Oppo has just announced the R7 Plus – a new phablet for its mid-range device family – but it also comes with news of a sequel to the R5, the Oppo R7.
There was much to like about the Oppo R5, not least the cheap price, but Oppo has built on what it had already achieved and thrown in a few more features to keep you interested.
The R7 comes with a similar design to the R5 but subtle changes all over make it feel like a vast improvement and you notice it a few seconds after picking it up.
There’s a 5-inch 1080p display on the front that looks bright and displays images really well – it’s top notch considering the pricing on the R7.
Along the bottom on the front are buttons embedded into the bezel, but not physical keys, to get to the app menu, home and back. These feel the wrong way round for many Western users as many are used to having back on the left and there’s no way of changing that around – it’s irritating but I’m sure I’d get used to it after a couple of days use.
On the left hand edge is the power button, I’d prefer it on the left hand side but it’s an easy position your middle finger to reach if you’re right handed and lefties amongst us will be overjoyed to use their thumb.
The right hand edge are the volume keys, I found my thumb instinctively sitting on the up button but it was quite easy to press down and it may get irritating if it does that all the time.
It’s a full metal uni-body available in either silver or gold and it looks lovely and doesn’t feel half bad in the hand either. Rounded off corners on the back mean you’re not getting that scratchy feeling you can sometimes get from metal and it’s surprisingly easy to keep a grip of.
The design also features something Oppo are calling 2.5D curves on the display where the corners curve off the edge of the phone giving it a nice effect to the sides. It’s a shame there is the metal jumping up before you hit the edge though – if it was all rounded it’d feel a lot comfier and it feels like a misstep in the design.
On the back the camera sits to the left hand side at the top and offers a 13MP sensor packed with new features such as super-fast autofocus, PDAF face detection and improved anti-shake optimisation.
Oppo has also worked on the software to give a the camera a superfast launch feature meaning the app will open up and you’ll be ready to take a shot in 0.7 seconds.
The ColorOS has been improved greatly too with the upgrade to 2.1 meaning a whole new redesign, new looks for key apps and vast improvements to crash rates bringing them down to 0.3%. That’s way below the 3% Android average.
Sadly it’s only based on Android 4.4 KitKat. I don’t really understand why but Oppo has not included the Android 5.1 adapted software that is gracing this phones older sibling, the R7 Plus, and there’s currently no update on whether it’ll be upgraded in the future.
I’ve got my fingers crossed for the update but any improvement to the ColorOS is a step in the right direction and Oppo seem to know it needed work.
Under the hood is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor clocked at 1.5GHz accompanied by 3GB of RAM. It’s not the most powerful set up on earth but in our limited time testing it we noticed some vast improvements compared to previous Oppo devices making moving around the phone and opening up apps much quicker.
We’ll be sure to put it properly through it’s paces when we test it for the full review.
You’re restricted to 16GB of storage here – a real bug bearer for me – and it’s a shame Oppo hasn’t thrown in some extra but you can always add to it with microSD support up to 128GB.
Battery wise it doesn’t look great either with 2320mAh cell. Maybe the optimisation of the software will give it some real strength but it sounds low for a device of this kind and Oppo has been pushing it’s VOOC fast charging feature hard suggesting it’s worried about battery life.
VOOC does mean you can charge your device to 75% in only 30 minutes, which is a great feature not many manufacturers can offer, but I’d rather see it in partnership with a real hardy battery.
Chinese pricing for the Oppo R7 is very competitive this time around with it only costing 2499 yuan. A straight up conversion makes it around £260, $400 or $510AUS but it’s likely to cost a little bit more than that. That’s just the way these things work.
If it’s only a little more the Oppo R7 would be a steal but with my time on both phones I prefer the R7 Plus phablet that only costs 500 yuan more. It offers a bigger display and some extra key features like a fingerprint sensor so if I was to choose I’d go for that.
All in all though the R7 is a great looking, quality built phone and if it’s priced right it’ll be suitable for those looking for power at a low price.
We’ve been told it’ll be a mid-June release date for Oppo’s Western markets but there’s no hard set date confirmed just yet.
- Why not read our hands-on review of the Oppo R7 plus?