Oppo N1 Mini camera review: a decent snapper with an interesting ‘twist’

“The N1 Mini’s swivel camera rotates up to 206 degrees. But how well does it perform?”

If you’ve been bitten by the selfie bug, the innovative swivel camera of the Oppo N1 (review) will definitely get your attention. Yes, we’re talking about an actual rotating camera on a smartphone, which allows you to take high-quality self-portraits or images at any angle. The Oppo N1 was the first device in the world to feature such an innovative setup and now, the same camera has been brought down to its smaller sibling, the N1 Mini (first impressions | unboxing).

Oppo N1 Mini camera

The N1 Mini has a 13-megapixel sensor featuring an f2.0 aperture along with an LED flash. These are some impressive specs, on paper at least. But how well does it perform in reality? We took the smartphone on a test drive to shoot images in different situations. Let’s see if they live up to the promise. While the images displayed here have been scaled-down for viewing, you can click on them to see them in full resolution.

Long shot

Oppo N1 Mini camera review - Long shot

The camera on the N1 Mini offers good colour reproduction and ample details in the long shot above. Even after zooming in you can easily make out different details in the view. Although, it falters a bit when it comes to colour contrast.

Long shot (Ultra HD mode)

Oppo N1 Mini camera review - Long shot in Ultra HD mode

Similar to Oppo’s current flagship, the Find 7 (camera review), the N1 Mini boasts of Ultra HD capabilities. While in the case of the Find 7, you can capture images in 50MP, the N1 Mini allows you to shoot 24MP images. The concept is same though – the camera takes multiple images in quick succession and stitches them together. As with the Find 7, during our camera test of the N1 Mini, we didn’t find the Ultra HD image any better than the normal shot, and in fact it loses out on sharpness.

Close up

Oppo N1 Mini camera samples - close up

In the close-up shot taken during the camera review of the N1 Mini, the phone’s camera does good justice to the subject, keeping it in focus and retaining natural colours. You can easily differentiate between the petals of each flower.

Close up (zoomed in)

Oppo N1 Mini camera samples - close up (zoomed in)

Zooming in on the same image doesn’t change our opinion, since there’s minimal noise and you can easily see the veins on each petal.

Front camera shot

Oppo N1 Mini camera test - front camera shot

Well, this is one of the shots where the Oppo N1 Mini can beat the best selfie phones out there, since it’s rear camera doubles up as a front shooter as well. In the shot taken above, the camera offers good detail and colours.

HDR off

Oppo N1 Mini camera performance test - HDR off

This is our standard shot to see view how the HDR capabilities of the smartphone’s camera performs. Even without HDR, we didn’t find any issues with the image since there is ample detail and colour variance, even though it’s taken on a cloudy day.

HDR on

Oppo N1 Mini camera performance test - HDR on

Turning on the HDR for the testing the camera performance of the Oppo N1 Mini, the same scene looks pleasing at first glance. But in reality, the camera has simply increased the brightness and not much else. Due to this, you can’t even differentiate between the clouds in the sky.

Night shot

Oppo N1 Mini camera performance - Night shot

In this image, there is a visible amount of grain, but it isn’t that bad considering you can still make out different subjects captured.

Low-light shot

Oppo N1 Mini camera quality test - low light shot

While the shot taken previously were helped by a light source, this shot barely has any light. But even then, the camera is able to capture both the globe and ball.

Low-light shot with flash

Oppo N1 Mini camera quality test - low light shot with flash

Turning on the LED flash, the whole scene is instantly illuminated. Thanks to uniform lighting and you can easily see both the objects.

All in all, the Oppo N1 Mini’s shooter lives up to the promise. Even without the swivel feature, it can be considered as a good camera considering it’s able to perform well in most situations above. The only area where it lacks is its HDR capabilities.

Of course, there’s more to the N1 Mini than its swivel camera, and that’s what we will be discussing in our review, coming your way soon.

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One of the earliest members of the 91mobiles' editorial team, Nitansh is a walking encyclopaedia of product specs. Name a phone and he’ll tell you the specifics on screen resolution, processor and camera without blinking an eyelid. Ask him if he remembers the launch date of a noteworthy phone, and he'll tell you the dates when the device first leaked, its global unveil, its Indian launch, and when it got a significant update. He’s a lover of all things Android, and loves writing reviews and scouting for new apps. A Wordpress whiz, he’s always ready to help out a fellow writer. While he juggles between many things at 91mobiles, he always manages to find time to write. In his non-tech avatar, Nitansh is a philatelist, which is a fancy word for stamp-collector.