What we liked:
* Solid build and attractive design
* Good performance
* Good camera
* Dedicated microSD card slot
* Above average battery life
What we didn’t:
* No LED notifications light
* MicroUSB port instead of USB Type-C
* No fast charging
* No OIS and Video Stabilization
OPPO is one of those brands that quickly adapts to the latest design trends. When 18:9 screens were trending, they released the F5 in the Philippines. Now that we have the notch design, the company released its successor, the OPPO F7. Is the notch the only thing this phone has to offer? Find out in our review.
Design and Construction
The OPPO F7, on the front, looks similar to its cousin in China, the OPPO R15. It has a large 6.23-inch display with a tiny notch that houses the 25MP selfie camera, earpiece, and sensor. An LED notification light is absent though, which is weird. Protecting them is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and a pre-installed screen protector.
The F7 uses on-screen navigation buttons so you won’t find any capacitive keys in the slim bezel at the bottom.
On the left are the volume buttons, while on the right are the power/lock button and the triple-slot tray for two nano-sized SIM cards and a microSD card.
Found up top is the secondary microphone, while down below are the loudspeaker, main microphone, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. If you’re expecting a USB Type-C port, sad to say, OPPO equipped it with a microUSB.
Flip it on its back and you will see the protruding 16MP shooter, LED flash, oblong fingerprint scanner, and the OPPO branding.
When it comes to the design, OPPO obviously wants the F7 to be an eye-catcher. It comes in Solar Red and Moonlight Silver that has this metallic glossy look. It has an acrylic finish but is solid, well-made, and has a decent heft. The rounded sides also make the device easy to grip. You can still navigate the UI with one hand but you will definitely need two if you need access the upper part of the screen.
Our only complaint is that it’s a smudge and fingerprint magnet which makes it ugly to look at, forcing you to wipe it every now and then. The good news is, it comes with a jelly case in the package so you can save yourself the trouble.
Display and Multimedia
The OPPO F7 uses a 6.23-inch FHD+ (2280 x 1080) LTPS IPS display which equates to a good 405ppi pixel density. It has a 19:9 aspect ratio and an 82.5% screen-to-body ratio. So far, we like the viewing experience as it has accurate colors and good viewing angles, feels immersive and is vibrant enough for outdoor use.
The notch, however, can be distracting when watching movies or playing games as it covers a portion of it. The good news is you can turn off the notch area display inside settings to get a clean straight border. As for other display features, users can adjust color temperature and activate Night Shield to reduce blue light from the screen to prevent eye strain.
When it comes to audio, the speaker is loud enough for hands-free voice calls, gaming, and casual listening to movies and music. It has weak bass though, so don’t expect really good quality. If you want a better listening experience, we recommend using the earphones included in the package, or a Bluetooth speaker.
The OPPO F7 is equipped with a 16MP rear camera and 25MP front camera with AI features and Screen Flash. It has scene recognition which supports 16 scenes and objects, HDR, Depth Effect, Panorama, Expert mode (Manual), AR Sticker with 14 effects, Vivid Mode which simply enhances the color, and Beauty with 6 levels of adjustments. There’s an AI-assisted Beauty mode but is only available for the front camera.
Camera performance is good as it locks on to subjects quickly and can produce images with accurate colors, high dynamic range, and plenty of details. Selfies are also easy to do thanks to face tracking. Low-light performance is decent with noticeable noise. Blur can be avoided by holding the camera very still for a couple of seconds.
The Depth Effect isn’t perfect but produces decent results if there’s a good distance between the subject and background. AI-assisted Beauty mode is effective and was able to enhance our selfies by removing blemishes and pores without erasing distinct facial features.
Depth mode with beauty
As for video recording, the F7 maxes out at 1080p at 30fps in MP4 format. Quality is sharp with smooth autofocus. There’s no video stabilization so footage can be shaky if you’re not keeping your hands steady.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software department is ColorOS 5.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. It’s a clean, attractive, yet easy to navigate UI that uses multiple Home Screens to house the apps. Navigation is done via three basic keys at the bottom of the screen or by a swipe-up Gesture. You can also activate the Assistive Ball for easy one-handed navigation.
It’s got plenty of features hidden inside the settings like Smart Assistant, which provides quick functions and information, Full-Screen Multitasking, Split-screen, Gesture & Motion commands, Clone Apps, Screen Recording, and Game Acceleration.
It also has a Phone Manager and Security suite that cleans your storage of junk, scans for viruses, detects device problems, manages your permissions, and protect personal information.
Pre-installed apps are present but kept to a minimum Facebook, WPS Office, and iReader. The rest are Google’s apps and the F7’s tools. Storage-wise, you’re getting 50.22GB of usable space out of the 64GB, which is sizeable. You can expand it via USB OTG or microSD card.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the OPPO F7 is a MediaTek Helio P60 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz, Mali-G72 MP3 GPU, and 4GB of RAM. Performance is good as navigation is smooth and apps launch fast. The fingerprint scanner and Face Unlock feature are very responsive and can unlock our device instantaneously.
Gaming is not an issue as it can run PUBG Mobile in High HD settings, as well as Tekken, Mobile Legends, and Sky Dancer. Warming can be felt on the upper rear side, but not too much as to cause discomfort.
* AnTuTu v7 – 138,758
* Geekbench 4.2 – 1,522 (Single-Core), 5,841 (Multi-Core)
* 3D Mark – 1,086 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1), 940 (SSE – Vulkan)
* PC Mark – 7,985 (Work 2.0), 11,054 (Work 1.0)
* AndroBench – 306.36 MB/s (Read), 219.57 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity, Call Quality, and Battery Life
When it comes to connectivity, the OPPO F7 supports 4G LTE on both SIM slots, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. So far these features work well as it can connect to the LTE network quick while voice calls are loud and clear. Navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Grab didn’t have any issues locking in our location.
The OPPO F7 carries a 3,400mAh battery pack that is capable of lasting a whole day of mixed usage consisting of WiFi connectivity, social media, photography, and gaming. It doesn’t support fast charging and takes us a little over 2 hours to charge from 0% to full.
PC Mark’s battery bench rated it at 11 hours and 20 minutes which is above average, while our video loop test, which involves playing a 1080p video on loop at 50% brightness and volume with headset plugged in, yielded an impressive 23 hours of playback.
One of OPPO’s strategies is to adopt the popular tech trends that are normally found in more expensive flagship devices, then implement them in their powerful mid-range devices at a lower price. They have successfully done that once again with the OPPO F7.
For Php17,990/$345.83, you’re getting a device with a good build, attractive design, large immersive display with a notch, powerful mid-range performance, good cameras, and above average battery life. It’s not perfect though, as it lacks features like an LED notification light, image and video stabilization, USB-C, and Fast Charging. On the bright side, you’re getting the advantages mentioned without breaking the bank.
OPPO F7 specs:
6.23-inch FHD+ (2280 x 1080) 19:9 LTPS IPS display, 405ppi
MediaTek Helio P60 octa-core processor
4 x 2.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A73 + 4 x 2.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A53
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
Expandable via microSD up to 256GB (dedicated slot)
16MP f/1.8 rear camera
25MP f/2.0 AI front camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS w/ A-GPS
Color OS 5.0 (Android 8.1 Oreo)
156 x 75.3 x 7.8mm
Solar Red, Moonlight Silver