Jul 23, 2019 | Updated: 04:55 PM EDT

The Oppo R7: Great Specs, Fair Price, With Some Major Flaws

Sep 02, 2015 11:40 PM EDT

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Oppo, like other Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi, has put up a worthy fight against the mainstream Android smartphone makers. Its latest release, the Oppo R7, though, was noted by Australian Tech.ly contributor Chris Southcott as looking awfully like an iPhone.

To echo his observations, a good number of handsets that come out of whitebox manufacturers in China really do look like iPhones. In fact, there is a black market of iPhone clones in Asia, and they are all powered by Android. Is it an odd type of tech syncretism that’s flattering for Apple at best, kitschy at its worst? Apple fanboyism at the factory level?

As they say, “imitation is the best form of flattery.” In the age of patent lawsuits among tech giants, though, this statement is highly debatable.

Comparisons aside, though, the Oppo R7, priced at around $315 USD, packs a hardware punch, though with a software feel that’s really a dead ringer for the iOS 7. Is that a good thing?

Chris Southcott says that the iOS copycat UI tends to make the handset sluggish. To concede, though, the UI actually looks slick and attractive. The icons look tasteful, at best.

Will that UI be able to make the most out of these specs, though?

Processor/Chipset: Octa-core Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 built with a 1.5 GHz quad-core A53 Cortex and a 1.0 GHz quad-core A53 Cortex

RAM: 3GB

GPU: Adreno 405

OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Internal Storage: 16GB

Connectivity: GSM, HSPA, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Expandable Storage: MicroSD up to 128GB

Display: 5.0 inches AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and a ~445 ppi pixel density, protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Cameras: Primary: 13MP with a max output of 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Schneider-Kreuznach optics; Secondary: 8MP

Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 2320 mAh battery with fast charging at 75% in 30 min.

Goodies: Dual SIM with a Nano-SIM and Micro-SIM combination

The bottom line for Chris Southcott is that the major weakness of this unit revolves around the iOS 7-ripoff skin. According to his review, “Oppo R7 Australian Review: Insanely thin, thinly-veiled iPhone clone,” that is the one thing that killed the phone’s potential. The skin hurt the Android system’s performance, and that could be a major off-putting factor for a potential Oppo R7 buyer.

This is why innovation and originality trumps imitation. Oppo should copy Xiaomi’s strategy and figure out that one thing that will set them apart from other Chinese smartphone OEMs.

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