Review by Sunetra Chakravati,8/12/2015 5:38:46 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Flash charging | Under £250 | 4G | premium looks | robust battery | Dual-SIM option | expandable memory | same camera tech as on some Galaxy S6
Still running Android 4.4 | Only works on 4G with EE and 3 | 16GB internal storage only
Could a phone be more like the iPhone 6? The internet is awash with questions about the Oppo R7 handset, with its 92.3 percent all-metal body, curved edges, brilliant camera and octa-core processor.
The answer is that it will be hard to come up with something that does such a good job of looking like the muse so much externally and tries and almost succeeds internally.
Here are our thoughts on it…
For starters, the Oppo R7 is thinner than the iPhone 6, shaving off .6mm to be a sliver of a phone at 6.3mm thick. However, the R7 is a squarer proposition with a wider footprint than the iPhone 6. Available in two metallic colours, gold and silver, the phone has a slight grain on the finish of the back plate giving it a very premium look and the white facade is sheathed in Gorilla Glass 3.
The ‘Home’, ‘Return’ and ‘tabs’ keys are on the bezel itself and are not physical keys but have been swapped around from the way we are used to, but it didn't take me long to adjust to this slight change.
There is a speaker grille at the bottom of the back plate and the volume keys are on the right of the handset while the power button is on the middle of the frame on the left hand side. it was this swap that took us the longest to adjust to.
The SIM tray on the top right can either take a SIMcard and a microSD card or two SIM cards. The metal unibody phone has been made from a magnesium aluminium alloy and has a metallic ratio of 92.3%. And frankly it shows. The Oppo R7 looks like a flagship device costing several hundred pounds more than it does.
The Oppo website says this about the design of the R7: The design of the R7 body delicately employs the artistic style of "lineism". The back adopts the classic arc design of a violin's neck to match the double-arcs of the body's edges, creating the visual effect of slimness and highlighting the perfection in details through the movement of light and shadows.
But frankly we couldn't tell if indeed it looks/mimics the shape and form of a violin but agree that the phones curves do look very different to those of others we have seen, in that the phone appears thinner and somehow squarer, making the metal look and feel very premium.
The 5-inch Super AMOLED screen has a 1080p resolution giving it an incredible 441ppi scorecard, and the screen does show its pedigree when you stream content on it. However, when compared with an iPhone 6, the phone it most tries to emulate, the viewing angles were not the best and colours seemed over-saturated. The streaming video also seemed darker than the version playing on the iPhone even though brightness levels on both were the same.
A Qualcomm MSM8939 Octa-core processor gives the phone its wheels and it is an Adreno 405 one to boot. The 3GB RAM is incredibly robust and more than capable of handling most multitasking functions.
The Oppo R7 runs a bespoke overlay on Android called Colours OS and our main beef with this phone is that it is STILL on Android 4.4.4. Taiwanese and Australian variants of the phone are currently running the overlay on top of Android 5.1 but there has been no word on when the european model will get it.
The battery on the phone is 2320mAH, this means it is enough to stretch to a full day but not much more. The battery is non-removable and heavy usage i.e. streaming video or recording videos will lead to not more than 4 hours worth of screen time. Fast charging feature on the R7 allows for super fast battery top-up. A 10 minute top up up translates to about an hour's worth of browsing.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is sited at the top left of the phone and the speakers at the back of the phone are surprisingly robust.
A 13-MP super snapper is complimented by a 8-MP selfie camera. And what selfies it takes! The beautify tool’s ability to powder your nose has been taken up by several notches, not just that but the camera comes with the specify set of features you would expect from any mid to flagship range phone but it also comes with a ‘shop’ option where you are shown another dozen or so features to download free of charge onto the phone.
These include: Super macro mode (very impressive), slow and fast video lens, double exposure, expert mode, audio photos (with sound and animation), GIF, HDR, Panorama and Ultra HD.
The camera also comes with ISOCELL technology, this is the same image sensor that Samsung have on some of their Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phone (they also ship handsets with Sony’s tech on them) and we all know how brilliant that phone’s camera is!
A fabulous phone, the Oppo R7 has made flagships costing over £400 look overpriced and under-powered.
The phone over reaches in its aim to be an iPhone 6 lookalike and it ends up looking more like an iPhone 5 than 6 with the squarer edges. It comes with a case and the charger juices the R7 upto 60 percent in 15 minutes, but then some major gripes remain: it can only work with 4G SIM cards from 3 and EE. The fact that it is still on Android Kitkat with no word on when it will be updated is puzzling.
But Oppo are a worthy contender out there, in the hellfire of the mid-range market where the heavy weights are jumping into. They provide a very good option for the £250 mark where heavy-weight manufacturers are trying to push their prices down to.
You can only use the Oppo R7 with a 4G SIM-card from EE or 3, but given how it behaved during our time reviewing it, you will have no regrets.
Size: 143 x 71 x 6.3 mm
Weight: 147 g
Colors: Golden, Silver
Operating System: ColorOS 2.1, Android 4.4
Taiwan/ Aus Version: ColorOS 2.1, Android 5.1.1
Processor: Qualcomm MSM8939 Octa-core
GPU: Adreno 405
RAM: 3 GB
Storage: 16 GB (Support microSD card)
Battery: 2320 mAh Li-Po Battery (unremovable)
Resolution: 1920 by 1080 pixels
Camera: 13-megapixel front camera: 8-megapixel Flash
SIM Card Type
Dual-SIM: Micro-SIM Card and Nano-SIM Card
The Oppo R7 for the review was supplied by www.amazon.co.uk and here is a link to the Oppo page on Amazon.