The newly launched Oppo R7 has caught quite a lot of attention from tech-users. Let’s take a deep look at this handsets with our review below.
Pros: luxurious package with slim metal design.
Cons: battery life is not as good as expected.
Bottom life: great and appealing looking phone with 4G technology at mid-range price.
Following the success of the Oppo R5, Oppo R7 has been launched with the similar slim and beautiful metal design as its predecessor. Of course, there should be some differences, the R7 is a little bit thicker and larger with more polished look. While there were some issues about the performance in the R5, the R7 performs smoothly without any lag, especially the rapidly start camera app – the biggest matter in Oppo R5.
The Oppo R7 is available for USD 400 on Chinese online retail store. For Australian market, the price is around AUD 449 online or via Dick Smith exclusive. This price tag is considered pretty high for device that has mid-range specifications like this phone.
Design and build
The AMOLED screen display featured on the Oppo R7 is in 5-inch size and has HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixel. The phone has dimension of 5.6 inches x 2.8 inches x 0.2 inch and weight at 5.2 ounces. There are 2 colors available: gold and silver.
We can say appealling design is the focus of the Oppo R7, and in fact, Oppo did take effort to make their R7 distinct from the new Galaxy range of Samsung. By this, the metal trim running around the edges make the difference. This band is just wide enough for micro-USB ports and audio jack. In contrast, such difference shall make the phone edges not smooth and thus, shall not bring the comfortable feeling for users when holding the phone in hands. Obviously, your palm shall not be pleasant as the metal edge keep digging into.
The Oppo R7’s back cover is the main thing that brings the luxious look and feel to the phone as is made from metal material – aluminum-magnesium alloy. The 13 MP rear cam is placed on the top left of the phone.
Similar to other siblings, the Oppo R7 is also featured with menu keys that is physical touch-sensitive. The volume rockers are located on the right side while the power button is place on the opposite. As the frame is just 6.3mm thick, users may worry that these buttons are too tiny, but don’t need to worry about that, they are enough for their functions. For me personally, the keys’ clickiness in this phone is quite my favorite, however, the arrangement of power button bothers me a bit as I’ll sometimes hit this button when taking landscape photos or picking up the device.
The slots for dual-SIM 4G are placed right above volume rockers. The slot for microSD SIM also can host the microSD card which can support up to 128 GB external memory.
As mentioned before, the specs of Oppo R7 are just in middle range, thus, it’s not surprise as they cannot be as impressive as those of the high-end devices. The Oppo R7 is powered with a Snapdragon 615 1.5GHz octa-core processor of Qualcomm. As my experience with many similar phones, this processor helps the phone perform smoothly without issues. Intensive games or highly demand apps can be run fine.
The Oppo R7 offers 16 GB internal storage and users can expand their space for up to 128 GB external memorty. RAM is 3GB and the cameras being equipped are 13 MP and 8 MP – rear and front-facing cams respectively. Battery life is a little disappointment for me as it’s non-removable and is just powered at 2320 mAh. But one good thing is fast-charging technology is supported and it is claimed to reach 75% battery life (from totally drained 0%) in just 30 mins. Actual experiment’s result comes out quite close as the phone hit 72% after the same period of time.
There are 3 versions available for 4G network support: international version for LTE networks (like Three or EE), the exclusive Optus version in Australia (however the Oppo website’s unlocked version can work on other carrier like Telstra) and the US version that can works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
Software and apps
The operating system being shipped with the phone is the Android Lollipop 5.1.1 for Australian version, while the international ones runs the Android KitKat – the older OS version. But whichever OS version the phone runs, the Android-based Color OS of Oppo still overlay the original one and thus, not much Android stock can be seen on the R7.
The launcher of Oppo is customized with some interesting Oppo’s signature features. Among those is gesture control. This feature shall allow users to quickly access phone application. For instance, by drawing O letter, camera shall be activated, music can be turned on by swiping downwards 2 fingers on the off screen. On an on screen, camera can be activated by multiple fingers pinching close and screenshot can be taken by sliding up and down 3 fingers.
The themes on Oppo R7 can also be customized as users can choose various visual effects when switching, opening or closing apps. Users can also be provided with backup service – the O-Cloud sync to backup their data like contacts, messages. However, this backup feature is only compatible with Oppo devices.
For users who want to manage their apps groups by groups, they will be somehow disappointed as there will be no availability of app drawer. All applications shall be put right on the homescreen of the Oppo phones with Color OS, similar to iPhones with iOS. Another similar things with iOS is the arrangement of control buttons (such as changing data/ Wifi settings, changing phone modes…): they are located on pull-down menu.
For many smartphones with large screen, icons may look awkward when appearing too large as user interface is not fully optimized for large display. However, this is not the issue in the screen display of Oppo R7 as the icons appear just fit enough with the screen.
Camera and video
As mentioned above, the R7 is equipped with auto-focus 13 MP rear cam and 8 MP front-cam with the support of LED flash. The rear cam can record video up to full-HD quality with 30 fps.
Layout of camera app on the R7 is quite simple: big shutter button on the bottom. Users can also add filter to their shots just by tapping the top-left button while the phone is hold in landscape position. The button on the top-left corner let users access to various features and filters such as: panorama modes, HDR modes or Ultra HD feature (which allows you to create a super-fine resolution photos by merging many shots into one).
One more interesting feature is the GIF animation creator, which allows user to capture movable images without sound, motions of the captured GIF can also be reversed for more fun.
If you feel not enough with the default modes, you can go to Oppo’s camera shop to download more modules for more choices of photo editing. For example, the Expert mode shall let you adjust the shutter, the focus of the shoot and ISO, exposure index of the photos.
Similar to other siblings which have powerful and well-performed camera features, the Oppo R7 gets things handled pretty well. Photos taken are vibrant, colors are vivid and true to life, captured objects appear with fine details. In low-light conditions, the shots are not super fine but it’s totally understandable as optical stabilization is not supported.
The front-facing camera also works quite well, however, the focus only works well for center faces. Thus, when taking selfies, anyone who is off-center shall look a bit blurry.
For normal and basic daily tasks, the R7 totally can handle them well without any issue. The 3GB RAM offers you enough oomph for performing multi tasks at a time. When switching between apps, you shall not have to reload them – which often happens in device with less RAM. The R7 is also responsive and work smoothly without lag – the issue I’ve met on the Oppo R5.
In comparision with other phones with similar Snapdragon 615 processor (such as the Alcatel One Touch Idol3, the Xiaomi Mi 4i), the R7 get similar results on the test.
When it comes to power lasting competition, the R7 falls behind with its 2320 mAH battery. Surely what you have to carry around is the charger as it cannot last until the end of the day (especially for heavy users). But what’s make you less worry is the quick charger, which shall boost the battery power up to 75% just in half an hour.
As the result of our video test, the R7 lasts for 9 hours 5 minutes, which is not a very good result. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi Mi 4i can last up to 13 hours in the same test (however, this one has 3000 mAh battery).
Call quality and data speed
The quality of the call is good as I encountered no issue making calls. Voice from both 2 sides is loud and clear, no distortion or buzzing is detected. However, voice from speakers seems quite loud for the size of the device, and it’s also hard to hear in crowded place.
As in 4G network of SingTel, the phone reached 99.44 Mbps and 35.89 Mbps in download and upload speed respectively. Of course, this result shall vary depending on network quality, time and region.
The Oppo R7 is a complete package of a beautiful design and mid-range spec with reasonable price. It also comes a little bit cheaper than the Huawei Ascend P7 – the similar handset. Overall, this is undoubtedly a good choice to consider for users who are looking for a phone with 4G support.