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OPPO F7 Review - MediaTek Mid-range Monster!

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In our first impressions and unboxing article last week, we stated that the OPPO F7 is a formidable mid-ranger powered by MediaTek. To back our claim up, here's the full review!
OPPO F7 Review - MediaTek Mid-range Monster!
OPPO F7 review!

For our review part 1: OPPO F7 Unboxing and First Impressions


Display Quality

Bright screen!
Bright screen!

One of the key selling points of the OPPO F7 is its large 6.23-inch LTPS IPS FHD+ 2280 x 1080 resolution notched screen. It has a 19:9 screen aspect ratio with 88 percent screen-to-body ratio which is even wider than 18:9 screens!

Big and immersive screen!

OPPO also made sure that its screen quality is great. It is sharp enough at 405 pixels per inch with accurate yet vibrant colors and good contrast. Viewing angles are good too. This display is immersive as well. Sunlight legibility is as good if not better than the competition.

However, the notch top could be a bit distracting. Why? You will notice it when watching YouTube videos and playing games like PUBG or NBA 2K18.

We can't find if there's a way to turn off the notch like the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro though.

Other features of the display include a color temperature adjustment and Night Mode to reduce eye strain. It even has a black and white mode which can further reduce eye strain and comfortable nighttime reading mode to minimize eye irritation.

It has the max 10 points of multitouch as expected.

Audio Quality

The OPPO F7 has a single loud speaker located at the bottom of the phone. It is one of the better single speaker at this price point. It is loud enough for casual listening to music and videos. It has a bright sound signature with clear vocals most of the time. As a result, it is good for handsfree loudspeaker calls too.

Just don't expect it to be as full sounding compared with higher-end smartphones. I personally like its speaker slightly better than the Nokia 7 Plus, but it isn't as full in sound versus the ZenFone 5.

For headphones, it still has a dedicated 3.5 mm headphone jack (hooray!). So, listening to music using your favorite wired HiFi in-ear monitors is still easy. Audio quality via headphones is mostly clear and bright. It can produce deep enough bass response with decent speed and decay.

OPPO also added the "Real Original Sound Technology" mode. It is designed to mimic "realistic" 3D audio for a live concert-like music listening experience.

In our experience, it can artifically expand the soundstage on your headphones. But, expect the highs to be a bit peakier than usual. Loss of detail is surprisingly not that evident though.

On the microphone part, the F7 has a dual microphone setup. It has one on top and one below of the phone. Quality is respectable. It can record your voice with less noise than most with single microphone only. It is in stereo mode too. It is good enough for calls and casual recordings.

Battery Life

Great battery performance
Great battery performance

The OPPO F7 has 3,400mAh battery inside. On paper, it is big enough for a phone with large 6.23-inch FHD+ and powerful Helio P60 processor.

Stellar actual battery performance!

In our test, it clocked 10 hours and 46 minutes. That score is identical to the OPPO F5 with smaller screen and older-gen chipset. It means that OPPO optimized the battery of the F7 quite well.

In real life, the OPPO F7 can last for up to two days on a single charge under normal usage. On heavy usage, it can survive a whole day on a single charge.

OPPO also added some battery saving features to extend its battery life further.

Charging time from 0 to 100 percent is around 2 hours and 10 minutes. Not bad!

Camera

Single camera setup
Single camera setup

Interestingly, OPPO still used a single camera setup for the F7. It has the 16MP f/1.8 shooter with PDAF focus and LED flash at the back.
Camera UI
Camera UI

And why not? OPPO F7's single camera setup is quite capable. It still has the auto HDR, 2x lossless digital zoom, panorama, face beauty, and expert mode.

The expert mode still has the usual adjustments for white balance, EV (-3 to +3), ISO (100 to 3200), shutter (1/8000 to 16 seconds), and focus.

It also has new modes like the portrait mode (bokeh effect), vivid mode (more vibrant colors), and stickers (cute AR effects). The AR stickers has a total of 14 effects so far.

Pretty good single camera for the price!

Picture quality-wise, the F7 is impressive for a mid-ranger. Autofocus and shooting speed are still fast and it now has automatic scene recognition up to 16 scenes. Thanks to the power of its A.I. capable chipset, the Helio P60.

Even if it only has a single camera setup, it can also do the portrait mode trick of other phones with dual cameras. The output (depth effect) is even identical to most of them. Its edge detection is even better and cleaner than expected.

As expected, shooting in daylight is effortless. Details are crisp, colors are punchy yet not oversaturated, and it has good exposure and dynamic range most of the time. The digital zoom is also fantastic in daylight.

Indoor performance is a bit better than some competing phones too. Details, color accuracy, and dynamic range are still quite good if it is under artificial light source.

