Oppo R7s is a safe bet if you are looking for value for money, brand differentiation and above average performance. Priced at Sh42,990, the R7s looks and feels like a higher end smartphone and apart from a few compromises, it delivers in almost all aspects.
When Chinese phone maker first landed in Kenya sometime in mid-2015, many Kenyans had not heard of the brand. Oppo was alive to the fact that it would be coming home to more established players and aggressive newcomers angling for the increasingly competitive Kenyan smartphone market. The mobile manufacturer was very clear on the market they were going for; the mid-range and high-end smartphone market dominated by the savvy and value driven consumer.
OPPO introduced the N3, which has a camera that rotates front and back enabling selfies and normal shots without compromising the quality. The Oppo R7 series, which includes the R7, R7 Plus and the R7s, is Oppo’s answer to value and variety for the mid-range consumer. We look at the R7s, the middle brother of the two in terms of size.
Look and feel
The R7 series, including the R7s, has that premium metallic unibody design which pushes the device to the exclusive high end category. The slightly curvy gorilla glass meets the smooth metal almost perfectly, making for a comfortable yet classy feel. In terms of the look and touch, Oppo R7s is in the same league with Samsung 6 onwards or the iPhone 6, but at just a third of the price. The emphasis on design is an aspect Oppo has deliberately and keenly pursued considering the other R7 models follow the same sleek design and build. It would be recommendable, however, to have a phone protective case because the smooth build can slip out of your hands if you are not careful. The speaker and the microUSB port can be found at the bottom while the power and volume buttons seat opposite each other to avoid confusion. Oppo’s R7s 7mm thickness carries the 5.5 screen size in just the right ratio, much like most high-end phones.
Oppo’s investment in long-life battery is paying off as this is one of the specs smartphones consider before purchasing a phone. The R7s packs a large 3070mAh capacity battery which can go a whole day without a recharge for the average user. And by average, I mean, talk time and browsing for 2 – 4 hours a day. There were days I would go for up to three days without a power refill. However, for heavy users, you may have to activate energy saving modes later in the evening. Another plus for the R7s is the fast-charging capability powered by Oppo’s VOOC Flash Charge technology. You can charge the R7s from 0 to 100 percent in an hour or less.
The 13-megapixel rear-facing and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera is above average but falls short of the high-end category standard. The R7s captures vivid and vibrant colors thanks to the ability to shoot in HD. Amateur phone photographers will find the camera will handle well in different light exposure environments. But in low light conditions, you will have to up your photography skills by manually adjusting several modes including shutter speed, focus, white balance, exposure and ISO. However, even in auto mode, the shots are pretty decent. The camera comes to life with the inbuilt photo options. There are various filters, double exposure, Ultra HD and flash shots. For selfie lovers, you have that Beautify 3.0 app that makes selfies more stunning.
Speed and Screen
The R7s has 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Qualcomm processor. This makes switching between apps and running multi programs almost flawless. You have the option of adding a 128GB microSD card in addition to the 32GB of onboard storage. But the microSD slot also doubles up as SIM number 2 slot so you can only have extra storage or an extra SIM card.
With a high pixel density 1080p screen, multimedia viewing is enjoyable in vivid colors. You can activate the screen-off notifications and screen gestures which allow users to launch apps by drawing an alphabet on the screen. For instance, you can launch the Camera by writing a C on the screen. It might take a bit of learning to get accustomed to the software, even for native Android users. Oppo has customized Android 5.1 Lollipop into ColorOS 2.1 allowing the OEM to add a crisp look to the user interface. There are other nifty adjustments the ColorOS 2.1 adds to the coolness even if not functionally.
You can get the Oppo R7s at Emperor Plaza along Kenyatta Avenue.