The Oppo R7, a slim fit at a great price

The elegantly shaped Oppo R7 comes with the right mix of hardware.
The elegantly shaped Oppo R7 comes with the right mix of hardware.PHOTO: OPPO

With cheap Chinese handsets, the common expectation is a phone with build quality that lacks heft and feels fragile.

This is especially so with smaller devices, with many coming across looking more like a toy than a smartphone.

Not so the Oppo R7.

The body of this 5-inch phone is made of aluminium and its edges are elegantly shaped, making it a nice fit in the hand.

The gold coloured review unit I tested does share certain similarities with the look of the iPhone 6 but, with the likes of Huawei and HTC also churning out great looking metallic shells to house their devices, it is hard to just credit Apple for their slightly more well-known design.

In terms of design, the use of 2.5D glass is something you are likely to notice first.

This curved-edged glass, which elevates the screen from the phone's body, is also used in the iPhone 6 and Xiaomi Mi Note. But the effect looks slightly more pronounced and curvy here because of the phone's thinness.

The rounding of the edges on the glass screen also makes it easier to slide a finger across from the edge, as there are no sharp edges to impede the motion.

The screen is vibrant-looking, with sharp colours that puts it on a par with the beautiful screen of the Huawei P8.

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4

    PERFORMANCE: 4

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3

    OVERALL: 4

But, if the screen is too small for you, there is the R7 Plus that you can consider. Recently launched by Oppo, it is a 6-inch phablet with almost the same hardware as the R7.

At 6.3mm thick, it is not as thin as its sibling R5. But the 3.5mm earphone jack, which could not fit on the R5, makes a return with the R7.

While the Snapdragon 615 processor does place this as a mid-range device, the use of an octa-core processor makes this a snappy phone.

It comes with Oppo's proprietary VOOC flash charge, which charges the phone up to 75 per cent in 30 minutes.

With the phone being so slim, a 2,320 mAh battery was all Oppo could fit, so it is unlikely to be able to last a day without recharging.

The 13MP camera is decent, but not great. The white balance is off, giving off a yellow hue for indoor shots. The quality of the images is good though.

Considering all of its built-in features, the R7 comes with the right mix of hardware and at a great price.

Sherwin Loh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'The Oppo R7, a slim fit at a great price'. Print Edition | Subscribe