Dim indoor and lowlight performance are also respectable. But, noise is noticeable. Use the expert mode or the flash when shooting in lowlight to produce better looking images.


Rear Camera Samples

Daylight HDR
Daylight HDR
Well-lit close-up
Well-lit close-up
Close-up 2
Close-up 2
Close-up 3
Close-up 3
Indoor auto
Indoor auto
Indoor 2x zoom
Indoor 2x zoom
Lowlight auto
Lowlight auto
Lowlight auto 2
Lowlight auto 2
Long exposure EV -3 (ISO 100, 1.5s)
Long exposure EV -3 (ISO 100, 1.5s)

For selfies, the F7 boasts the new 25MP f/2.0 Sony IMX576 sensor with w/ A.I. Beauty Recognition 2.0 and screen flash.
The best selfie shooter for the price?
The best selfie shooter for the price?

Like the primary shooter, it has auto HDR, portrait, super vivid, and sticker modes. It also has auto scene detection and has an improved facial optimization technology via its 296 positioning spots.
Selfie cam UI
Selfie cam UI

It also has A.I. learning which understands the way you want to look your selfies. It'll remember your usual editing preference over time. Lastly, it'll also try to make your selfies and groufies still look natural even when you turn the face beauty mode on.

In our tests, the selfie shooter of this handset is almost as good as advertised. Shooting speed and saving time are fast.

Most of our selfies are still very detailed even if the face beauty mode with A.I. is switched-on. The HDR mode can provide good dynamic range most of the time as well. It can shoot decent looking selfies even in lowlight too. The screen flash is also bright. The AR stickers are fun to use as well.

However, there are times where our selfies would look too soft or too bright. The A.I. for selfies is better than ever, but is still not perfect.

But overall, this is better than what we saw with the OPPO F5 last year.

Selfie Camera Samples

Well-lit selfie with portrait mode
Well-lit selfie with portrait mode
AR sticker sample 1
AR sticker sample 1
AR sticker sample 2
Indoor portrait selfie
Indoor portrait selfie
Lowlight portriat selfie
Lowlight portriat selfie

For videos, it can shoot at 1080p 30 fps at the back and in front. The main camera cana shoot videos with good colors and speedy focus, but stabilization is far from great. For selfies, stabilization is a bit better.

Both the back and front camera has no 4K video resolution mode.

Video Samples


Performance

Monster scores for the price!
Monster scores for the price!

The OPPO F7 is a monster phone for the price! Why? It has the very capable 2.0GHz 64-bit Helio P60 octa-core processor with dual-core A.I. processor!

MediaTek's Helio P60 is the best chipset we ever tested under PHP 18K!

It is built under the 12 nm FinFET process for better performance and battery efficiency. In comparison, the Helio P60 chip is on par or comparable with the Snapdragon 660 processor usually found on most over PHP 22K phones.


The F7 is priced at just PHP 18K. For us, it has the best chipset at this price point. Moreover, it is coupled with Mali-G72 MP3 GPU for heavy gaming and ample 4GB RAM for multitasking.

It also has large enough 64GB storage which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card.

In real life, it is arguably the speediest phone for the price. It was able to run the most of our tasks with ease and play heavy games. Running NBA 2K18 on max settings with cloth simulation is effortless. PUBG is also playable on high settings.

Thermal management is also good. It has a bit of warming, but this is cooler than the Snapdragon 630, a chip with nice thermal management too.
Oreo based Color OS 5.0 skin
Oreo based Color OS 5.0 skin

On the software side, this device loads with Android 8.1 Oreo w/ ColorsOS 5.0 skin out of the box. It is still iOS inspired, but it now looks cleaner than ever.

The quick shortcut settings is back on its original position. Just swipe down and you'll have access to the control center.

The OPPO share (OPPO fast file sharing), assitive ball (gestures and shortcuts), power saving mode, and screen recording are found there.

As expected, the rest of the connectivity and telephony experience is great. It has 700MHz LTE Cat 7, dual SIM slots, GPS, OTG, and gyroscope for VR and AR applications.

Connectivity and the rest of telephony experience is mostly smooth. GSM signal is strong and this handset even has 700MHz LTE for better indoor LTE signal reception.

Pros - Gorgeous design, Gorilla Glass 5 protection, dedicated microSD slot, speediest performance for the price, great battery performance, good primary camera performance, selfie camera is one of the best in the market, face unlock + fingerprint scanner, Android 8.1 Oreo OS out of the box, 
Cons - Still not using USB Type-C, no LED notification light, no 4K video recording

Verdict

To sum it up, the OPPO F7 is 2018's mid-range game changer. It is simply that good for the price!

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.5
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4.75
Average - 4.29 / 5
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