Oppo is no stranger to making thin well built Smartphones and the Oppo R7s is not exception. It’s 5.5 inch AMOLED display is a head turner and the Snapdragon 615 processor with 4GB or RAM gives excellent performance and great battery life. With so many great $400 phones out there what makes the Oppo R7s stand out? Keep reading to find out.
Hardware – Built Like a Tank
If you’ve ever held an Oppo Smartphone, you’ll know exactly what to expect, it feels like a tank but it’s very thin and light. The Metal alloy comes with a special coating to maintain the finish of the 7mm thin device. Gorilla Glass 4 covers the 5.5 inch AMOLED display with a 1080presolution and a 2.5D shape which Oppo calls Arc Edge. Under the hood we’ve got a Snapdragon 615 with 32GB storage & 4GB of RAM which really helps to make the phone feel snappy along side a 3070mAh battery. The rear camera is 13MP while the front is 8MP with dual SIMs and Oppo’s own ColorOS 2.1 user interface over Android 5.1. Fast charge seems to standard on all Oppo device which we’re grateful for, 75% in 30 min with the right charger is a god send.
I immediately put the R7s in the provided case which pretty much the 2.5D Arc on the display mute since it’s essentially hidden. The volume rocker is on the lefthand side and the power button on the right. A few people I’ve shown the phone to have commented that it reminds them of an iPhone, personally I don’t see it, but the volume rocker on the left, power button on the right and speaker placement are the same as the iPhone 6S It is however, where Oppo has been placing their buttons for a few iterations now.
The Oppo R7s hardware is premium, full stop. There are no compromises being made when it comes to the hardware build.
Design – Way Sexier Than $400
The Oppo R7s is a good looking phone, clad in metal that offers a few different colors we’ve got the gold but you can also pick it up in silver and rose gold. It’s super slim 6.95 or 7mm and it has the same durable build we’ve seen from Oppo, remember when they made that video of R5 cracking nuts? I bet you could do the same thing with the R7s (though why you’d want to I have no idea). It’s also light at 155 grams which makes it hard to believe they’ve packed a 3070mAh battery in there, but when we get around to talking about battery life you’ll be glad they did.
The Oppo R7s has svelt dimentions 151.8 x 75.4 x 7 mm and weighs in at 155grams.
Display – Bright & Vibrant
The 5.5-inch AMOLED display is full HD at 1,920×1,080 pixels, and Gorilla Glass 4 helps protect it from scratches. Viewing angles are wide and the display brightness is useful in full sunlight. It also possible to turn the brightness way down which is nice when surfing in the dark. The R7s has a 72.9% screen-to-body ratio and a pixel density of 401, there is a very thin black boarder which lines the display which usually I find quite irritating but it’s a very thin boarder and it hasn’t been visible. For me it’s one of those things once you see it you can’t un-see it, but it’s thin enough that it does blend in. The bezel is actually only 2mm, what can happen when companies make this claim is they add an inner boarder which isn’t actually the bezel.
Camera – Good, Not Great
The 13MP camera on the rear has an f2.2 aperture and f/2.2 aperture and Schneider-Kreuznach optics, on the front we’ve got an 8MP selfie camera that made me look well rested (sort of). 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 and you can tell that there is quite a bit of post processing and tremendous loss of detail.
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.
When things go into average lighting the color saturation and accuracy become less than perfect, the photo of the Android doll above are a primary example.
Taking a look at the front facing 8MP camera selfies in low light are granular in good lighting the beautification mode works quite well. I go from tired to pore-less and less tired look about me.
Connectivity – International Edition Comes with 4G LTE
The international version has LTE Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20/TD-40 which makes it compatible with all German operators as well as those in the US. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, WiFi Direct, hotspot A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 an Accelerometer, proximity sensor & compass. Through the microUSB 2.0 connecter we’ve got a fast battery charging like the rest of the Oppo line you can get to a 75% charge in 30 min. This requires their a fast charging charger, it won’t happen with just any charger and cable. Also included is a microSD, up to 128 GB that uses SIM 2 slot.
