“The OPPO A7 is the latest waterdrop notch-toting smartphone in the mid-range”

OPPO was among the first brands to adopt the trend of display notch in the Android territory and most recently, the waterdrop notch style. After the F9 and F9 Pro (review), the phonemaker has now launched its third smartphone with a tiny cut-out, the OPPO A7, in India. The phone arrived in our labs today, and we decided to give it an unboxing and hands-on treatment. Read on to find out whether the A7 has what it takes to sustain in the ultra-competitive Indian smartphone market. 

OPPO-A7 UFI 15

The packaging of the A7 isn’t much different from other offerings from the brand. The device comes packed inside a white box with the handset’s image on top and key features listed on the bottom. Inside it, the first thing you will find is a cardboard wrapper containing the transparent protective case, documentation and SIM ejector tool. You will then find the handset lying atop the micro-USB cable and a wall charger. No earphones are provided in the packaging, unfortunately.

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As for the OPPO A7, it’s not an exaggeration when we say that the smartphone is a stunner. The polycarbonate-clad phone comes with a glossy rear panel, which gives it a mirror-like finish. However, that’s not all, there is an array of very fine vertical lines in a pleat-like fashion, which gives the backside a distinctive pattern when the light hits it at a certain angle. As is the case with most glossy smartphones however, it’s a smudge magnet and we are thankful for the case provided in the packaging. In terms of the design elements, you will find the power key on the right edge, volume keys alongside the SIM slot on the left spine. A speaker grille, a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm audio socket are present at the bottom. OPPO has also pre-applied a screen protector on the display for protection.

However, the beauty of the phone is best illustrated than described. So here’s a gallery of the OPPO A7 for you to take a 360-degree look at it.

Coming to the fascia, the OPPO A7 ships with a 6.2-inch display with a resolution of HD+ (1,520 x 720p), a 19:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 271ppi. The waterdrop notch on the top and slim bezels result in a screen-to-body ratio of 88.8 percent. Needless to say, the viewing experience is immersive while watching movies or playing games. OPPO has also equipped the smartphone’s screen with features like screen colour adjustment, display aspect ratio adjustment and night shield (blue light filter). The display offers punchy colours, sharp text, decent viewing angles and good outdoor legibility.

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The OPPO A7 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC ticking at its core, which is paired with 4GB of RAM and Adreno 506 GPU. The handset boots ColorOS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. The software comes with a fair share of bloatware and features like game space, split screen, clone apps, gesture and motion support, smart driving, smart sidebar and more. In our brief stint with the handset, we didn’t encounter lag or slow animations. The device should be able to handle day-to-day tasks with ease, though graphics-intensive games might pose a problem for the hardware. Powering the A7 is a 4,230mAh battery.

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In the imaging department, the OPPO A7 comes with a dual-camera setup on the back comprising a 13-megapixel f/2.2 primary sensor paired with a 2-megapixel f/2.4 shooter and an LED flash. As for selfies, you get a 16MP snapper with an aperture of f/2.0, AI beauty, HDR, and bokeh mode. The camera app is loaded with features like sticker, time-lapse, HDR, professional mode, panorama and more. The initial shots taken using both rear and front cameras are pretty good, though the AI selfie feature seemed to be a bit aggressive and we would suggest turning it off if you prefer natural-looking shots.

The OPPO A7 has been launched in India with a price tag of Rs 16,990. This pricing puts the new launch in the league of some powerful smartphones such as the Realme 2 Pro (review)Mi A2 (review), Honor 8X (first impressions), Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro (review), and Nokia 6.1 Plus (review), all of which come with better hardware. And not just that, if you are an OPPO loyalist, you can spend a couple of thousand bucks more and get the OPPO F9, which is now available for Rs 18,990 after a recent price cut. 

Photos by Pratik Vyas