Reviews

Oppo R7 Plus – Great Camera and Battery Life – Review

What I liked
  • Fantastic screen and a strong battery that runs the mobile for 2 days on a single charge. It has great camera and the Color OS UI skin is one among the mature UI skins available for Android.
What I didn’t like
  • At Rs 28,500 it is overpriced for a mobile powered by a mid range processor. Also the size of the mobile is too big to handle.

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The Oppo R7 plus undoubtedly a large mobile. I am not sure if this 6 inch device should be called a tablet or a phablet. It’s somewhere between a tablet and phablet. The day I held the mobile in my hands, I felt that this is something which I can never handle. But I was wrong. I sort of got used to this over the period of time and found my way around to using this large mobile. Oppo is a very aggressive mobile manufacturer. They are building a very strong retail base in India. Their range of mobiles have also been innovative and impressive. So does the R7 plus deserve a pat on the back? Lets dive in…

Design

I have already said it’s a large device, yet let me say it again. It is a 6 inch phablet which can be handled with 2 hands, if not a little help from your feet too. The R7 plus has a metal body and comes in 2 color variants: Silver and Gold. The metal body has a matte finish, but that doesn’t help with the grip at all. It is slippery and the mobile needs to be protected with a case or a cover for better handling. I also have to mention that the metal body gives it a premium build quality. The display on the front has a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The 2.5D smooth corners accentuates the premium design in the R7 Plus.

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The 13 MP camera at the back has laser assisted focus and dual LED flash. The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back, but I wouldn’t say its a convenient location, because of the size of the mobile. The scanner and the buttons are a bit hard to reach with your fingers as the mobile is tall. You would need both your hands to get to any of the buttons on this mobile. The speaker is at the back. The speaker is loud and clear for both audio from media and telephonic calls.

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The 8 MP front camera sits on top of the display along with the earpiece and the usual set of sensors. The bezels around the display is very thin and the navigation key is on-screen. Overall, the design in R7 plus is top-notch. If you are comfortable with using a 6 inch mobile, you will fall in love with this mobile instantly, else you will hate it only for its size.

Display

Oppo R7 plus has a 6 inch AMOLED display that supports full HD resolution. The display is crisp and reproduces vivid colors, yet with the right amount of saturation. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the glass curves to meet the metal body, giving it the aesthetic appeal. The display is very much readable and the mobile can be operated under direct sunlight. The AMOLED screen also adds to the effective usage of battery power in this mobile. I was on a 4 hour flight with this mobile and I was binging on TV episodes back to back for almost 3 hours. Not only that I enjoyed full HD content, I was also left with over 50% of battery life after 3 hours. The Eye protection mode makes the display warmer for better reading experience.

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Hardware

Imagine you buying a Honda City and then you find that it runs on a Maruti 800’s engine. That exactly how it feels to have this mobile. The mobile is all premium on the outside. But it runs on a mid level Snapdragon 615 processor. The 3 GB of RAM is a bit of a relief. It has 32 GB of internal memory. There is also a version of the R7 plus which has 64 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM. Memory can be expanded with a microSD card on the hybrid SIM tray, which means that you have to sacrifice the dual SIM capability of this device for more memory. The device supports USB OTG and it is a 4G enabled mobile. The R7 Plus has a finger print scanner and it unlocks the mobile in a flash of a second.

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The performance of the mobile is pretty decent. The UI is smooth and never lags. Graphic intensive games don’t stutter and apps don’t crash. The 3 GB of RAM is also good enough for multi-tasking. The device does not heat up at all. Even after 3 hour of non-stop video + gaming, the device remained cool under 37 degree Celsius. There is nothing to complain on the performance, but still you have paid for a Honda City and all you get is a 800 cc engine in it. Oppo must have though about this and wish the R7 had a better processor.

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Camera

The Oppo R7 has a 13 MP rear camera and a 8 MP front camera. I must say that I am totally impressed with the camera on this mobile. I have always stressed on the fact that the quality of the image is independent of the mega pixel count. This mobile has a f/2.2 aperture lens made by Schneider-Kreuznach and the sensor size is 1/3″. Each pixel in the sensor measures 1.12 µm. The camera UI has 2 levels. The first level is the view finder display and the design is an exact replica of iPhone camera. It has exposure adjustment control and AE/AF lock. The second level is where the magic happens. All the additional features of the camera add-on plugins. Features like HDR, ultra HD, Gif Animation, Audio photo, super macro, expert mode, shoot in RAW, etc can be added as desired. Super macro is my favorite feature.

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The synergy between top-notch hardware and sensible software always give you the best experience. The images out of this combination is truly impressive. The photos are sharp and have natural colors reproduced. The white balance, exposure and contrast levels are always spot on. You can also use the expert mode to adjust the parameters to get a better hold of the photos. The mobile lacks optical image stabilization. It is not evident unless you are shooting in low light or in the super macro mode. If you have a stable hand, the low light images are also good. Laser autofocus does its job right. Focus locking is instant and accurate. The front facing 8 MP camera is also equally good for those self portraits. Overall, it is one of the best camera mobiles I have used this year. In my recent trip to Meghalaya, I used the R7 Plus to click a lot of pictures and totally forgot about the DSLR in my bag. Check out the images for yourself.

Oppo R7 Plus Camera Samples

Software

Oppo R7 plus run on Android 5.1.1 with the Color OS 2.1 skinned on top. The Color OS is one of the most matured UI skins out there. It has tonnes of customization features. The themes are the theme store are endless. The wallpaper connects to an online repository and it has loads of wallpapers to suit your taste. The launcher has all the apps laid out in the desk and the extreme left screen can be configured to have the music widget. The notification tray is neatly stacked with sensible shortcuts. Also the UI has a huge list of customizable gestures for various operations. The R7 being a large mobile, a single swipe from the corner, enables the one hand operation. It has very few bloatware installed. Overall the UI is snappy and charming to use.

The themes are the theme store are endless. The wallpaper connects to an online repository and it has loads of wallpapers to suit your taste.
The themes are the theme store are endless. The wallpaper connects to an online repository and it has loads of wallpapers to suit your taste.
The notification tray is neatly stacked with sensible shortcuts
The notification tray is neatly stacked with sensible shortcuts

Battery

The R7 Plus is powered by a 4100 mAh Lithium Ion battery. Thanks to the software optimization, AMOLED display and 1080p resolution, the mobile can easily last for 2 days on a single charge with upto 11 hours of screen on time. Unfortunately my review unit did not come with the regular retail package or the VOOC charger. So I cannot comment on the fast charging capability of this device. In total, this is the only smart phone which lasted for over 40 hours on a single charge for me, till date.

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The only smartphone which lasted for over 40 hours on a single charge for me, till date.

Verdict

The Oppo R7 plus is a quality product. It has a great design, amazing battery life and a truly amazing camera. If you are comfortable with using large mobiles then you must definitely buy the Oppo R7 Plus. It is a bit over priced when compared to other chinese mobiles with similar specs, but if you compare the likes of Samsung or Sony, the R7 Plus is definitely priced fittingly. Thankfully Oppo mobiles are available from brick and mortar stores. The last I checked, it was retailing for Rs 28500 in Bangalore. I would suggest you to walk into a Oppo retail store and get a demo unit to check if the ergonomics fits you. And if that is a pass, go ahead and swipe the purchase and you will never regret it.

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Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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