OPPO F7 first impressions: of AI selfies and Indian cricket team endorsements

OPPO F7 4

OPPO’s first smartphone of 2018 is the selfie-focussed F7. This is not very surprising, considering the Chinese smartphone major’s tagline literally reads ‘Selfie Expert’. Considering the Vivo V9 also launched recently, the F7 comes at the opportune time to compete directly with its sister brand. 

I was at the glitzy launch event in Mumbai and apart from catching a glimpse of superstar Indian cricketers, I also managed to check out the phone. Here are my first impressions of the same. 

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OPPO F7 improves the selfie game once again

OPPO F7: Let’s not forget the notch

The F7 comes in three colour variants, all of which are glossy glass-bodied fingerprint magnets. There are no two ways about it. However, I quite liked the variant with the diamond cut rear. When looked at this Black-coloured F7 at an angle you can see unique diamond like patterns. It looks attractive and premium. 

Obviously, the F7 also comes with a notch. And, this helps reduce screen to body ratio. But – unlike the V9 – there are slightly thicker bezels all around. On the flip side, just like the V9, the chin has a thicker bezel and that breaks the entire symmetry. Coming back to the notch, I think I will have to really get used the more phones sporting one sooner than later. 

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The notch obstructs a 6.23-inch display with an aspect ratio of 19:9. This is an IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1080x2280p. As far as I could tell, the display felt pretty reflective but let’s not forget that I was at a demo zone filled with artificial lights. I’ll have to review the device to find out how it fares in real life. 

The F7, once again like the V9, comes with a Micro-USB port instead of a Type-C one at the bottom which is a bummer for sure. 

All in all, the phone’s glossy exterior looks attractive no doubt but you’ll have to use a case to protect it from accidental damage and scratches. 

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OPPO F7: AI-infused selfies perfected

Evidently, OPPO roped in experts to wax eloquent about the AI-based selfie algorithm, which was incidentally first introduced in the F5. There’s now a 25MP front-facing camera with Sony’s new 576 sensor. Coupled with the AI-based software OPPO demoed, the F7 comes with quite a few new tricks . For one, there are the new AR stickers just like we demoed on the V9. Some might find it silly, but Snapchat built an entire app around it.

Also, the front camera can now identify 296 points on your face, up 20 percent from the F5. This helps the camera identify your facial features accurately and make your selfies look better. I did take a few selfies at the event and they looked good on the phone, but that is definitely not enough to judge the camera’s quality. The same goes for the F7’s 16MP rear camera. Oh lest I forget, both the cameras come with a dedicated Portrait mode for enhanced depth effects.

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Stay tuned to the full review to find out what we think of the phone’s front and rear cameras.

OPPO F7: Mediatek Inside

One of the most interesting things about the OPPO F7, which the company didn’t really highlight at the event, is the new Mediatek Helio P60 SoC inside the phone. While Mediatek doesn’t inspire confidence in a lot of folks, the P60 is definitely an interesting addition. It comes a 12nm chip and has a neural processing unit as well. I am really keen to test the performance of the phone once our review unit comes in. 

The phone also comes in two variants – one with 4GB of RAM and 64 gigs of storage – and the other with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. I like the fact that OPPO has decided to go with two individual SIM card slots and a microSD slot, instead of a hybrid slot. 

Additionally, the new Colour OS 5.0 skin on top of Android 8.1 comes with an option to use swipe gestures for an navigation instead of capacitive buttons. The gestures are very intuitive and a whole load of fun to use, and I can see myself using it more often than not.

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OPPO F7: My immediate takeaways consolidated

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I think OPPO has priced the base variant of the F7 incredibly well at Rs 21,990. But the Rs 26,990 price tag for more RAM and storage, feels a little steep in my opinion. However, what will be interesting to see is which selfie expert – the F7 or the V9 – comes out on top. And, I am also keen on benchmarking the P60 for the first time to see how it fares against the Snapdragon mid-range chipsets like the 636 and the 660. 

Keep watching this space for our full review of the phone. 

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Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?