The OPPO F series has always produced wonderful devices. Most people associate them with selfie photography but often times, the devices turn out to excel in more areas than just taking photos. Does the new OPPO F7 go beyond being a selfie expert? Find out that and more on the review below.
Design and Display
OPPO F7 brings the first notch to the F series, I am a big fan of the notch as I indicated on the first impressions post; it not only makes the bezels smaller hence leaving more screen estate to the user but also makes the device look futuristic and elegant.
The back of the F7 hosts the fingerprint sensor and the rear camera. The paint job on all variants of the OPPO are breath-taking, you can have it in metallic red, black and silver. They have a special coating which makes light reflect beautifully on the phone’s surface bringing a premium vibe to it. The back is made of polycarbonate which keeps the weight surprisingly low (weighs less than the small iPhone X) but gets smudges easily if you do not put on the silicone case.
The 6.23 inch Full HD 1080p IPS LCD display has decently vibrant colors. If you want them warm, you can change it in the settings. At 421 ppi, the texts and images are crisp and the brightness is good for outdoors as long as you aren’t under direct sunlight. The notch lets you have a lot of screen real estate to work with, while fitting in a compact body. In fact, the F7 has a 82.5% screen-to-body ratio in a 19:9 aspect ratio display. That whole display is protected by the Gorilla Glass 5.
OPPO’s custom Color OS has always been familiar with the Apple iOS, it incorporates the best of Android and the iPhone experience. The new Color 0S 5.0 is no different, it is based on latest available Android 8.1 Oreo. OPPO continues to refine it and fix any problems that users have complained about in the past and we applaud that, for instance, the control center is gone, as much as it was a nice touch to differentiate their skin, it served as a breaking point to veteran Android users and introduced an unnecessary learning curve. You now access quick settings icons from the pull down notification bar, a familiar and simple move. The icons light up in different colors when you select them. Unfortunately, the iOS inspired notifications panel does not support swiping away to delete, you have to swipe to reveal the delete button first, then tap it to actually delete. We believe that that format is one step too far, especially considering that Android already supports swipe to delete.
Other new and exciting features include much improved full screen gestures for navigating back, home and accessing multitasking panel, they are much smoother and well defined than on the F5. A game mode has been introduced as well, it allocates all RAM and processing resources to the game for fluid operation and it even comes with a smart drawer which lets you take a screenshot of the game, record the action and even reach some apps quickly such as WhatsApp.
The lock-screen also saw some changes, there is a widget drawer – something that is borrowed from iOS – it lists all your widgets neatly on one whole page. Speaking of drawer, the app drawer is still missing by default, but that is something a simple launcher alternative can fix. Further optimization can be done via a dedicated theme store that comes preloaded on the F7. Face unlock is also available and pretty fast, it serves as a reliable alternative to the equally fast fingerprint reader behind the F7.
We are happy to report that the OPPO F7 operates like a champ, it is buttery smooth thanks to the powerful Mediatek Helio P60 and the generous 4GB RAM. Apps open fast and multitasking between multiple of them is a breeze too. Games also play smoothly without skipping frames even heavy titles like Asphalt 8 and NFS No Limits. After extended periods of playing, the F7 holds well and does not get uncomfortably hot.
The main attraction of the OPPO F series is its selfie taking abilities, am happy to say that the F7 maintains this legacy. It comes with a 16MP f1/8 bright rear camera and a whopping 25MP f/2.0 selfie camera, one of the largest pixel count on a front shooter today.
The cameras are backed with AI features which help with beautification and portarits on the front camera while it assists with image recognition on the rear imager. The app itself is pretty simple to use, you slide left or right to access different modes such as video, panorama, time lapse, sticker and a full-fledged manual mode called “Expert”
The rear camera produces very pleasing selfies with great colors and saturation. You are going to be impressed by the vibrancy and sharp detail it produces.
The front 25MP camera on the other hand maintains natural skin color tones. The AI beauty mode is produces realistic beauyl unlike other brands that make you look cartoonish. There’s a very smart feature which uses AI to learn how you edit your photos so that it can automatically produce pictures that have that effect without you needing to edit further. Smart indeed.
Portraits photos are also amazing, the camera can put not only you, but also your friends in a group shot with blurred background. The faces are put into focus while everthing else is blurred out to come out with a bokeh effect that looks like a 3D piece of art.
OPPO F7 have a single loud speaker that is decently loud. You can easily hear media from it as well as the other person in a phone call. Speaking of, call reception is great as well even through the earpiece. 3G as well as 4G LTE is supported in the Dual SIM setup perfectly too. Music through the 3.5mm audio jack via earphone is nice though the volume is average.
The 3400 mAh battery will last you way past the typical working hours of the day. This is made possible by the Helio P60 chipset that is made with 12nm fabrication. The 12nm translates to high energy efficiency which can be witnessed through the battery longevity. It takes about 2 hours from flat to full charge via the USB 2.0 (sorry no USB Type C yet which I do not mid at all), though 0-80% charging is done relatively fast.
- Very light weight and thin for a 6.23 inch device
- Excellent rear camera photos and vibrant colors
- Sharp selfies with realistically beautiful AI beauty
- The notch and small bezels leave lots of screen estate for the user
- Software is packed with useful features and runs smoothly
- Great performance and gaming
- Long battery life
- Some Apple iOS inspired features ruin the Android experience