The company Oppos has recently added a new phone to it’s A-series called the Oppo A7, and it is emphasizing tis battery life and camera as the main selling point. It sports a smaller and more fashionable notch, more storage, and a more recent version of ColorOS. At 16,990, the oppo A7 will face very tough competition from the likes of Realme, Nokia, and Xiami, not to mention the oppo F9
Oppo A7 design
It has waterdrop notch, which makes it look quite modern. As a matter of fact, it looks pretty much identical to the Oppo F9, save for a different pattern on the back. The plastic body has a matte finish on the sides and a laminated back. It is big phone but thankfully at 168g, it is fairly light. The pre- applied scratch guard on the display gets in the way when you swipe inwards from the sides, which is not a very good feeling. The volume button placement is good. The SIM tray on the left can accommodate two Nano-SIMs and dedicated microSD card upto 256 GB. The 6.2 inch LCD has good brightness and colors, but the resolution in only HD+ which is disappointing, especially at this price. As a result, icons and text appear a little soft, and edges have a bit of jaggedness if you look closely. It’s not that bad otherwise, but it’s still lagging behind the competition. The phone has notch which gives you more screen space on the top but the phone has no notification light. The display is slim but the chin is quite thick. All the ports are at the bottom, include the Micro-USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket, and microphone.
The phone has dual camera module, LED flash, and the fingerprint sensor. The latter is quick at authentication. There is face recognitionwhich works very well, just as we have experienced on recent phones such as the Realme 2 Pro and Realme U1.
Specification and software
The phone has Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 or MediaTek Helio p60 processor. The phone comes up with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The RAM does not really do much when it comes to raw performance. The phone has dual 4G with VoLTE support. Other specification include Bluetooth 4.2, single-band WIFI, USB-OTG, FM radio, basic sensor like a compass, accelerometer, light sensor and gyroscope and support for three navigation system. The Oppo A7 runs on ColorOS 5.2 which is based on Android 8.1. Our unit had the fairly recent November 2018 security patch. This is the latest version of Oppo’s custom OS, which we recently saw on the Realme U1. Notifications can now be swiped away in one go.
You get new features like ORoaming, which lets you subscribe to data packs when you travel abroad, and Smart Scan, which lets shoot and convert text into an editable form or even have it translated to different languages (Hindi language support is present). You get plenty of shortcuts and gestures too, including the Smart Sidebar, which is a tray with app shortcuts and can be accessed from within any app with a simple gesture.
The main annoyance is the “news flashes” from the default browser and ads from Oppo’s app store, which keep appearing in the notification shade. We managed to disable the pop-ups from the app store but weren’t able to stop the browser from sending notifications, despite opting out from the app’s settings section. We even tried to “Force stop” the app, but that didn’t help either.
Performance , cameras, and battery life
The Oppo A7 runs general apps and simple games well, but even with 4GB of RAM, we didn’t have a very smooth and consistent experience. There was a bit of lag when switching between apps, and even simple tasks like taking a screenshot took longer than it typically should.
The phone does run quite cool even when streaming videos or playing a game, which is good. Heavier titles like PUBG Mobile and Shadowgun Legends were playable, but only at the lowest settings. The single speaker gets decently loud but the sound is tinny and unsatisfying for music or movies.
The camera of the phone are pretty standard. The phone has 13 megapixel primary sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and a second 2-megapixel sensor with a f/2.4 for depth sensing. The autofocus is slow since there is no PDAF, but under good light and when we were holding it steady, the A7 did capture some decent landscape shots. The oppo A7 camera really struggle in low light. The speed of focusing drops and the narrow aperture does not let in enough light for a bright image. We had to wait a couple of seconds before the camera locked focus, or else we would end up with a slightly soft shot detaisl weak and colours appeared mushy.
The phone has 16 megapixel selfie camera which capture some nice shots but the camera performance is not good in night. Video recording tops out at 1080p.
The phone has 4,230mAh battery as it predecessor and offer excellent battery life. It lasted for 19 hours 43 min which is very good. There is no fast charging but the 10W adapter fully charges the battery in about two and half hours.
It’s difficult to love the Oppo A7, because sadly, it doesn’t bring anything new or fresh to the table. Battery life is this phone’s only strong point, but honestly, even that’s not worth the Rs. 16,990 asking price. The A7 would have been a good choice in the sub-Rs. 10,000 segment, but at its current price, it feels completely out of place.