OPPO R7 Plus first impressions: makes a bold statement

“With a ginormous display, loaded internals, powerful camera hardware and a beefy battery unit, the R7 Plus comes across as a solid offering”

There was a time when phablets were said to be devices rocking screen sizes of more than 5-inches. But the mobile world changes fast – 5.5-inch display-toting phones have become a norm now, making us rethink the definition of phablets. The manufacturers have also noticed this shift in the market and are increasing the display dimensions even further to offer users an immersive viewing experience. Chinese brand OPPO also seems to be agreeing with this idea, as its latest smartphone being launched in India boasts a gargantuan 6-inch display. Christened R7 Plus, the smartphone seems to be quite loaded in the other aspects as well. Let’s delve a bit deeper and see what the device brings to the table, based on our initial impressions.

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Introduced in the ‘R’ family of OPPO, which is known for its styling, the R7 Plus surely goes a step further to impress with its looks. Built from metal, the phone is as premium as it can get. The device also has an impressive screen-to-body ratio, which makes it seem smaller than what it ought to be with its large display. It has minimalistic design elements at the front with narrow bezels around the sides, an earpiece, a front-facing camera and a couple of sensors above and OPPO’s logo below. Interestingly, unlike most smartphones from the company, the device gets navigation keys in the software interface instead of hardware buttons, for easier access.

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The front gently curves back to the edges thanks to the use of a 2.5D glass. Even with an enormous display, the footprint of the OPPO R7 Plus isn’t that big and we were easily able to hold it with a single hand. We were even able to perform some actions with one hand, although for most things, both hands would be needed. The slim profile (7.75mm) of the phone adds to the ergonomics factor, although it’s quite bulky and hence it takes some time to get used to it.

The power switch and ejectable SIM tray are placed on the right edge, while the distinct volume keys are available on the left. The 3.5mm audio interface and secondary mic is available on the top, whereas the micro-USB port along with the microphone input is present at the base.

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The unibody phablet sports a primary camera unit along with dual-LED flash, which juts out slightly at the back. You’ll also find a laser sensor (for speedy autofocus) alongside and a fingerprint scanner below. OPPO’s logo can be found towards the middle, while the speaker grille finds its place further below.

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The 6-inch display on the OPPO R7 Plus is a 1080p affair. Due to the large screen size, the pixel density of 367ppi doesn’t seem that impressive, but the display reproduces vibrant colours and offers sharp text.  It’s viewing angles also seemed to be quite good.

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OPPO has done quite a few innovations in the camera department for its devices such as the N1 (review) and N3 (review), which came equipped with rotating camera modules. The R7 Plus also seems to offer solid camera hardware and features a Sony IMX278 sensor which uses RGBW subpixels to enhance the image quality. Enhancing the photography experience further is the laser-aided focus that lets you focus on the subject within a few milliseconds, even when the lighting is poor. There’s also a dual-LED flash to offer artificial lighting in dimly-lit environments. For selfies and video calls, the handset features an 8MP shooter at the front.

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The 32GB in-built storage should be enough to handle your most usage requirements, be it for installation of apps or storing multimedia content since about 20GB space is available to you. However, if that doesn’t meet your needs, then you can extend the storage by making use of a microSD card. Although it must be noted that microSD card can be inserted in the hybrid slot, which means either you can use the OPPO R7 Plus as a dual-SIM smartphone or add more storage. Other connectivity options remain standard – 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

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OPPO’s ColorOS v2.1 handles the software aspect on the R7 Plus, and is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Sadly, the Chinese manufacturer has decided to stick to its own design philosophy and doesn’t follow Google’s Material Design. Right from the lock screen to homescreen, notification panel and even icons, all of them have been heavily customised. The UI merges both the homescreen and app launcher into one and all the apps are present upfront. 

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We’ve talked about the outards and the interface of the OPPO R7 Plus… now let’s check out what powers it from the inside. The phablet features Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor offering two quad-core clusters ticking at 1.5GHz and 1.0GHz respectively. The CPU is complemented by a generous 3GB of RAM. The combination is quite good and should be able to handle heavy games and multitasking with ease, although we can be only sure of that once we review the device. Although, we didn’t run into any performance issues during our time spent with it.

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Fuelling the large OPPO R7 Plus is 4,100mAh battery, which should easily allow the phone to last more than a day. You can also activate various battery-saving modes to extend the life. Of course, the device is VOOC charging-compatible and the brand claims that it can run two hours with just five minutes of charging.

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The OPPO R7 Plus is a notable offering for those who’re looking for device that blurs the line between a phone and a slate even further. It’s priced at Rs 29,990 and will be available to buy starting September 25th. While there are some large-screen options such as the Sony Xperia C5 Ultra (first impressions) and Samsung Galaxy A8 (first impressions) in its price band, OPPO’s offering gets an edge with its 3GB RAM and a powerful battery.

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