the Oppo R11 and the OnePlus 5T in our Video compare tool



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