Remember the time, when Apple took a beating for having a 'notch' on the top of its display? Guess what, eight months later, now that's something every smartphone brand must to have. Not that we are complaining, just emphasising on the fact that Apple should take a bow for introducing such an unsavoury design and still pass it on as mind-boggling innovation. But enough about the notch for now. The phone that we are reviewing today is the F7, the latest entrant by the selfie-centric smartphone brand OPPO. The unit that we tested was 'Solar Red', the most sought out colour scheme on this device.
We simply loved the gorgeous display of the phone. It features a 6.23-inch full HD+ IPS screen with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. So it's slightly bigger than the iPhone X but slightly smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S9+ - just so you understand how big of a screen-estate you are getting. The display's aspect ratio is 19:9 making it perfect for binge-watching your favourite TV shows.
Since the phone comes with a near edge to edge display, the navigation buttons are on screen too.
The notch of OPPO F7 is much smaller when compared to iPhone X. It houses the 25 MP front camera, the sensors, and the speaker. In the settings, you can see which of the apps are optimised to gobble up the notch. And if you want to switch off the notifications of the Notch Area Display, then you can do so in the settings too. Most of the apps I used worked fine. But some users reported that their Instagram app was facing issues with the notch area. That's not an app I frequent, so I couldn't test it firsthand.
OPPO F7 is powered by an Octacore processor on MediaTek Helio P60 chipset. As advertised, this chipset is similar to the one Apple has introduced in the iPhone X; designed for advanced AI processing and is built using new 12nm FinFET technology. This is certainly one top shelf chipset OPPO used for the phone and certainly, it puts it ahead of the competition. Our review unit came with 4GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Another version of the F7 is expected to hit the market soon with a 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage.
The GPU is Mali-G72 MP3 Graphics Processing Unit which is one of the best you can get for the price you are paying. Most of the games that you see on adverts these days can be played smoothly without any hiccup. Tempted by the ads, I too downloaded 'Hitman Sniper' where you get an Agent 47 look alike saving the world by taking down bad guys that even Police Snipers can't. The game ran stable and didn't lag for a bit. If you are the planning to buy the 6GB variant, then you can even shoot for the most demanding games in the market now.
As always, we have another iteration of the ColorOS. This UI is based on Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. As a geek, we always prefer the Vanilla Android, but that might not be the case for many as some find it hard to tweak the aesthetics within the phone. For them, ColorOS 5.0 is a bliss as you can easily pick and chose all the necessary changes in theme. And all of them supports the 19:9 ratio which you might not find in popular aftermarket UI tools.
Probably this is the part you have skipped to if you are planning to buy this phone. OPPO F7 comes loaded with an artificial intelligence based front shooter with a 25 MP Sony Sensor that can capture images at an aperture of f/2.0 to 'capture the real you'. But does it? The answer the question is both yes and no. The phone excels at taking selfies outdoors particularly when you are moving. The detailing is great even when you are indoors. If you like the colours to pop out in the photos make sure you turn on the Super Vivid Mode. You can also make your photos kinda Instagram-ish by using the inbuilt filters. The AR stickers were a new addition, but that's something most grown-up won't be interested in. The AI oversaturates the photos rendering them unpublishable time to time. But in most cases your nature picture perfect snaps will be more than ok with publishing on social media.
The single rear camera of the phone is a 16 MP unit with an aperture of f/1.8. It comes with all the modern gimmicks i.e. phase detection, autofocus, variable zooming etc. The rear camera is clearly low spec'd compared to most of the competitors in the market.
THE OTHER STUFF
The 3400 mAh battery can easily sustain an entire day's usage if you are not someone like me who uses his mobile as the primary access device for most things online. For me an average day means 3 hours of social media and texting, reading and answering more than 15/20 emails per 4 hours, weather updates, web browsing for 3 hours per day and listening to stored music for 2/3 hours. Doing all of these I had to charge the phone at 7/8 PM every day where I started using the phone at 9 AM.
Undoubtedly, the OPPO F7 is a massive leap from F3 and F5. They impressed everyone their top-notch shooter and slim figure. F7 upholds that legacy and continues to spearhead in the right direction. But a few places need improvement: material and build quality. We expected some sort of glass or metal finishing. To be honest, we wouldn't even mind the plastic body but it's a fingerprint magnet. We also expect the camera not to over-saturate most of the photos in sunlight. Some of the competitors do have a better rear camera but OPPO overcompensated that with the selfie camera. All in all, it's a good phone worth buying not just because it comes in flaming red.
Display: 6.23 inches, LTPS IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 19:9 ratio
OS: Color OS 5.0 based on Android 8.1 (Oreo)
CPU: Octa-core (4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU: Mali-G72 Mp3
Camera: Front-25 MP, f/2.0, 1080p & Back- 16 MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Features: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Battery: 3,400 MAh
Price: Tk. 29,990/-