Oppo and Vivo have been tussling for a while now to one-up each other’s selfie-centric smartphones and also, call dibs on the country’s advertising space. Both of them, like clockwork, introduced similarly pitched and priced smartphones this year as well — the Oppo F7 and the Vivo V9. We reviewed the latter earlier this month and found it falling short in aspects beyond the beefed-up selfie camera. Can the F7 prove to be a more well-rounded smartphone?
The Oppo F7, from the outside at least, doesn’t look like a mid-range phone. Its build, which while is made out of plastic and a polymer composite material oozes a sense of glass and feels premium as well as pleasant to hold. The rounded corners ensure the phone comfortably fits in your hands in spite of the presence of a 6.23-inch screen, thanks to the 90% screen-to-body ratio. It looks impressive as well especially if you opt for the Solar Red or Diamond Black variant. We got the diamond black variant for review, which although not the first time we are seeing on a smartphone, does stand apart from other mundane designs in the market right now.
Unlike its Vivo counterpart, the Oppo F7 doesn’t produce that ugly, greasy texture and plus, doesn’t collect all that much fingerprints either. One letdown of the build is the presence of a MicroUSB port instead of a Type-C port. With phones like the Nokia 7 Plus and Moto X4 shipping with the new port, it’s rather disappointing to witness Oppo and Vivo still stuck in the past.
The 6.23-inch display comes with a resolution of Full HD+ and is one of the best out there. It’s sharp, vibrant and can be easily viewed outdoors. It is an LCD panel, though sadly. Watching videos or simply browsing the phone is a stunning experience as there are nearly no bezels except for the notch at the top.
While the viewing experience is pretty great, the audio part of the multimedia experience is a bit of a letdown. The mono-speaker is just average and located beside the MicroUSB port. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, like roughly every other phone out there, is quick and responsive. In addition to that, there’s the ability to unlock the phone with a face as well and even that works as advertised. Of course, not as secure as your fingerprint since there are no special sensors involved here.
The Oppo F7 features the company’s own software (Color OS) out of the box on top of Android 8.1. While it’s commendable that Oppo has preloaded the latest Android version, its iOS-esque skin is far from perfect. Depending on your taste, you will either love it or hate it. I belong to the latter class as it borrows a series of unnecessary elements from iOS like dismissing a notification is a two-step process, not allowing the user to alter the default SMS app and more. Thankfully, the Oppo F7’s software comes with navigation gestures as well letting you navigate around with just a handful of swipes.
Under the hood, the Oppo F7 carries all the power you’ll need. There’s an octa-core Helio P60 chipset (12nm FinFET tech), 4 or 6GB of RAM, 64 or 128GB of storage which is expandable through a DEDICATED slot, and a 3,400mAh battery. Whether it’s shooting off your opponents in PUBG Mobile or simply multitasking between a myriad of social networking apps, the Oppo F7 hardly ever stuttered. It’s rare that we talk like this when it comes to gaming and general performance on an Oppo phone, but yeah, it’s commendable indeed.
I should clarify that I am using the 6GB RAM variant, although I’m guessing 2GB of RAM shouldn’t a have dramatic impact on the overall performance. The battery is equally excellent and can consistently last a day. Unfortunately, there’s no fast-charging here, hence the phone takes almost two hours to juice up completely. We wish Oppo bring their VOOC technology to their mid-rangers in India since the flagship Oppo R series never gets released here.
The Oppo F7’s biggest strength, however, is the 25-megapixel selfie camera. For me, its most stand out feature is the HDR support which ensures the light is evenly distributed throughout the picture. There are, of course, all the artificial (AI) makeup tools available as well. As far as quality is concerned, color me impressed. The Oppo F7 can capture detailed selfies in the majority of scenarios and unless the light is a bit on the lower side, I’m sure it won’t let you down.
The absence of two snappers on the rear might be a sin in this day and age but the Oppo F7, with its single 16-megapixel shooter can click equal if not better pictures than its fellow competitors. The end results are usually above average with ample details and accurate colors. The same cannot be said for low-light shots, though. In dimly lit scenarios, the Oppo F7 does struggle but the outcomes are still passable considering the rest of the phones in this price range. The Portrait Mode works as well unless you’re shooting in any unfavorable environment like a dark room.
Yes, the Oppo F7 is indeed a well-rounded smartphone and not just a “selfie expert”. It has a beautiful design, long-lasting battery life, and a great pair of cameras. Apart from the software and the lack of quick charging, I don’t feel there are any major cons with it. Therefore, if you’re in the market for a new phone around this price, the Oppo F7 certainly won’t disappoint at a starting price of Rs 21,999 and is miles better than the Vivo V9 which is its closest competitor alongside the Moto X4.