-Solid metal unibody construction
-Large vibrant display
-Good low light camera performance
-VOOC rapid charging
-Accurate/faster fingerprint scanner
-Long lasting battery life
-Weak rear speaker
-Metal body can be slippery
The OPPO R7 has proven to be a solid mid-range smartphone with very few sacrifices and a price point that can’t be easily beat. It has been a couple months since we reviewed that phone, and now we find ourselves holding its larger brother, the OPPO R7 Plus.
As you can expect, the Plus version is definitely larger, but what else can the handset bring to the table? I have been playing around with the OPPO R7 Plus long enough and am ready to tell you all about it, so let’s get this review started.
The OPPO R7 had a great design, so it only makes sense that the Plus iteration follows the same course. In terms of aesthetics, the OPPO R7 Plus does pretty much look like a larger R7. The metallic body curves around the sides, where you can find chamfered edges extending along the entire perimeter of the device.
Metal phones are no joke, and the OPPO R7 Plus feels great. One thing is for sure, though, this is definitely one large smartphone. It helps that it’s only 7.8 mm thick, but one-handing it will still be complicated for most users. This is no big deal for those who prefer larger smartphones, but one can become uneasy when handling it, especially considering the phone’s smooth finish makes it feel rather slippery.
Buttons are conveniently placed on the left and right of the device, making shuffling less of a problem. You can find the 3.5 mm headset jack up top and the microUSB port on the bottom. On the front you have your usual set-up: there’s a screen, a front-facing cameras, an LED notification light, the ambient system and the proximity sensor. Turn the phone around and you will find the main camera, a fingerprint reader and a single speaker.
We know the OPPO R7 Plus has a large screen, but that is only part of the viewing experience. There are many factors that can make or break a display. We must keep in mind this is an affordable phone, though, so we can’t expect it to do miracles.
The OPPO R7 Plus display is good, but it’s nothing to really write home about. For starters, the 6-inch Super AMOLED panel only has a 1080p resolution. At 6 inches you can start noticing some pixels, but the 367 ppi pixel density is still pretty good. You won’t have trouble reading texts or enjoying your media.
Because this phone does sport a Super AMOLED panel, you will enjoy the deep blacks and vibrant colors these screens are so known for. The display does also have good viewing angles and brightness, making it a pleasure to view in direct sunlight.
The internals in the OPPO R7 Plus are identical to those in the smaller iteration. The device sports a Snapdragon 615 processor and 3 GB of RAM. This chipset has proven to be a success with other handsets, and we see no exception here. This little guy runs great, especially once you start noticing the ColorOS optimizations, which make boot times and app launching faster.
I experienced no hiccups during my time with this handset, and that is saying much for a $480 gadget. I played games and used the phone for all my daily purposes, so it’s not like I went easy on it either. And event though ColorOS can be a bit heavy, everything was smooth sailing.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering – the phone doesn’t overheat. Sure, it gets warm after long gaming periods, but that is to be expected.
Other hardware includes the typical technology: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, etc. One downside many of you won’t be fond of is that the phone only comes with 32 GB. There are no other options, but OPPO did make up for that by adding microSD card support.
If we move to the back and take a look at that single speaker, you will find the sound is nothing extraordinary. It gets the job done, but that’s about it. I am also not a fan of the speaker placement (it’s on the back). We found it very easy to muffle the sound, whether you are holding the phone or laying it flat on a table.
There’s another interesting piece of hardware back there, though. One that you will probably enjoy more. That fingerprint scanner is convenient, as well as very reliable. This scanner is as fast and accurate as those in the Galaxy S6, HTC One M9+ or even the iPhone. Seeing fingerprint readers on the back of devices is no longer rare, and I happen to be a fan of putting them on the back of handsets, as that is where one’s index finger naturally rests.
For many of us, this is the most important factor. We want to know smartphones can keep up with our busy days. Thankfully, the OPPO R7 Plus has a gigantic 4100 mAh battery. The phone usually surpasses the 5-hour screen on time, even if I am playing games and streaming video. In fact, the phone usually lasted me a whole day and a good part of the second. It was hard to kill it in one day, to be honest.
And if you do run out of battery, the OPPO R7 Plus sports VOOC rapid charging. This is specially good in this over-sized phone, which would usually take a long time to charge.
The camera is another very important factor, and OPPO is not skimping out on this department. The R7 Plus comes with a 13 MP main shooter featuring an f/2.2 aperture and Schneider-Kreuznach optics, as well as laser auto-focus and an LED flash. On the front we have an 8 MP camera, which should also make you look great in video calls and selfies.
But hey, those are just numbers. How well does the camera actually perform? It really does. Images in normal light are sharp and offer plenty of detail. In addition, color accuracy is outstanding, dynamic range is decent and shooting speeds are quite snappy.
Once you move to a darker environment, things change. You will notice shutters getting slower, but ultimately results are actually quite great (all things considered). This is mostly because of OPPO’s RGBW sensor, which adds a white pixel to to the usual RGB set-up. This is said to increase light sensitivity by 32% and reduce noise by 78%.
In terms of software, you will find a very simple camera interface. You can easily swipe your way between shooting modes. You can also tap on an icon to reveal functions like beautify, ultra HD, slow shutter, live filters, GIFS, HDR and Panorama.
In terms of software, we are looking at Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with OPPO’s ColorOS on top. If you are looking for the difference between the R7 and R7 plus, this is pretty much the biggest one. The smaller device was launched with Android 4.4 KitKat. You won’t be able to tell the difference very well, though, as ColorOS hides every aesthetic element you can find in either of these Android versions.
The UI looks very similar to what you find in other Chinese smartphones. There is no app drawer, and your home screens house every app in your phone. If you can get past that, you will find ColorOS is actually quite simple, sleek and pleasant. The icons, transparencies and colors happen to look rather good.
In addition, you can enjoy features like double tapping to wake, drawing an “O” in the screen to launch the camera and even set your very own gestures. These features may seem gimmicky, but they can actually be quite helpful if you take the time to set them up.
Price and conclusion
The OPPO R7 Plus find itself in a tight spot, because it’s not really a high-end handset, but it’s also not at the same level as most other mid-range devices. This is something the price also corroborates, as the phone is expected to launch at about $480. You can pay about $300 for many other affordable smartphones, but with those you happen to make much more sacrifices.
Sure, the device is no steal, but we believe the price is justifiable. This thing is made of metal, has insane battery life and ample screen real estate. Not to mention performance is still great. For these reasons, we’re giving the excellent OPPO R7 Plus our Editors’ Choice award.