Photo by Pradeep Gaur
Photo by Pradeep Gaur

Review: Oppo R7 Lite

This smartphone shows some promise and then falls behind the competition

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has priced the R7 Lite smartphone at 17,990, which puts it directly in competition with the Motorola Moto X Play ( 18,499), Xiaomi Mi 4 ( 14,999) and OnePlus One ( 17,999).

Sleek and sturdy

The R7 Lite is a well-built phone with the look and feel of more expensive flagship phones. The aluminium exterior feels more solid and comfortable in the hand than a glass or plastic finish. The sleek profile adds to the appeal. At 6.3mm, it is thinner than many of the premium phones, even if it is not lightweight (at 147g). The side buttons feel firm and are easily accessible with one hand. However, there is one design flaw—the camera protrudes a bit, increasing the risk of scratches every time the phone is put on a flat surface. Overall, the R7 Lite is one of the well-designed phones in the mid-range segment.

Low-resolution display

The phone has a 5-inch display with a screen resolution of 1,280x720p. The reality is that most phones in this price band, irrespective of screen size, now come with 1,920x1,080p displays—for example, the Xiaomi Mi 4 (5 inches) and the OnePlus One (5.5 inches). What it lacks in terms of screen size and resolution, however, it makes up for in colour reproduction and brightness. While the viewing angles are satisfactory, visibility in sunlight is poor mainly because of the reflective glass, which is glossy and smudges easily. It also packs in a rare blue-light filter that reduces eye strain by toning down a certain light emitted from the screen.

A well-designed OS

The R7 Lite runs the Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) operating system, with a colourful UI called the Color OS. It is well-designed, runs smoothly and is easy even for first-time users. This is a positive change, compared to custom skins like Xiaomi’s MIUI and Meizu’s Flyme. The biggest plus of the Color OS is that it offers plenty of customization—you can change the theme, home page, scroll style, add widgets. Also, the multitasking page looks much more detailed—it opens as a slide page, very similar to the multitasking page on Windows Phone, which offers a better view of what is running on an app.

Steady and reliable performance

Oppo has used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, which is paired with 2 GB RAM. The device handled most tasks with multiple apps in the background and games like Real Racing 3 without any issue and did not heat up. The R7 Lite supports 4G mobile networks, comes with 16 GB internal storage and a microSD card slot. The 2,320 mAh battery gets through a day on a single charge.

An average camera

The 13-megapixel camera has a wide range of professional modes. There is the slow shutter mode that increases exposure time to capture fast-moving objects better, while the Ultra HD mode upscales an ordinary shot by boosting the pixel count and the super macro is best for close-ups. These are good and fun ways of making the most of the camera. Yet, this camera doesn’t really impress. Though it captures detail well, it falls behind in terms of colour reproduction and image sharpness. We have seen better cameras in this range, including the OnePlus One and the Moto X Play. The 8-megapixel front camera is clear and wide enough for group selfies and video chats in good light.

Verdict

There is no doubt that the Oppo R7 Lite is a good-looking phone with an easy-to-use interface and offers slick performance. But it falls short of the OnePlus One (which has a better screen, camera and performance) and Moto X Play (which has a better screen, battery life and camera) in key attributes.

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