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OPPO A7 Review: Tough to recommend in mid-range price point
Priced at Rs 16,990 the device offers a display with teardrop notch and a massive 4,230mAH battery unit.
OPPO as a smartphone manufacturer is widely known for best-in-class VOOC Flash Charging technology and selfie-centric smartphones. The company sells budget and mid-range smartphones under 'A' and 'F' series in India and has recently added OPPO A7 in its portfolio.
- Good design
- Decent camera output
- Long lasting battery
- Entry level specs at slightly higher price
- Not suitable for gaming and power-intensive tasks
- Camera struggles in low light situations
The smartphone is the successor of previously launched OPPO A5 and improves on a number of features to take on other mid-range handsets such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max pro M2, Realme smartphones, etc.
Priced at Rs 16,990 the device offers a display with teardrop notch and a massive 4,230mAH battery unit. Despite carrying a mid-range price tag the smartphone offers entry-level hardware which makes it look underpowered when compared to the above-mentioned handsets. But as we all know that the on-paper specs don't always tell the real story, we tested the handset for a week to evaluate its performance. Here's our comprehensive review of the OPPO A7.
Design: Looks and feels like OPPO F9
OPPO A7 looks and feels like an affordable OPPO F9. The smartphone comes with an all-plastic body, which has been given a glossy finish at the rear panel. Despite the plastic body, OPPO A7 does not come across as a cheap looking phone, and in fact looks premium than some of its competitors. The back panel has curved edges and sides to give the big phone some level of ergonomics.
Glossy back panel is an absolute fingerprint magnet
Unlike the tending gradient color pattern, the smartphone features a slightly glossy back panel with two color options including Gold and Blue. The review unit which we received was of Golden color and it looks pretty good in hands. However, the rear panel on the OPPO A7 is an absolute fingerprint magnet. Like every other handset with glossy rear panel, OPPO A7also picks up fingerprints from the moment you pick it up. You get the dual-lens camera setup and a fingerprint scanner at the rear panel of the device. The camera unit is placed horizontally at the top left corner with golden linings around it. The fingerprint scanner is placed at the center and is placed ideally so that our fingers rest naturally on it while we hold the device.
Decent looks but fails to offer something new:
Coming to the placement of the keys, the volume adjusters along with the SIM card tray is placed at the left panel of the smartphone. The power key is accommodated at the right panel. It is good to see that the device has keys on both the side panels and no side has been left empty. The smartphone has a microUSB port for charging and data transfers which are placed along with the speaker grille and 3.5mm jack at the bottom of the smartphone. Overall, the Oppo A7 is a good-looking smartphone; however, it fails to offer anything new in terms of design.
Display: 6.2-inch HD+ panel with teardrop notch
OPPO A7 boasts a tall 6.2-inch HD+ display panel. The display offers an aspect ratio of 19:9 and has a resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels with a pixel density of 271 PPI. There is a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top for added screen protection. The display is quite vibrant and responsive; however, it is not as crisp as the 1080p displays offered by competitors such as Redmi Note 6 Pro, Honor 8X and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2.
The display on OPPO A7 comes with a teardrop notch up top which accommodates the front camera. Sadly, there's no option to hide this notch within display settings. OPPO A7 is not the best-in-class device to stream videos and play games due to low screen resolution. The videos look good but you will miss the crispness delivered by Full HD screens. Same goes for the games as the device is only good for enjoying casual games.
Camera: Dual-lens rear camera module
OPPO A7 sports a dual-lens rear camera setup which comprises of a 13MP primary sensor that has an f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP depth sensor with a darker f/2.4 aperture value. The rear camera is paired with LED flashlight. Coming onto the picture quality captured by the rear camera, the images show acceptable detailing in favorable lighting conditions. Color look natural and the camera also feels snappy. You also get a good range of filters and effects to experiment with the images you capture. OPPO A7 may not be the best camera smartphone out there in this price segment, but it definitely is an impressive snapper. The colors captured by the rear camera are balanced and it doesn't animate the images. The bokeh effect produced by the rear camera is also impressive considering that there is just a 2MP sensor for depth sensing. The rear snapper can record 1080p videos at 30fps. However, when it comes to capturing images in challenging light situations the output produced is not that impressive. The camera struggles while capturing images in low-light situations and the output is not up to the mark. Redmi Note 6 Pro and Honor 8X are clearly better camera handsets in this price-point.
The front camera on the Oppo A7 packs a 16MP lens which is used to capture selfies and for video calls. The selfies clicked by the front camera are quite appealing and it manages to deliver some good output both in good and challenging light situations. The front camera also has a beauty mode but it animates the images quite a lot.
Performance: Middling performance
OPPO A7 draws its power from Qualcomm's entry-segment Snapdragon 450 processor clocked at 1.8GHz which is a letdown considering the price point it is selling for. OPPO A7 is a mid-tier segment device; therefore, a mid-range Qualcomm processor such as the Snapdragon 610 or Snapdragon 635 would have made more sense. The processor onboard is further paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The inbuilt storage on the smartphone is expandable up to 25GB via microSD card slot.
I played some games which are not very graphics heavy and didn't experience any noticeable lag during the gameplay. You might experience slight hiccups with continuous game playback and the device warms up a bit during the prolonged gaming sessions. Overall, OPPO A7 is not built for high-end gaming.
The smartphone ships with Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box with Oppo's proprietary ColorOS 5.2 skin on top. The UI is very colorful and offers a smooth user experience. The Android skin offers gestures, shortcuts, and some really useful software features that made me like the software performance of this mid-range handset.
Battery: Long-lasting battery life is the savior
The smartphone is fuelled by a big 4,230mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery unit with no fast charging support. The device does give a stellar performance when it comes to the battery backup. The Oppo A7 lasts for an entire day with moderate to heavy usage and you will not need to plug in the device twice in a day to refuel the battery. As it misses on the Quick Charge support, it takes over two hours to charge the smartphone from zero percent to 100 percent, which is a letdown.
OPPO A7 is a mid-range smartphone that carries a price tag of Rs. 16,990 but packs entry-level processor and a subpar screen. At this price range, other smartphones such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Honor 8X, etc. offer better cameras and faster processors. It is very tough to recommend this smartphone as competitors are fat better overall mid-range handsets.