Oppo F7 First Impressions: A well-built selfie-smartphone that appears to check all the right boxes

Priced at Rs 21,990 for the base variant with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage, the Oppo F7 will be up against the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Moto X4 and the Moto Z2 Play.


Less than a week after the launch of the Vivo V9, arch-rivals (and sibling) Oppo has just launched its flagship smartphone, the Oppo F7 in India at an event in Mumbai.

Oppo F7 First Impressions: A well-built selfie-smartphone that appears to check all the right boxes

The Oppo F7

With an iPhone X-like notch on the top and an impressive 25 MP front camera, the Oppo F7 is clearly targeted towards selfie lovers who want a pretty looking phone that can click good selfies. Oppo also clearly has the Vivo V9 in its crosshairs, which is its direct rival in the segment.

Priced at Rs 21,990 for the base variant with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage, the Oppo F7 will be a mid-ranged market competitor, going straight up against the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, Moto X4 and also the Moto Z2 Play. Having played around with the device for an hour or so, the Oppo F7 does seem to click selfies in great detail but what else does it have to offer? Here are my first impressions of the phone.

Build and Design

Besides being a blatant rip-off of the iPhone X in terms of design, the Oppo F7 looks every bit a smartphone designed in 2018. It's not the slimmest of phones with a thickness of 7.5 mm, but the F7 does not feel too clunky either with a weight of 158 grams.

The Oppo F7's notch and front-face design looks a lot like the Vivo V9.

The Oppo F7's notch and front-face design looks a lot like the Vivo V9.

The front and back screens are made of glass, with a painted plastic frame.

The front and back screens of the Oppo F7 are made of glass, with a painted plastic frame.

The phone is made of glass screens and but has a sandwiches plastic frame, which is a minor disappointment but may not matter to most people. That said, the Oppo F7 feels sturdy with nice clicky buttons and no creaky bits.

The overall build quality of the Oppo F7 despite the plastic frame felt sturdy and solid.

The overall build quality of the Oppo F7 despite the plastic frame felt sturdy and solid.

On the right side of the phone, we find the SIM tray and the power button, while on the left we find the volume rockers. You might have to carry a cloth around though, as the back of the phone sports a glossy glass-like finish which is a fingerprint magnet.

Display

Leaving the notch aside, the Oppo F7 comes with a 6.23-inch IPS display, which has a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels. The aspect ratio here is 19:9, which is slightly different from the 18:9 displays we are used to seeing, but it certainly does turn heads.

The display on the Oppo F7 seems good enough save for the brightness levels.

The display on the Oppo F7 seems good enough save for the brightness levels.

Colours seem vibrant and the 89.09 percent screen-to-body ratio makes the display irresistible to look at. You might even find yourself staring at the lock screen multiple times like I did just to stare at the screen.

Peak brightness did feel a tad low which could make viewing the phone in direct sunlight an issue but we are yet to put the phone through its paces so it could be too soon to comment on that just yet.

Chipset, Storage and RAM

The Oppo F7 comes with MediaTek's newly launched Helio P60 octa-core SoC, which was strangely not talked about by Oppo in its presentation. The chipset here has four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz and four A53 cores also at 2.0 GHz. For graphics-heavy tasks, it features a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU.

As for RAM and storage, the phone comes with a healthy 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of onboard storage and there is a higher-end version with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. Both phones have the option to expand the storage up to 256 GB using the microSD card slot.

We received the 4 GB RAM/ 64 GB storage variant for our review and noticed that it comes with roughly 50.2 GB of available storage after the first boot.

OS and Software

The F7 comes with Oppo's ColorOS 5.0 built atop Android Oreo 8.1. If you are a fan of the clean vanilla experience then ColorOS will feel like a stark contrast to your tastes due to the bright colours and fancy animations.

Oppo includes face recognition and screen recording which are again borrowed from the iPhone X but are welcome additions nonetheless.

I will have more to say about the phone's software once I review the phone. However, in my short time with the Oppo F7, the software felt polished and I have not come across any lag so far. Navigating through the settings could take a while since a lot of the options are scattered, but that should be fine with time.

Camera

The camera is certainly the highlight of the Oppo F7 and looks very promising at first glance. The phone packs a single 16 MP rear-facing camera with an aperture of f/1.8 along with phase detection autofocus and an LED flash.

On the front, we get a 25 MP f/2.0 sensor which is a first on any smartphone so far. Oppo touted its use of artificial intelligence in the camera algorithms to enhance pictures but we will have to see for ourselves how that really impacts the resulting images. As for video, both cameras are capable of shooting at a maximum resolution of 1080p at 30 fps.

Oppo continues its tradition of using a primary camera with a smaller sensor as compared to the front.

Oppo continues its tradition of using a primary camera with a smaller sensor as compared to the front.

The company has thrown in a number of software tweaks into its camera app which uses artificial intelligence. This includes AI selfie, AI Beauty Technology 2.0 and real-time HDR modes in the camera. We also get cover shot and AR stickers, which we saw on its direct rival, the Vivo V9.

Battery and Connectivity

The battery here is a 3,400 mAh unit which seems adequate on paper but we will have to use the phone as a daily driver to find out whether that is true. There's no quick charging here on paper which means that you will be in trouble if you do happen to run out of juice are looking to quickly charge up your smartphone.

A micro USB port is kind of a disappointment for a smartphone in this price segment in 2018.

A micro USB port is kind of a disappointment for a smartphone in this price segment in 2018.

As for connectivity, users get Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 and support for 4G LTE radios with dual SIM support. There’s also GPS, a micro USB charging port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which Oppo thankfully did not leave out.

Conclusion

Oppo's approach to the mid-range segment does not seem to have changed much even though the competition seems to have drastically picked up the pace. Whether that holds any merit is something only time will tell but on paper, the F7 seems to be yet another stellar selfie-oriented flagship from Oppo.

Everyone's building all-rounders while Oppo sticks to its selfie-smartphone mantra.

Everyone's building all-rounders while Oppo sticks to its selfie-smartphone mantra.

As for the competition, the Oppo F7 is clearly an answer to the Vivo V9 which will be its biggest competition. That said, if you do love taking selfies then the Oppo F7 should clearly catch your attention. We will have to put both phones to the test to find out which of brands have successfully managed to ape the iPhone X and come out victorious.

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