Oppo F21s Pro Review

A glimmer of hope

₹ 21,999

It seems we’ve reached a point in time where it is a common occurrence to accidentally grab someone else’s phone. Let’s be honest it’s not exactly our fault– most smartphones today don’t just share features but design too. Thankfully Oppo has decided to switch it up a bit. While you could easily confuse the front of the Oppo F21s Pro with any other mid-range, the back is where it is at. It is a real beauty when it comes to design and is not far behind in functionality either.

 If a standout phone is what you are looking for, this phone may just catch your attention with the microscopic lens feature and the all-around performance. But are the features enough to stand out in this competitive sector… Let’s dive into the complete review!


Design definitely takes centre stage on this device. It’s clear at first glance. While having a phone back that shimmers in the light and changes colour with the angle may not be everyone’s thing, even the harshest critics at our HQ agree it's sleek and unique.

 It has the trending squared edges and while the back seems yellowish-gold at first, it changes colour depending on your viewing angle. It feels great too. It’s definitely not as slippery as the Oppo Reno8 Pro and feels nice and light (relatively speaking). 

 It is also hard to miss the retro-looking cameras on the back. The three sensors and flash are encased in a slightly raised gold and black casing. Another nice touch on this model similar to the F21 Pro is the ring light around the microscopic lens that lights up while charging and using the lens. The front is mainly dominated by the screen panel with an unobtrusive punch-hole selfie camera in the top left corner.


In terms of display, you have the same 6.43in AMOLED panel as the F21 Pro. The size is just right allowing you a free range of movement without having to do thumb acrobatics to reach the corners. The colours on the screen are reproduced pretty accurately, making it enjoyable to watch OTT content. With 600nits of peak brightness, the display is reasonably legible in the harsh Indian sunlight. It offers 409ppi density, which is impressive for the price range. 

That said it is lacking in the refresh rate. Offering just 90Hz instead of a 120Hz refresh rate that has become the norm for smartphones these days. Despite that, scrolling and animations are pretty smooth and fluid. You only tend to notice slight delays and jitters when you are putting an extreme multitasking load on the device.


Under the hood, the F21s Pro packs in a mid-range Snapdragon 680 octa-core chipset, which is far from the fastest on the market. With that in mind, it does well as you can hope. If you’re using it for multitasking, working, or watching OTT sense, it will have your back. But when it comes to high-demand gaming with heavy graphics, you might start seeing the cracks in the beautiful facade. 

Playing Asphalt 9: Legends seemed like a breeze at medium settings. But with the increase in graphic load, you can expect a few lags and the occasional frame rate drop. To be fair, it does what you expect it to do at its price range.

If you are a fan of a colourful UI, the Android 12-based ColorOS 12.1 UI is quite enjoyable. Offering a host of customisation options within the software. The only catch here is the amount of bloatware that comes with it. Something we have seen to be common with the brand's devices. It is quite time-consuming to get rid of all the pre-loaded apps and endless notifications.

At juice o’clock, the 33W charger (in the box) is able to charge the device up in just under 90 minutes. While it’s not the fastest around, it definitely isn’t slow.


When it comes to photography, there are three cameras at the back – a 64MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP microscope lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. The primary lens is more than adequate at shooting in good lighting conditions and it’s on par with the Nord 2T. It captures enough detail and does a great job in natural lighting. It has a good dynamic range although you will likely notice a touch of oversaturation and auto-brightening (especially of skin). To sum it up, the camera is pretty decent and it will get the job done.

Unfortunately, as the lighting conditions grow darker, so does the quality of images. You tend to notice lacking details and a good amount of noise and a lack of focus. The night mode definitely helps the cause but the improvements do look a touch unnatural.

The 2MP depth sensor helps with the portraits and provides a good bokeh effect and edge detection, in above-average lighting conditions. The front 32MP camera is exactly what we’ve grown to expect from Oppo. The images are artificially brightened and smoothed. Take that as you will, some consider it an advantage and others a disadvantage. The images themselves tend to lack details from the front camera but it is forgivable to some extent.

But what has definitely caught the attention of all of us at the HQ, is the dedicated 2MP microscope lens, which lets you get about as close to an object as possible, rendering incredible amounts of microscopic detail. To achieve this incredible amount of detail, you do have to hole the lens a few millimetres away from the object, and while it may not have much practicality in real life, it is good fun to play around with and put your scientific side to work. What’s the difference between the macro and micro lens you may ask? For one, the microscopic lens allows for up to 30x zoom, while the macro just about manages 10x. Couple that with holding the lens about 4mm away from the subject and you have detail like a real microscope would produce. Although a touch gimmicky the microscopic lens provides a ton of room for creativity and is an interesting touch to help the phone hold its own. 


While the Oppo F21s Pro is definitely a beauty, it isn’t much of a beast. That said, it does have a few attractive qualities like the microscopic lens and good battery life that make the phone a good choice if you aren’t the kind of person putting heavy gaming load on the processor. It is a good, affordable option for daily use with a bit of flair. Bear in mind the phone does not come with 5G support. All in all, this is a good buy if you are looking for style on a mid-range budget.

Stuff Says

Gets the basics down, looks great and also adds a dedicated macro camera for nerds
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Sleek design

  1. Vibrant display

  1. Microscopic lens performance

  1. Ring light

  1. Battery Life

  1. Well priced

  1. Does not support 5G

  1. Low light photography

  1. Unnatural front-camera photography

Display: 6.43in FHD+ AMOLED 90Hz
Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core
Memory: 8GB RAM / 128GB storage
Rear cameras: 64MP primary / 2MP microscope / 2MP depth
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4,500mAh 33W fast charging
OS: Android 12 (ColorOS 12.1)
Dimensions: 159.9 x 73.2 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 182 g