Retaining its position as one of the top smartphone brands in the country, OPPO continues to introduce new devices that cater to the varying needs of the diverse smartphone crowd. The company’s latest device is the newest addition to their A Series lineup–the OPPO A7. This midrange OPPO phone offers big battery, dual rear cameras, and a big screen with waterdrop notch for only P13,990.
We took the OPPO A7 for a spin and here’s our experience with the device.
Design & Construction
First thing you’ll see looking at the A7 is its waterdrop notch, which smaller than the one on the older A5 and definitely much in tune with current trends. In front, this A Series device looks pretty similar to the OPPO F9, except for the rear design. At the back, the plastic rear cover comes with a glossy but textured finish, which allows you to have a good grip on the phone. When light hits the back, it produces a beautiful effect on our Glaring Gold review unit. Some design accents on the phone, which can also be found on the Glaze Blue model, are the gold rings around the rear cameras, LED flash, and fingerprint sensor. The gold variant can be too flashy (a great thing if you want to grab attention); the blue colorway seems easier to pair with your clothes and accessories.
The OPPO A7 has a good heft to it, but it’s not that heavy that you’d be uncomfortable holding it with one hand for a long time. The buttons are ergonomically placed–volume keys on the left side and power button on the right. The SIM and dedicated microSD card tray is located on the left. All ports–microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, and speakers–can be found at the bottom.
Display & Multimedia
The 6.2-inch InCell display, with the addition of the waterdrop notch design, offers a big screen real estate for you to play around on your phone. The bezels around the screen are quite slim, except for the chin, which is quite thick compared to the other sides. Moreover, the notch can only house the front camera, so OPPO decided to forgo the notification LED.
The screen is also also bright, produces great color, and provides good viewing angles. However, the 720 x 1520 HD+ resolution can be a downside, considering the phone’s price. Other brands offer smartphones with higher screen resolution at the same price point. Because of the HD+ resolution, icons and text appear a little soft and graphics show a little jaggedness on the side at times. Nonetheless, watching and playing games on this phone is still a great experience all in all.
Audio on the A7 is loud on maximum volume, but it turns a bit tinny by then. It’s best to use headphones when you watch videos or stream music for better experience.
The A7’s dual rear cameras–a 13MP primary shooter with f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP depth sensing sensor–are pretty standard for its category. The rear shooters produce decent images under good lighting conditions, i.e. broad daylight. The colors are good, not too vibrant and fairly saturated. Low-lit scenes are on the other side of the coin as images tend to be noisy and lacking in detail. Autofocus is a bit slow, too, since OPPO decided not to equip the A7 with PDAF. But again, steady hands and proper lighting get the job done. The macro shots and bokeh photos are surprisingly good on this camera phone.
In front, the 16-megapixel front shooter with f/2.0 aperture, like the rear shooters, performs well on daylight. Night shots are grainy but still decent. The beautification feature is quite aggressive, but this is something to expect from all OPPO phones. The OPPO smartphone also offers various camera modes, including Panorama, Stickers, and Timelapse. In terms on videos, the phone produces average quality videos at 1080p max.
The big sell for the OPPO A7 is its huge 4,230mAh battery. For basic use, which is mostly text, calls, and internet browsing, the phone can last two almost three days of use in one full charge. When used for heavy tasks like music and video streaming, as well as graphic-intensive games, the handset can still post almost 24 hours of run time. Charging this device from empty to full takes about almost two hours. Sadly, the OPPO A7 doesn’t come with OPPO’s VOOC fast charging technology.
Under the hood, the 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor paired with 4GB of RAM provides decent performance. Plus, this OPPO midrange handset runs on ColorOS 5.2, based on Android 8.1 Oreo, which is neat and intuitive. Launching apps is swift, multi-tasking is possible and seamless, and never once had we experienced lags during our review. On the lowest setting, games like PUBG runs smooth on the smartphone without any hitch. The 64GB internal storage is enough for your file saving needs, plus it can still be expanded up to a whopping 256GB via microSD if you need more memory space.
Security-wise, the rear fingerprint sensor unlocks in just a few seconds; same goes for the face recognition feature if done in well-lit places. The A7 also offers a plethora of connectivity features–Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, USB OTG, and 4G LTE. This device also comes packing with basic sensors like accelerometer, compass, light sensor, gyroscope, and navigation.
The OPPO A7 continues the company’s tradition of offering feature-packed yet affordable devices. This phone’s major selling points are its waterdrop notch display, dual rear cameras, stylish design, and of course, the huge battery. The A7 also offers a decent performance, so it’s P13,990 price is reasonable enough. However, with the recent price drop on OPPO’s flagship smartphone F9, you might just want to save a few more thousands and get the higher-end device with much better specs. But if the brand lowers the price of the A7, we say it’s already a really good deal to buy the OPPO A7.