Photo: HT Brand Studio
Photo: HT Brand Studio

Long gone are the days when you had to spend the big bucks to buy a fabulous phone. In fact, you’d be surprised how most mid-segment phones today— especially from OEMs such as OPPO — can up the style quotient with the right contours, the finish, and the shine. Not only do they look good, but they also feel great to hold. Not the flimsy plastic of yesteryear, and the lackluster screens with massive bezels. Today, you can expect much more. We recently had an opportunity to review one such looker – the OPPO A7. Read below to see what we discovered when we spent a few days with it.

OPPO is back with ‘the drop’, i.e. the iconic water drop design that they pioneered with the F9 Pro. The OPPO A7 comes with a 4GB RAM memory and internal storage of 64 GB, which is expandable up to 256 GB using a micro SD card. The phone’s front camera is at a 16-megapixel image resolution, while the dual-camera rear setup is at 13 and 2 mega-pixels. This decision to have a better resolution on the front-facing camera may appear odd at first, but it makes sense for a brand that has been known for producing great ‘selfie’ camera phones.

Design & OS

A waterdrop screen on the front gives the user more screen real estate, namely all 6.2 inches of it. The result is a 19:9 aspect ratio, which will hopefully convince people to view videos in landscape mode (yes, there are too many ‘portrait mode’ viewers and it feels like quite a waste). The screen’s resolution of 1520 x 720 pixels is standard fare in this seg-ment, but the screen’s colours really pop, making video-viewing and gaming an engaging experience (and some pretty powerful speakers enhance those experiences!).

Makes perfect sense, therefore, for such colours to be complemented by a ColorOS 5.2 operating system, running on Android v8.1. The OS is quite easy on the eyes with its soft rounded menu corners, with white backgrounds that improve readability. What we espe-cially loved was the way the long-press and context menus slide in from the right or left edge of the screen. The phone comes pre-loaded with the Google stock apps, and has a few other useful apps like a Compass, a One-Tap Lockscreen option, an FM Radio and a Clone Phone feature. The latter makes shifting from an old device a breeze.

The screen itself is encased in one of the more beautiful smartphone form factors you’ll see in the market. The waterdrop design on the front carries forward the tradition set by the F9 Pro but flip the phone around, and you’ll be greeted by another innovation from OPPO’s design labs: a metallic surface with a beautiful, soft reflection gradient. This par-ticular model is the Glaring Gold variant, but there is also a Glaze Blue model. Upon closer inspection, one notices diagonal grooves etched into the phone, which prevent the phone from slipping out of your hands. A phone that feels like it should belong in a castle is actually in your hands for quite a competitive price, so OPPO has really hit this one out of the park.

Camera

The phone’s camera has been spoken about briefly earlier, so here are a few photos with both the front and rear camera setups.

Photos: HT Brand Studio
Photos: HT Brand Studio

As you can see, the colours look quite authentic, the images aren’t washed out and the resolution is quite sharp. However, selfies are what OPPO is known for, and thanks to the 16 MP camera, we get some really great selfies as well. There is also quite a collection of AR stickers available for the selfie enthusiasts out there, and what’s most impressive is how well they track your face in real time.

Performance

All these features, however, need a solid powerhouse to run it. The OPPO A7’s power-house is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor and a whopping 4230 mAh of battery power. For the entire duration that we’ve had the phone, up until the time this review was written, we’ve had to charge the battery a grand total of ONCE. That’s a 2-day battery back-up. Such a long-lasting battery can be of great reassurance to a potential buyer and might even be what seals the deal.

This new smartphone falls into the mid-range segment with a price of 16,990. Overall, the OPPO A7 may come with the standard hardware for its price point, but its outer beauty from back to front, its speedy and innovatively designed OS, and most importantly, its massive battery back-up, should make a lot of people reconsider purchasing a different phone within this price range.

Photo: HT Brand Studio
Photo: HT Brand Studio
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