Mobiles & Tablets

Is this big enough to take on the giants?

Anuj Srivas | Updated on July 23, 2014

Stellar screen The Oppo Find 7’s 5.5 inch display has a resolution of 1440 x 2560x1440 pixels, highest in its class

₹37,990Love – Sharp, great screen;Subtle skyline notificationsHate – Awkward buttonplacement; Gimmicky ColorOS

Oppo Find 7 is a device that packs enough power to challenge Samsung and HTC

It wasn’t too long ago that one would struggle to find a high-quality smartphone that wasn’t designed by an American, Korean or even Taiwanese company. Smartphone offerings from most Chinese companies—barring Huawei and perhaps ZTE—were primarily known for competitive pricing and not overall quality.

The last three years have seen a slow change, with newer competitors such as Xiaomi, OnePlus and Gionee proving that Chinese brands could deliver on quality as well. Another contender that is part of this new wave of companies is Oppo—a firm that entered the Indian market earlier this year with its nicely differentiated, if slightly gimmicky N1 smartphone.

While the N1 might have to failed to make a large splash, Oppo is back with its recently launched Find 7 smartphone. Though it is slightly cheaper, it comes packed with specifications that would put most high-end Android smartphones to shame. We at Technophile take a deeper look at the Find 7 to see if it has what it takes to crack the Indian market.

Design and build

While rectangles are one of the most predominant structural shapes found in the modern smartphone, and the Find 7 is no different in this regard, Oppo has managed provide enough subtle touches to make it work.

The Find 7 is comfortable to hold—despite not being the lightest (173 grams) or the thinnest (9.2 mm) — mostly because its back is lightly curved and comes with a thinly textured matte finish. Its 5.5 inch screen is displayed in all its glory, mostly because Oppo has trimmed the borders of the phone to great effect.

Other design choices indicate Oppo’s desire to stand out amongst the Chinese crowd. The phone comes with a thin light bar just below the screen (the company calls it a ‘skyline notification’ because of its blue light) which gently pulsates every time a notification appears.

The only drawback in an otherwise elegant design is the slightly-botched button placement. The main power button is placed on the left side of the phone and the volume buttons are placed on the right side. While left-handed users may find this set-up friendly, a majority of right-handed consumers will be thrown back at first. The buttons themselves score poorly when it comes to tactility and are of lower quality than what usually comes with a top-tier product like the Find 7.

Specs and performance

The Find 7 is a king among kings when it comes to the numbers that keep it running without any glitches or sluggishness. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU, a hefty 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (which can be further expanded).

In terms of overall performance—whether it is gaming, multiple app usage or viewing 1080p videos—the Find 7 is flawless and comes with no stuttering or the occasional freezing one still finds in other high-end Android smartphones. On Quadrant benchmark tests, the phone scored above 23,000 points, putting it at par with the performance figures of Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.

The camera’s specifications are also generous; a 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. While it does not perform the best in low-light, in daylight the phone is able to crank out great images. One of the biggest features of the camera is its UltraHD image mode, which lets users click 50-megapixel pictures by quickly taking four shots and stitching them together.

The crème da le crème is the phone’s 2K (2560 x 1440 pixels), quad-HD display. This screen is one of the best on paper, and it doesn’t disappoint. Not only is its colour fidelity top-notch, but its viewing angles are great. The display results in a pixel density of more than 500 ppi. A majority of users, however, will be unable to immediately differentiate between this and a 1080p display.

What potential buyers should be aware of is that though the Find 7 comes with a massive 3,000 mAh battery, it delivers a middling performance when it comes to battery life. It runs out of juice by the end of the day with average usage (calls, browsing, and viewing video). Luckily, Oppo has a fix for this with what it calls a “VOOC rapid charging system” where a 30 minute charge will result in topping up nearly 75 per cent of the battery.

Software

Like its Chinese cousins, the Find 7 comes with a separate user interface on top of Android. This phone comes with Oppo’s Color OS, which sits on top of Android 4.3. The interface is certainly pretty, if not exactly utilitarian, and comes with an assortment of animations, icons and widgets.

While there are unique features such as ‘spaces’, which provide a set space for widgets, and a number of custom applications, Color OS neither adds to nor simplifies Android in the way Xiaomi has managed to do. At the same time, the interface doesn’t add too much bloat, which is a blessing.

Verdict

The Find 7 is a smartphone that comes with a lot of heart; it’s clear that Oppo wants to offer nothing but the best. At ₹37,990, the phone is a veritable powerhouse and an excellent overall device notwithstanding one or two odd design choices and its Color OS. It is definitely a great choice for those willing to abandon its Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese competition.

That said, Oppo still has ways to go in terms of device availability and after-sales support. Its greatest battle, however, will be in winning the mindshare of Indian consumers, who are a fickle bunch.

₹37,990

Love – Sharp, great screen; Subtle skyline notifications

Hate – Awkward button placement; Gimmicky ColorOS

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Published on July 23, 2014
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