We review the R7 Plus!
Phablets are big business – almost every phone brand has released a phone that has a screen of 6-inches or more in recent memory. From Sony to Samsung to Huawei and Lenovo, brands know that there will always be people who want a phone with a large display for better media consumption. The problem with big screen phones is that their strength is also their greatest weakness – big screens mean big phones, and big phones aren’t exactly what you’d call manageable in two hands, never mind one. OPPO’s R7 Plus is a phablet that aims to buck that trend – providing a big screen experience that’s actually comfortable to use.
OPPO R7 Plus specs:
- 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 6-inch full HD AMOLED display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 32GB of storage, expandable up to 128GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera, f/2.2 aperture
- 8-megapixel frotn camera, f/2.4 aperture
- 3G, LTE
- WiFI, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- Color OS 2.1
- 4,100mAh battery
A big screen phone that’s comfortable to use
While phablets are a boon for consuming media, their inherent size makes them quite a challenge to use, especially when you have small hands. That’s usually because the body that houses the display and all the relevant bits is typically bigger than the display itself, making a phablet closer to a tablet in size compared to a regular phone. Companies like Samsung, Huawei and now OPPO get around this by drastically reducing the bezels surrounding the display to squeeze more screen into the body, which in turn, reduces the actual size of the device.
OPPO’s certainly gone all-out in terms of trying to reduce the size of the bezels surrounding the 6-inch display. Both the top and bottom bezels are surprisingly thin, which makes the R7 Plus only very slightly taller than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5. The side bezels are impressive as well, and while they aren’t exactly as bezel-less than what OPPO wanted us to believe with the numerous leaks before the official announcement, they are thin enough to further reduce the size of the phone.
The result is a phone that has a monstrously large screen that’s still manageable in the hands. Using the phone one-handed isn’t as good as using a smaller, 5-incher but it’s manageable, and our right thumb could access approximately 60% of the screen when we held it in our right hand. Despite containing a massive 4100mAh battery inside, the R7 Plus’ body is only 7.8mm thick.
As far as design goes, the R7 Plus is one of the better ones out in the market today. The phone uses an aluminum unibody that closely resembles the design of their rival, Huawei’s Mate 7. Just like the Mate 7, OPPO has an integrated a fingerprint scanner on the back of the R7 Plus to facilitate faster unlocks using your finger, and can store up to five digit’s worth of data. The back of the phone also sports the 13-megapixel rear camera, along with a laser AF module on its right side.
Physical controls are distributed on the left and right side of the phone, which contain the volume rocker and power button, respectively. The 3.5mm jack is placed on the top of the device while the USB port is located on the bottom. Disappointingly, OPPO has opted for a more traditional speaker grille placement on the back of the phone, which means the sound that the R7 Plus produces suffers when it’s laying on its back, screen up. The SIM slot is on the right side of the phone, and true to form one of the SIM slots can pull double duty as a microSD expansion slot if you feel that the 32GB of internal storage isn’t enough for you.
The OPPO R7 Plus uses a full HD AMOLED display that works out to around 367 ppi. You can certainly see pixels here and there if you strain hard enough, but honestly that’s a non-issue with this phone. The AMOLED panel is bright, has luscious blacks and very punchy colors and doesn’t suffer at all when you take it outside. Watching movies and playing games on the spacious 6-inch display is fantastic and pleasurable.
Just like other brands from China, OPPO has imbued their devices with their own UI overlay, dubbed ColorOS. The overlay makes the UI more akin to an iPhone rather than an Android phone, and adds a host of options like screen gestures and theme customization to really make your phone your own.
Mid-range hardware works well but doesn’t have the oomph to compete with flagships
You’d assume that OPPO’s R7 Plus would sport the latest and greatest processor from Qualcomm, right? Wrong. The OPPO R7 Plus uses a rather pedestrian Snapdragon 615 processor paired with 3GB of RAM to keep things running. To be fair to the R7 Plus, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor is more than capable of keeping the phone quick and snappy, and we never had any kind of navigation or UI related slowdowns because of it. Still, we were hoping for something gruntier under the hood, especially considering the good looks of the phone on the outside – we would have welcomed a Snapdragon 808 processor in there, though its inclusion may raise the price of the R7 Plus to unmanageable levels.
The only time you’ll ever feel the Snapdragon 615’s lack of power is when you’re playing graphically demanding games. Games like Modern Combat 5 ran well though we did hit a few lag spikes here and there while playing. That’s the same story for Marvel Future Fight though games like Clash of Clans won’t pose any kind of problems to the R7 Plus.
We’re also liking how the R7 Plus stays cool even under full load. It’s older brother, the R5, was one of the first phones to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 processor with less than stellar results, sometimes warming to the point where using it was physically uncomfortable. The R7 Plus in contrast stayed cool during our time with it, only occasionally getting a bit warm.
The R7 Plus uses Sony’s IMX278 Exmor RS sensor, paired with a f/2.2 aperture lens. Overall the camera managed to capture good quality photos in a mix of shooting conditions, with above average image quality. Some detail is lost when shooting in darker environs, but that’s to be expected with any phone really. The R7 Plus has a rather decent camera considering the specs.
Stellar two-day battery life
If there’s one thing that the mid-range Snapdragon 615 processor delivers, it’s energy efficiency. Couple that with the 4100mAh battery, and you have the makings of a phone that can run for a long, long time before needing to be charged. The R7 Plus managed to score 9 hours and 2 minutes in our PCMark Battery Benchmark, which puts it right behind the Zenfone Laser in terms of battery life. That equates to two days worth of actual usage, though just like the Zenfone Laser the R7 Plus was at the end of its rope by the start of the second day.
Even if you manage to drain the R7 Plus, the included VOOC fast charger can charge the phone to more than 50% in less than hour, which is pretty great.
Verdict: No matter how you cut it, the R7 Plus is a solid mid-range phablet that does a lot of things well
Ultimately, OPPO’s R7 Plus is a mid-range phablet that sacrifices high-end specs for better longevity and overall cheaper price. While it’s no match for the sheer power of competing flagships from Samsung and their ilk, the R7 Plus brings a good mix of features and enhancements that make living with a big screen phone slightly more palatable than usual. While OPPO hasn’t officially announced the pricing of the R7 Plus in the PH (that’ll happen later tonight) we’re expecting the phone to be priced at around 21K – 22K in our currency. At those prices, it becomes a very tempting phone for people who want to upgrade to a bigger screen without spending a ton of money.
Read more about OPPO’s R7 Plus: