Oppo’s $529 mid-range metal smartphone reviewed
With phones hitting well and truly past the thousand dollar mark, the mid-range is now the attractive area to price a device, and with a tag of $529 outright and a decent spec sheet, Oppo’s R7s may well offer some of the best value out there.
Oppo has been a busy bee of late, and the R7s is the latest attempt for the company to wedge itself in as a provider of solidly built middle ground machines.
This is the third model we’ve seen that carries the “R7” moniker, and really it feels like this one is targeted to the person that just wants a solid mid-rounder capable of surviving the day, which is what the specs indicate.
As such, you’ll find the Oppo R7s arrives with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 eight-core processor paired with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage, though it can support a microSD if you have one and are using a microSIM.
Google’s Android 5.1 “Lollipop” runs on the Oppo R7s, though it’s a little different from the standard installation as Oppo has customised it into its own operating system called “ColorOS”.
A 5.5 inch Full HD AMOLED screen covers this chip, showing up the 1920×1080 resolution with roughly 400 pixels per inch and a layer of Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 4 protecting it.
The screen also protects the rest of the innards in the R7s, which includes connection options for Category 4 4G LTE, 802.11ac with backwards compatibility for 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and support for GPS.
Cameras can also be found here, with a 13 megapixel shooter with flash and Full HD video capture on the back, while the front-facing camera relies on an 8 megapixel camera.
There aren’t many ports or buttons, though, something that goes part and parcel with phones of today, so expect two main ports here — a microUSB port at the very bottom while a 3.5mm headset jack sits up top — while the physical buttons sit on the other sides, with the left and right serving up individual volume buttons for up and down on the left while power sits on the right.
The battery on the Oppo R7s is rated at 3070mAh and is not removable.
Take the Oppo R7s out of its box and the first thing you’ll be greeted with is a phone that looks more premium than the price you paid for it.
That’s really the first feeling, and it’s hard not to experience this, simply because the glass has a slight curve to the sides while the edges and body are decked in a casing made from aluminium.
This one material helps to cement the Oppo R7 as a relatively premium product, because while other mid-range models stick with plastic as the main material behind a glass screen, Oppo has gone right for metal, something other brands have struggled to come to grips with.
Here on the R7s, the design is easy to carry and feels surprisingly good in the hands thanks to that sub-7mm (6.95mm) thickness, despite the edges of the device not so much being smooth and featuring a pronounced edge as the casing bevels into the back.
That element can detract from the otherwise premium finish, but it’s not one that will pull away from the feeling that you’re getting metal for in a phone for $529.
Despite that mid-range price, one area that Oppo’s R7s really handles itself in is performance, with the combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 eight-core chip working very well with 4GB RAM.
That’s a rare amount of memory, with this amount only appearing on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ recently, and it tends to signify performance.
With that said, the Snapdragon 615 isn’t a total benchmark destroyer, but it can certainly handle its own, and we found very few glaring performance problems with this pairing. Occasionally it would slow, but for the most part, the Oppo R7s just hums along.
Even the storage amount appears decent, with 32GB found inside this mid-range handset, though when all is said and done, there’s a little over 20GB for you to play with.
That’s a little better than the 16GB minimums you see on handsets, so that’s something you can take to the bank.