Oppo R7s Review: An affordable midrange Android

Alex Kidman 8 February 2016


The R7s isn’t an absolute top-tier smartphone, but it’s well suited to its price bracket.

Oppo’s market position is very well known; it makes smartphones for the budget and mid-range sector with a strong accent on style and a particular focus on delivering its own vision of Android via its Color OS rewrite of Google’s operating system.The Oppo R7s is, in essence, the bigger brother version of the existing Oppo R7. Here is how the two phones compare at a specifications level.

Screen size5.0in5.5in
ProcessorQualcomm MSM8939b Snapdragon 615 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53
Rear camera13MP13MP
Front camera8MP8MP
Battery 2320mAh3070mAh
Display density445pi401ppi

Upsides: Why you’d want the Oppo R7s

  • Strong style elements: The R7s has a solid metal unibody design that’s undeniably derivative of design elements beloved by designers at both Samsung and Apple. Imitation may be flattering or not, but the end result is a phone that looks a lot better than many mid-priced handsets.
  • Fast charging: The R7s uses Oppo’s proprietary VOOC charging system to quickly recharge its 2320mAh battery, so even if you’re the forgetful charging type, you can quickly regain a lot of battery life.
  • Excellent battery life: The Oppo R7s is a solid battery performer in day to day use, and when we put it to the task with Geekbench 3’s simulated battery test, we were pleasantly surprised with the results given its price point.
    HandsetGeekbench 3 Battery Test DurationGeekbench 3 Battery Score
    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+8:24:105041
    Apple iPhone 6S Plus7:48:104681
    Google Nexus 5X7:14:204062
    Oppo R7s7:002800
    Samsung Galaxy S66:51:304115
    Google Nexus 6P6:39:203754
    Alcatel OneTouch Idol 35:42:002276
    Sony Xperia Z55:41:303414
    LG G45:27:503224
    Huawei P8 Lite4:39:402768
    Apple iPhone 6s3:52:102321

    It is worth noting that while the Oppo R7s battery lasted a very respectable 7 hours in the Geekbench test, its battery score was substantially lower than that of competing handset with the same kind of times. This indicates that while it lasted well, it did fewer work cycles while running, which you’d expect for a mid-range performer.

  • Respectable camera: Like every manufacturer, Oppo talks up the R7s’ camera as being the next great big thing. It isn’t, especially (and predictably) in low light, but in decent conditions it delivers bright and snappy shots, which again is what you’d expect from a mid-range phone in 2016. It also offers a range of custom modes, including the inevitable "Beauty" mode which can, if abused, make you look like the world's worst cosmetic surgery victim.


Downsides: Why you might not want the Oppo R7s

  • Middling performance: The Oppo R7s is one of a rare breed of smartphones that ships with 4GB of RAM, but you wouldn’t know it to look at its performance results.
    HandsetGeekbench 3 Single Core (higher is better)Geekbench 3 Multi Core (higher is better)
    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+14924893
    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge13244626
    Google Nexus 6P12514597
    Samsung Galaxy S613474569
    Apple iPhone 6S25404410
    Apple iPhone 6S Plus24914391
    Sony Xperia Z513584134
    LG G411903313
    Google Nexus 5X11883198
    Oppo R7s6962980
    Huawei P8 Lite5822612
    Alcatel OneTouch Idol 36552461

    Benchmarks aren’t everything, and it’s a testament to what you can get in a mid-range phone in 2016 that the Oppo R7s is still a reasonable performer in real world usage, but not an exceptional one.

  • Not quite an "Android" experience: Oppo radically reskins its phones with what it calls "Color OS". It’s more of an iOS-style experience than an Android one, complete with no app drawer, which could be jarring if you’re an Android fan. There are many customisable skins available -- many of which dance merrily on copyright’s grave -- but the overall aesthetic of many of them is quite jarring unless you really like bright clashing colours. The use of Color OS also means that unless you’re willing to jailbreak you’re very much at Oppo’s mercy when it comes to Android system updates, which could have security implications.
  • Dual SIM or microSD -- but not both: The Oppo R7s sells itself as having microSD expansion possibilities, and it does. Equally, it’s a Dual SIM phone if that suits your needs. The problem is that it can’t be both, because the Dual SIM tray is also the microSD card slot tray. You have to pick between functions, so if you want extra storage, it’s only a single SIM device.
  • Supplied charger doesn’t like other Android devices: Oppo’s VOOC charger is great for charging up the Oppo R7s, and if you use another phone’s charger, it’ll charge the R7s much more slowly. However, the supplied charger didn’t much like our other Android phones during testing, refusing to supply any juice to a procession of Samsung, Sony and LG phones. It’s not an earth-shattering flaw, but it is annoying if you have multiple devices to charge at once.
  • Poor speaker placement: The Oppo R7s' speaker is placed at the bottom of the phone in a position that means if you're holding the phone in landscape orientation to watch a video or play a game, it's inevitable you're going to cover it with your finger, muffling the sound output considerably.

Who is it best suited for? What are my other options?

Given Color OS’ iOS style, and the R7s’ general iPhone-aping style, like much of the rest of Oppo’s range, it’s clear to see that the R7s would make a good gateway smartphone between the iOS and Android worlds. Conversely, however, if you’re already fluent in Android conventions, it might be a little jarring to use day to day.

The mid-range Android space is awash with all sorts of choices that could entice you, not to mention cheaper fare such as the Huawei P8 Lite or Alcatel One Touch Idol 3. Equally, any of 2014 (and some of 2015’s) premium devices in the Android space can often be purchased at these kinds of price points.

Where can I get it?

Oppo sells the R7s for $529 through Dick Smith stores and via its own web site.

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