OPPO officially unveiled 2018's first F-series smartphone, OPPO F7, in India last month, and the camera-centric smartphone is finally available via Flipkart and offline stores. But if you're still confused on whether or not OPPO F7 is worth purchasing, here's our complete review of the handset after closely monitoring it for two weeks.
Before we get started, let us quickly walk you through the key specifications of the F7 smartphone, which is priced at Rs 21,990. The special 6GB RAM edition with exquisite Diamond Black exterior costs Rs 26,990. But International Business Times, India, received the former 4GB RAM variant for review, which is likely going to attract the masses.
OPPO F7 key specifications
Display: 6.23-inch Full HD+ display with 19:9 aspect ratio
Rear camera: 16MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture
Front camera: 25MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture with AI Beauty 2.0
CPU: MediaTek P60 octa-core processor
Software: Android Oreo-based ColorOS 5.0
Add-ons: Dual SIM, fingerprint scanner, facial unlocking, 4G VoLTE, and more
While the specifications can easily win over buyers, sometimes it's more than what appears to be on paper that matters. OPPO F7 packs a decent software and hardware package for its price, which puts it at par with rivals Vivo V9 and others. Here's how the new OPPO smartphone truly stands in the market.
Design and display
We've already covered the design aspect in our early hands-on review last month. The full-screen display with a notch up top is certainly eye-catching and the extra screen real estate adds quite a value. The resolution is satisfying as we had no trouble using the phone under harsh sunlight, but the rear glossy finish attracted a lot of smudges leading to constant cleaning efforts in order to maintain the shiny look.
OPPO F7, compared to Vivo V9, feels bulky in hand, mainly due to the square edges rather than slimmed sharp ones. In terms of grip, we had no trouble with single-hand use, but reaching out to the notification areas can be challenging at times.
OPPO widely promoted F7 to be a selfie-centric smartphone, and after spending two weeks with the phone we couldn't agree more. The rear camera is nothing extraordinary. In fact, we found it to be at par with its predecessor, but the selfies have gotten better.
In the OPPO F5, AI's role wasn't really the talk of the hour. But the F7 changes that. The difference while shooting selfies using AI and without AI is quite evident and you'll end up relying on the AI to accurately beautify you. There's a smart detection for men and women, which separately beautifies the skin tone and removes blemishes without making it look too artificial. But the Bokeh is still far from perfect when we compare it against pros like Pixel 2 or budget phones like Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Overall, the F7's AI Beauty 2.0 is going to keep selfie lovers hooked to their phones longer than they usually do.
We tested the front camera under challenging lights, and the result wasn't too bad for a mid-range device. And OPPO boasted about AR stickers, which we had the chance to test. Frankly, it was accurate in placing props where they belong on a face, but the limited options and the boring selection didn't make us return to AR stickers often.
Take a look at a few sample shots straight out of F7's camera roll below (front and rear):
Here's a quick comparison of different modes offered in OPPO F7:
A good camera is nothing if the smartphone cannot last long enough. OPPO F7 doesn't disappoint. The battery generously lasts a day without having to turn off data. But that is with mixed usage of calls, messages, social media browsing, music and occasional gaming. The moment you start binge-watching your favorite Netflix show, be prepared to carry a power bank depending on how extensive your usage is.
For an average mobile user, OPPO F7 can easily last up to 10 hours, but power users might need a refuel after 7-8 hours, which is still an impressive feat.
However, the disappointment is with the lack of fast charging solution, especially knowing OPPO has one of the industry's best solutions – VOOC – under its reach. Without it, it takes almost two hours to fully charge the device.
OPPO F7 is not heavily packed with power. It packs decent hardware that just enough to get by the day without glitches. The MTK P60 processor with 4GB RAM did not disappoint, but some credits also go to the ColorOS, which makes operations smoother.
We used the F7 as a primary device for the most part of our review, and relying on the handset completely did not leave us stranded. For average users, there isn't going to be any trouble with unannounced lags or glitches. Power users can have games like Asphalt and enjoy the graphics without disappointment. But in our view, the best way to utilize the full-screen display is binge-watching TV shows and movies.
OPPO F7 strikes as a premium phone, but its mid-range pricing makes it a device for the masses. The F7 smartphone leads with its impressive selfies, premium display, customizable UI and reliable battery, the average performance and the lack of fast charging makes it less convincing.
OPPO F7 faces still competition from handsets like Vivo V9 and the cheaper Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. OPPO F7 stands a better chance of victory against its rivals with AI-powered selfies, but it matches and sometimes trails behind rivals in other aspects.