Oppo, the company that wants to be known for making great looking handsets, has a series of phones that clearly reflects its ambitions. Although I couldn’t buy Oppo’s claim of stand-out designs when I reviewed the Mirror 5, the R7 series looks good enough to not to let my hopes die.
The Oppo R7 Lite has style oozing out of it. There’s no doubt that there are people ready to buy phones just for their looks, but what’s beauty without brains, right? R7 Lite’s got substance or not?
When I reviewed the Mirror 5 a while back, I was disappointed by its lackluster design. I didn’t see anything in it that Oppo was claiming. But, the R7 Lite’s case is opposite. It’s beautiful, it’s elegant, it’s classy. You just name it. If you’re looking for a phone with a design worth flaunting, I’d just point to R7 Lite. Especially the golden variant which I got for review looked extra stunning.
I noticed one odd thing with Oppo’s designs. On the Mirror 5 the power key was on the left side and volume rocker on the right. On the R7 Lite, the positions of the both have been swapped. It still remains inconvenient.
The aluminium unibody construction is sturdy and gives you the confidence when you carry it around. Confidence in the sense it will easily take on some rough handling. But its slippery back negates that confidence. After all, Oppo has put it through some special processes to make it super smooth. If I were to buy this one, I’d put it inside a protective case immediately.
Oppo R7 Lite has Snapdragon 615 sitting at its heart and 2GB RAM to help it carry out the tasks. For a couple of weeks, it was my primary device for everything I wanted to do. There was no lags or stutter. It ran just fine for my usual tasks. I’m not a gamer but for the sake of the review, I even played Asphalt Nitro. This game doesn’t have high-end graphics like Asphalt 8 but still gives a good idea about the graphics performance of the chipset. For me, this too didn’t have any issues.
The ColorOS based on Android 5.1.1 is quite smooth. It is quite rich in features which makes the user experience better. Like many other Chinese UIs, this too puts everything on the homescreen. There are gestures as well which can quickly activate functions like camera even when the screen is turned off.
The AMOLED display of R7 Lite was spectacular. The color reproduction seemed just fabulous without oversaturation. The deep blacks and great contrast ratio were phenomenal. At this price point, I would have certainly preferred FullHD panel instead of 720p HD one which Oppo has slapped on R7 Lite. Its comparison with OnePlus X is inevitable. OnePlus X has FullHD 1080p AMOLED display and it is cheaper as well. There’s Lenovo Vibe S1 as well with a FullHD display.
I liked the camera on the Mirror 5 earlier, and R7 Lite just goes up on the scale. The 13MP camera takes eye pleasing photos in all light conditions. I quite liked the fact that it could preserve a good amount of details even in low light. The Phase Detection AF is quite fast on locking the focus on the objects while not being too aggressive at the same time.
If you love experimenting with the camera, you will love both its hardware as well as software (UI). The UI has plenty of options such as full manual controls, RAW mode, timelapse and slow-mo videos. See the photos and decide for yourself.
Unlike Mirror 5, R7 Lite covers all connectivity features for its price. There isn’t NFC but its lack wouldn’t be strong felt. You can use dual SIM cards with it but it’s not a dual SIM phone in true sense. The secondary SIM card can also be used as microSD slot. So unless you’re content with the in-built 16GB storage, you will yourself in tricky situation where you will have to compromise on either. There’s 4G LTE, too. R7 Lite’s earpiece was loud enough and crystal clear in my experience.
After using Oppo R7 Lite, I’m convinced that I don’t necessarily need to buy flagships or pricey phones for the premium design. Maybe you’re also one who is ready to shell out few extra bucks just for the design factor. But the OnePlus X is standing between the R7 Lite and its potential buyers. It even has an upper hand in few areas over R7 Lite. But I for one didn’t find R7 Lite’s shortcomings dealbreakers. Lenovo Vibe S1 is its another competitor and the cheapest of the three with focus on the design. Oppo will need to go all offensive because I personally wouldn’t want to see R7 Lite not getting attention from the buyers.