Oppo A7 review: Waterdrop notch display, sleek design & excellent battery life
The A7 comes with ColorOS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 .
SPECIFICATIONS: 6.2-inch 19:9 waterdrop notch display, 1520 x 720 pixels, octa core Snapdragon 450 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, dedicated microSD slot, dual SIM, 13MP f2.2 + 2MP f2.4 dual rear camera, 16MP f2.0 front camera, rear fingerprint scanner, 4G with VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, 4,230mAh battery, Android 8.1, 168 grams
PROS: Sleek design with glass finish, water drop notch display with sleek bezels, excellent battery life, fast face unlock, good selfie camera, rear camera takes good images in daylight
CONS: Steep price, entry-level processor is a bottleneck, only 720p resolution display, plastic body, fingerprint magnet, weak low light camera performance
Oppo’s A7 is successor to the A5, launched very recently (in August this year). Like us, you must be wondering why Oppo is launching a successor so soon. It includes some of the key features from the A5 (like the big battery and large display) and a few noticeable upgrades.
The first thing you notice is the updated water drop notch display (the A5 had a wide notch). This type of notch looks premium and gives you more screen space. However, the screen resolution is still just 720p HD which feels out of place given the price of the phone. We liked the thin side bezels and sleek chin. It also has good sunlight legibility and shows vibrant colour. The rear panel stays mostly the same — a glossy finish back with vertical line pattern underneath. Oppo calls it a 3D artistic texture back and it makes the phone look great in our opinion. However, it is still plastic and it picks up smudges and fingerprints quickly — a clear case is provided in the box and we recommend using it from day one.
Hardware is another major letdown considering the asking price of the A7. Oppo has stuck with the entry-level Snapdragon 450 processor, choosing to only upgrade RAM to 4GB and internal storage to 64GB. This configuration is good enough for day-to-day usage, multi-tasking and basic games. PUBG works with low graphics and you’ll see it stutter every now and then. Battery life is the star of the show — the 4,230mAh battery regularly lasted for a day and half on a full charge.
Rear camera stays the same as the A5: 13MP + 2MP dual camera. Image quality is great and the camera captures high detail as long as there is ample light. Indoors and in low light, the details are lost and we could see visible noise. Video recording is capped at 1080p which is another feature that feels out of place for a phone that costs Rs 17k. Front camera gets an upgrade — it is a 16MP shooter with f2.0 aperture and wide-angle lens. The front camera delivers better results in terms of clarity and colour than the rear camera in our opinion. Both the rear and front camera have a portrait mode that is above average — you get good amount of bokeh, but the edge detection is not up to the competition.
The A7 comes with ColorOS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 and has various handy features built-in. We especially liked the face unlock which is easy to setup and works seamlessly. Another feature we found handy was the Smart Sidebar — it can be accessed with a simple swipe and allows you to launch pre-set apps in a floating window. This is very useful when you are watching a fullscreen video or reading a document and want to see/reply to an incoming notification or take a screenshot quickly. With the next update (5.2.1), the A7 is also expected to get HyperBoost. HyperBoost is Oppo’s answer to Honor’s GPU Turbo technology that will improve gaming performance on mid-range smartphones.
A few other good things about the Oppo A7 include the fast fingerprint scanner, loud speakers and a dedicated microSD slot for storage expansion. However, despite all of this, the A7 is priced way too high in our opinion. A phone with an entry-level processor and HD resolution display for Rs 17,000 is laughable considering you can get the Realme 2 Pro with a Snapdragon 660 processor, dewdrop notch full HD display and much better camera performance for just Rs 13,990.