According to IDC, in 2018, the top five smartphone brands in India were Xiaomi (opens in new tab), Samsung (opens in new tab), Vivo (opens in new tab), Lenovo (opens in new tab) and Oppo (opens in new tab). That’s four Chinese companies with one South Korean conglomerate thrown in for good measure.
Oppo’s claim to fame has been positioning itself as a 'selfie expert (opens in new tab)'. You know, for those annoying people you see at malls everywhere in Delhi. In all seriousness though, cashing in on how important the ‘perfect selfie’ has become doesn’t seem like the worst idea.
The F series isn’t Oppo’s line of flagship devices, that would be the R15 but the company seems to have no plans of launching it in India. That being said, the Oppo F7 borrows heavily from the R15. Both the devices run on the MediaTek Helio P60 (opens in new tab) SoC and feature the iPhone-X type notch.
The selfie specialist is priced to go head-to-head with the Vivo V9. Not only does it undercut the Vivo’s phone by Rs. 1,000 but the camera also compares better.
The Oppo F7 may not be the best phone in the mid-range segment, but it’s worth a look to see if the phone at least does what the company promises.
Price and availability
The 4GB RAM and 6GB storage variant, which is the one we tested, costs Rs 21,990. Oppo has another offering with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, which is priced Rs 26,990.
The phone hit the market on April 9, though the first flash sale happened on April 2. You can buy it online via Flipkart, Amazon or Paytm. If you prefer demoing the device before buying it, it’s also available offline through 777 Oppo stores.
Dimensions: 156 x 75.3 x 7.8 mm
OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Screen size: 6.23 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2280 pixels
CPU: MediaTek Helio P60
RAM: 4GB / 6GB
Storage: 64GB / 128GB
Rear camera: 16MP
Front camera: 25MP
Jio and ICICI have special offers for cashback and data if you buy the Oppo F7 but what’s more interesting is that Oppo is offering a one-year deal on replacing the screen of the new smartphone.
The device we’ve reviewed is Solar Red, but the phone is also available in Diamond Black and Platinum Silver.
Design and display
The Oppo F7 doesn’t look too premium or extremely cheap, it falls somewhere in between which is perfectly fine since it’s a mid-range phone. It hits the sweet spot with respect to weight. It’s not heavy enough to weigh you down but not so light that it doesn’t feel durable.
Where the phone falters is that it chose to use plastic with a glossy layer to make it shine like glass. I understand the appeal since most of the flagship phones have a glass back, but it attracts fingerprints like bees to honey.
You can polish the phone all you want but it’s only going to be truly clean if it isn’t touched.
While reviewing the phone, I’m pretty sure I spent more time cleaning it than actually using it.
The device doesn’t scratch too easily despite being thrown in with keys and what not, but it’s not impervious to external forces. Apparently keys aren’t tough enough but crumbs on the table scratch the screen if you pull it off the table rather than pick it up. This applies to the screen as well as the back of the phone. As far as I’m concerned, they’re both equally vulnerable.
The primary camera and the fingerprint sensor are located around the back with a MicroUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack (opens in new tab) at the bottom. Though the lack of a Type-C port (opens in new tab) is a little disappointing, retaining the headphone socket is a win in my books.
The new Oppo smartphone is also one of the many devices to employ the iPhone X-type notch. The F7 also manages to use it in a way that maximises utility, unlike the Vivo V9. With a 19:9 aspect ratio, the Oppo F7 lets compatible apps run in fullscreen and gives you the option of forcing apps to fullscreen if they’re not compatible.
With a 6.23-inch screen the phone is far from being compact or ergonomic but that is offset by the immersion when playing games or watching videos.