Sound – Not Booming But Loud
I can’t say that the thin physical dimensions of the R7s lend to deep rich full sound, but when you crank it all the way up it’s surprises with it’s volume and non distorted delivery. If you need to share a video or music for a while it has the chomps to deliver. I put it on this morning to listen to a podcast while getting ready, it was loud enough that I could head to the bathroom 5m away and still follow along. It wasn’t cranked all the way up either. It’s loud enough for phone call, put it on speaker mode it’s audible and doesn’t feel distorted.
Performance – Snapdragon 615 is Buttery Smooth
It’s easy to call out a Smartphone as midrange when it has a Snapdragon 615, and usually when I’ve reviewed a device with this processor there are a few tell tale signs. The camera is slow to open, the UI stutters a bit when navigating around the phones many screens. In the week I’ve been living in the R7s I haven’t seen a single slip up. Color OS 2.1 and Android 5.1 are perfectly tuned.
Taking a look at the benchmarks this is exactly what you expect from a midrange processor like the Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 which is a Octa Core with a Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53. You also get an Adreno 405 GPU with 4GB of RAM which really negates a few of the issues I’ve seen on the 615 running on other handsets. The OnePlus X camera just took ages to load, adding in more RAM helped speed up that task.
Software – ColorOS 2.1 Is a Good Iteration of Android
There are two styles of Android, the official Google version that comes with an App drawer and ones that don’t. The Oppo R7s has no App drawer, so if you want to search for an app you have to the only time I feel this is an issue is if there is no search capabilities to find apps, I often forget what folder I’ve placed something in and going to Google Play to look at what is installed your device isn’t much of a solution.
Oppo has recently released Color 2.1 for Android 5.1 and it runs like butter. We’ve got a new flatter design and a more responsive user interface compared to previous builds. Oppo has also removed a handful of features in order to optimize the RAM and get rid of resource hungry functions. Some of the features that have been dropped are a bunch of icons and widgets on the lock screen, weather function in the launcher and dial tones. By removing them ColorOS 2.1 is lighter, faster, more stable and less power hungry.
The Smart Lock Screen is also new with this update, you can be enabled it in Settings > Safety & Privacy. Besides that it comes with the ability of disable Google apps when editing home screen and several fixes including patches for the latest Stagefright Exploit.
Gestures are available both on screen and off, to be honest the one I use the most is double tap to wake up and you can also double tap to put your phone to sleep. On occasion I do actually run two fingers up and down the display to adjust the volume or 3 fingers to take a screen shot. Now that I’ve written that, I actually use a number of gestures. I just don’t draw a O to turn on the camera, though I might try to get into it seeing as I’ve missed a few shots because it took too long to get to the app.
In addition, the device features an “eye protection display” mode that places a warm hue over everything when triggered, which is perfect for users with sensitive eyes.
When it comes to the software I only have a few issues. The long press to pull up the multitasking screen takes too long, I’m not sure this is a performance thing, I think its a UI element choice. The icons and UI feels a bit cartoon-ish for my liking. Even heading into the Theme store it’s hard to find a Theme that makes me feel like I’m an adult and I have the simple clean elegant UI to go with my grown up life. Or just the desire for a sleek and clean UI should just be provided. Oppo does get this as they’ve launched project spectrum for the Find 7, but that doesn’t do much to help up with the UI of the R7s.
Battery Life – All Day Long
The Oppo R7s comes with all day battery life, 2 hours travel time with consistent use coupled with messaging to meet up with several people in the evening, listening to music for 3 hours via Bluetooth, 3 phone calls and listening to 20 minutes of Podcasts using the speaker left me with 3% battery the next morning when I woke up. I have to admit that the battery life did shock me a bit even though I was aware it had a 3070mAh battery the 7mm thinness gave me doubts. The quick charge also helps. I’ve gotten into a habit of forgetting to charge my phone and popping it on the charger for just a few minutes since it has quick charge, charging is no longer a top priority.
Pricing – $400 is Good Value
$400 is a good price for a smartphone with great performance and is built like a tank. The all metal chassis is a proven design that is rugged and well above the $400 price point.
Customers in Europe will be able to order the smartphone directly through the official OppoStyle store. Those of you living on France, Germany or the UK will also be able to grab the smartphone through Amazon. UK pre-orders can already be found over at Amazon with a £259 retail price, which translates into a €349 tag for other Europeans.