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The Oppo RX17 Neo is a real mix of great and slightly shoddy parts. Charging is a bit slow and the connector seems ancient. But, more important than either, the battery lasts for ages.
Its finishes look quite stunning but are all glitzed-up plastic. Motorola offers metal and glass phones at this price. And, the deciders for some, the version of Android at launch is almost two years old, and the custom interface is one of the weaker ones you’ll find.
There are real criticisms to make here. But after a week or so, the benefits of the battery life, solid camera and rich screen start to outweigh the annoyances.
Who's this for?
The Oppo RX17 Neo is for the more ambitious budget buyer who is willing to give a 'new' (to most western countries) phone brand a try.
Should you buy it?
This is a tricky one to judge. There are parts of the Oppo RX17 Neo we love, like its excellent battery life and bold screen.
However, charging that is both slow and micro USB-based seems totally out of place in 2019, and at the price you can get metal and glass phones. They feel more impressive, although Oppo has done a good job of making plastic look like glass here. Your hands won’t be too easily fooled, though.
Buy this if battery life is your top priority, and you’ve been put off Huawei and Honor phones recently.
Consider these alternative options:
Moto G7 Plus
The Moto G7 Plus arrived before everyone started making phones out of plastic again, so it’s still a low-cost stormer. Its back is lovely glass, the front is glass and the sides are aluminum. This is what a real low-cost, high-class phone feels like.
Sure, the notch is a bit uglier than the Oppo’s. And the chipset isn’t as powerful. And the battery doesn’t last quite as long. But it has proper fast charging and more consistent software. It’s a stronger all-rounder, if not necessarily the better choice for everyone.
Read our full Moto G7 Plus review
Motorola One Vision
This is the latest in Motorola’s slightly odd One series. These are like the G-series phones, but they have Android One software. There are some benefits, some drawbacks.
The Vision has a surprisingly powerful Samsung Exynos CPU. That’s right: Samsung CPU, definitely not a Samsung phone. The screen is 21:9 too and has a love-it-or-hate-it punch hole. However, just like the Oppo, it’s plastic.
Read our full Motorola One Vision review
Honor 20 Lite
Next up on the plastic bandwagon is the Honor 20 Lite. Honor used to be the master of cheap glass or aluminum phones, but this one is plastic apart from the front. Its software is a little more versatile than Oppo’s, and the fingerprint scanner is much faster.
However, these days we recommend the Oppo instead. The future for Honor phones is unclear now many companies have cut ties with Huawei (Honor's parent company). And the Oppo’s battery life is better.
Read our full Honor 20 Lite review
Gamers take note. Grab the Pocophone F1 by Xiaomi while you can. It has the Snapdragon 845 chipset, which decimates everything else in this rivals round-up, and the Oppo RX17 Neo.
You also get a great 12MP camera, the same as the Google Pixel 3a XL, although Google handles it better. Bad bits? Like so many in this 2019 class, it’s plastic.
Read our full Pocophone F1 review
First reviewed: June 2019
Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.