Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is no stranger to India, but now it has its sights set on the budget flagship market segment. Budget is, after all, what Oppo does best, with most of its devices hovering around the $500 mark, competing with the likes of OnePlus and LG.
Now the company is introducing the R line to India, starting with the new R17 and R17 Pro models. Curiously, aside from the SoC, the units are identical; the Pro moniker in this case gets you a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 over the regular edition’s 670. The processor choice Oppo made is interesting because most of this device’s competitors, and even its own Find X, run the 845. Apparently, this is the sacrifice required to lower the phone into budget territory.
In lieu of a faster processor, the R17 line packs three rear cameras, one of which is used specifically for 3D photography. Adding a second camera, then a third, became the new industry-wide trend this year, so it’s unsurprising to see the R17 follow suit. A 25MP selfie camera rests in a small notch on the front, intruding upon the 6.4-inch FHD+ screen, which is reinforced by Gorilla Glass 6.
A “radiant mist” or “emerald green” finish cloaks the device, concealing perhaps the R17’s most exclusive feature: 50W fast charging. In a mere 10 minutes, the battery goes from empty to 40%. It achieves this impressive feat thanks to Oppo’s Super VOOC technology which increases the electrical current instead of wattage. On the R17, Oppo also split the 3,700mAh battery in half. While refilling, each half takes a 25W juice-up simultaneously. The company was consistently among the quickest in our charging tests back in 2016 and it’s reasonable to expect it to maintain its lead.
Other improvements over the previous generation include industry standards such as USB Type-C at the expense of losing the headphone jack, a microSD slot alongside 128GB of internal storage, and Bluetooth 5.0. Oppo is making two versions of the R17, offering either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, but only the latter will be sold in India. Out of the box, it runs Android 8.1 Oreo, which is obviously a disappointment, especially since its main competitor, the 6T, starts with 9.0 Pie.
Pricing for the R17 starts at 34,990 rupees, while the Pro costs 45,990 rupees. The Pro is currently available for preorder from Amazon India. After this year’s #phonepocalypse, we asked which phone was your favorite, and a majority of you picked the 6T, so the R17 has its work cut out for it. Does Oppo have the secret formula with the R17 to take on the crowd favorite in the world’s second largest market?