Ahead of the opening of today’s pre-orders and next week’s official launch, OPPO Philippines let us have some hands on time with its newest F series smartphone, the OPPO F7. It builds on the success of the F5 series and brings improvements for those looking for a bang-for-your-buck midrange device.
At first glance the F7 is quite the looker, we got to play around with the Solar Red version, which has this metallic paint finish on it that makes it look like it’s made of glass, even if it’s made with polycarbonate material. It feels good in hand, doesn’t feel as slippery, but it is a fingerprint magnet. We constantly had to wipe it down to take photos of the phone.
While it has a big 6.23-inch screen, the 19:9 display comes with 88 percent screen-to-body ratio, making it look smaller than it actually is. The screen fitting into the body of a typical 5.5-inch phone, which makes it easy to hold. OPPO makes the most of the screen by using capacitive buttons in place of actual physical buttons in front. You also get extra protection from Gorilla Glass 5-coated screen. Now, whether this holds up is something we need to test out.
And yes, you get a notch up top to house the front camera and ear piece. Unfortunately, you can’t hide it in the same way you can with the Huawei P20. But OPPO isn’t closing its doors on bringing in a software feature that can do just that in the future.
On the left you get the volume rocker, the right houses the power and lock button as well as the dual nano SIM tray and separate microSD slot. You get the secondary microphone up top and the bottom houses the loudspeaker, main microphone, 3.5mm audio jack, and microUSB port (no USB Type-C port here, sadly).
The F7 is the first OPPO device to use the new MediaTek Helio P60 processor, which the company claims is 70 percent faster than the Helio P23 and promises 12 percent overall power savings. It’s MediaTek’s first AI-infused processor from MediaTek and it promises to maximize performance and energy for the devices it powers. Again, something we’d have to see in action.
OPPO pairs this with an adequate 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage (which you can expand up to 256GB), and 3,400mAh battery.
The main thing people will be paying attention to here will be the cameras on the F7, specifically the 25-megapixel front camera. It also comes with a 16-megapixel rear shooter. You get features like scene detection which automatically identifies things like sunset, grass, indoor, food, sky, snow, night, dog, portrait, baby, firework, beach, scenery, text, cat, and stage light. It has HDR, Panorama, Depth Effect, and Expert mode (a.k.a. Manual mode), too. You also get AR stickers, Vivid mode, and Beauty filter with six adjustment levels.
So far, I’m pretty impressed with how fast the cameras focus on the subjects. Since I took photos inside a relatively well-lit room, it didn’t struggle as much. The photos of the cactus, though, were inside a nook so it was darker but the phone could handle focusing here, even blurring the background out a bit for that bokeh effect.
The AI-assisted Beauty mode is available for the front shooter. We got to play around with that a bit and you’ll see a couple of samples below. I tried taking one without the feature on and one with AI set to auto. You can see it subtly smoothen out my skin, brightens it a bit, and even emphasizes my lip color. Unfortunately, some might not be too fond of this feature as it still comes off a bit too polished.
We need to play around with the F7 more to dive into these features more. But if your interest is already piqued. The phone is available for pre-order now until April 20. Those who pre-order at authorized OPPO resellers get a free Olike Magic Music Lamp. You will need to deposit P1,000 when you place your order but you will be able to pick up your unit on April 21st. The OPPO F7 retails for P17,990 and comes in Solar Red and Moonlight Silver.