Big screen smartphones are offering truly bigger screens. While thin bezel design has made it possible for phone companies to touch the 6-inch mark, the new notch-based design language is allowing them to go beyond. Oppo, and even Vivo, have embraced the new design as well as the ‘notch’ cut-out from the display at the top. The Oppo F7 is priced at Rs21,990 and it looks really good. It follows the Vivo V9, which is selling at Rs22,990 and has pretty similar looks.
■ The Oppo F7 looks more attractive than the thin bezel smartphones from last year. The small cut-out at the top of the screen, popularly referred to as notch, includes the smartphone’s front camera. Space either side of the cut-out shows the time, battery backup and network signal strength. If you switch to games, apps and movies, it becomes a part of their interface.
■ The bezel on the lower side of the screen looks thinner too, but stretches to the corners unlike the cut out at the top. This is what separates it from the iPhone X, which has a notch at the top of the screen but no bezels at the bottom. Oppo F7 looks more like the Vivo V7 and its hard to tell the difference between them, from the front.
■ For a big screen smartphone, the Oppo F7 is surprisingly light and weighs just 158g. The Vivo V9 weighs 150g.
■ However, Oppo F7’s back panel has a glass back finish and shiny metal frame. The Vivo smartphone has a lustreless metal back which doesn’t look as premium as the Oppo F7, but it stays cleaner, is comparably less prone to smudges and offers better grip quality.
■ Like the Vivo V9, the Oppo smartphone has a back-facing fingerprint sensor and a front-facing face scanner. Both are fast and unlock the smartphone instantly.
■ Due to the notch and smaller bezels, the F7 looks taller and offers a wider than wide aspect ratio of 19:9 (most new phones have the 18:9 aspect ratio). This gives the screen a more immersive look during video playback and gaming.
■ The 6.23-inch screen has a resolution of 2,280×1,080p. It doesn’t look as rich as the flagship smartphones, but colours look bright enough to make video playback and gaming enjoyable. The big screen makes it ideal for movie buffs, reading books and even for people who type a lot on their smartphones.
■ Unlike the Vivo smartphone which runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor, Oppo F7 is powered by MediaTek’s latest Helio P60 octa-core processor. Paired with 4GB RAM, it was able to wade through multi-tasking, heavy tasks and games such as Shadows Fight 3 without breaking a sweat. It runs on a 3,400mAh battery.
■ The other notable element of the Oppo F7 is the new Android. It runs Android 8.1 with Oppo’s custom Color OS. The interface looks largely unchanged with big app icons and colourful themes, however, it is not completely without new features. Oppo has added a new panel on the homescreen on the lines of MIUI 9’s Smart Assistant. It provides a one tap access to shortcuts such as weather updates, most used apps, steps walked, calendar events, and favourite contacts. It has a unique feature called Game acceleration which block notifications and calls when user is playing games.
■ The microSD slot is kept separate from the two nano SIM slots, allowing users to add up to 256GB more on top of the 64GB internal storage while using the two SIM slots as well.
■ For photography enthusiasts, Oppo F7 has a single 16-megapixel camera. It offers 2x optical zoom and is slightly better than the Vivo V9’s dual camera setup in terms of detail reproduction. However, it tends to oversaturate colours a bit for more effect. The 24-megapixel front camera can capture good looking selfies in well-lit environment.
The Oppo F7 shows how quickly the phone companies are updating to new design to stay on top of the game. It is on par with the Vivo V9 in almost every aspect. The only area where the Vivo V9 has an edge is the more ergonomic design and better grip quality.