OPPO R7 Lite first impressions: a head-turner, but not a spec scorcher

“The R7 Lite might share its name with its bigger sibling, the R7 Plus, but there are a lot of differences between the two”

Chinese brands have proliferated the Indian market with their devices straddling different price points. OPPO is also one such manufacturer with its phones available in the affordable segment and going all the way up to the high-end category. Now it has expanded its portfolio with the launch of two more models in the subcontinent – the R7 Plus and R7 Lite. We’ve already taken a look at the R7 Plus, now let’s check out its smaller sibling. To find out what we think about the R7 Lite based on the brief time we spent with it, read on for our hands-on impressions.

OPPO R7 Plus vs R7 Lite (1) OPPO R7 Plus vs R7 Lite (2)

The OPPO R7 Lite is a successor to the R5 (review), which once held the record of being the slimmest phone in the world with the razor-thin profile of 4.85mm. However, the brand has decided not to chase the slimness title anymore, even though the new phone still remains quite lean at 6.3mm. Unlike its gargantuan brother, the R7 Lite is based around a display panel measuring 5-inches. This allows the handset to be quite compact and we were able to operate it comfortably with a single hand. The unibody device is also quite lightweight as it tips the scales at 147g.

OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 01

Just like the R7 Plus, the R7 Lite is constructed primarily from metal and hence is a looker. The metal not only makes the device premium, it also makes it robust.

The fascia holds the screen, with the earpiece, front snapper and a few sensors placed above and a row of capacitive navigation keys below. While the phone is compact, the screen-to-body ratio is way below today’s standards and too much space seems to be wasted around the display.

OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 02 OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 03

Talking about button and port placements, you’ll find the power toggle located on the left, while the volume keys are placed on the right spine along with an ejectable SIM tray. The earphone socket lies up top, whereas the micro-USB port can be found at the base.

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OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 30 OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 29

The rear panel of the OPPO R7 Lite has a contrasting look as compared to the front with its matte finish instead of a shiny glossy panel. The unit we played with was silver, but there’s a gold variant as well. The back sports the primary camera unit, which protrudes a little and is supplemented by an LED flash. You’ll also find a noise-cancellation microphone, along with a speaker grille further below.

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The 5-inch IPS display panel of the OPPO R7 Lite bears HD resolution, and reproduces crisp visuals. The brightness levels were adequate and the screen can be viewed comfortably even at acute viewing angles. It’s protected by a layer of the third-gen Corning Gorilla Glass.

OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 06

Under the bonnet, the OPPO R7 Lite is fuelled by Qualcomm’s octa-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. The chipset is backed by 2 gigs of RAM to ensure smooth functioning. Based on our few minutes of usage, the handset was able to handle everything with ease, be it navigating between screens or switching between apps. However, the actual potential of the hardware can only be known when we try graphic-intensive games games on it and run multiple apps simultaneously.

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16GB flash memory handles your storage needs, which provides around 8.75GB to the end user. The available storage is barely enough for installation of apps and games, hence the hybrid slot is a great option allowing you to extend the storage by another 128GB with the use of a microSD card.

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For photography, the OPPO R7 Lite features a 13-megapixel shooter, which is capable of recording videos at 1080p resolution. For better focussing, the device comes with phase detection autofocus in addition to the usual contrast detection autofocus mechanism. There’s an LED flash as well to assist while shooting in poorly-lit environments. The phone also comes with a 5MP camera at the front for selfies or video calls.

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On the software front, the OPPO R7 Lite comes with the brand’s proprietary ROM called ColorOS v2.1 which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. We’ve already taken a look at the UI and its elements in our reviews of OPPO devices earlier, and the same features exist here. There’s also support for various gestures, and you can use them when the screen is off or on.

OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 08 OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 04 OPPO R7 Lite first impressions 14

The connectivity options on offer include support for 4G, dual-SIM slots (the secondary slot can either be used for cellular connection or for memory expansion), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. A 2,320mAh battery provides juice to the package. Thanks to Qualcomm’s quick charging feature, the phone can be charged quickly, although we feel that the battery capacity seems a tad low, at least on paper.

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The OPPO R7 Lite comes across as a solid mid-range offering, however its pricing of Rs 17,999 pits it against some powerful devices such as the Xiaomi Mi4 (review | cheatsheet), OnePlus One (review | cheatsheet) and ASUS ZenFone Selfie (first impressions).

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