Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Oppo Find 7 Android smartphone
Feature packed and wanting for nothing
- 1440p screen with 538ppi
- Great Sony camera with 5MP front cam
- Powerful hardware
- Fast charge battery
- Good looking
- Older version of Android
- Tall and heavy
Oppo's Find 7 is a fantastic smartphone. It is well built, has cutting edge features, a strong multimedia repertoire and software that is intuitive, simple and aesthetic. Letting the smartphone down alone is its tall height and heavy weight, which may deter some people.
Price$ 719.00 (AUD)
Australian newcomer Oppo may have made the best smartphone yet with the Find 7.
Unapologetically big, Unapologetically beautiful
The Find 7 makes no apologies for its tall form. The smartphone stands 15cm tall and weighs a hefty 173 grams. In the pocket it feels intrusive.
Let’s not forget it’s cheaper than almost all of the established flagships
Not that it looks unattractive for such a large smartphone. Oppo has dressed its flagship in slimming dark colours. Our review unit is uniformly black on the front, save for the pulsing blue notification light bordering the base.
Most companies render the notification light a pestering nuisance. “Read this email at 3am” is often the bad aftertaste left by some. Oppo has treaded the path of Sony by transforming the requisite feature into a striking design element.
Rounding the edges of the smartphone is a two-tone strip of dark grey and silver. Similarly dark gray buttons camouflage with the smartphone’s rim, while the dual-tone resonates with the back cover.
A lot of time was spent appreciating the back cover of the Find 7. The removable plastic back circumvents feeling cheap by adopting the look and texture of carbon fibre. The back case feels richer than ordinary plastic; it feels more like a plastic-composite.
Symmetry runs pervasive on the back. The camera, dual-LED flash, stereo speakers and the Oppo logo have all been centred, and subsequently leave the impression the Find 7 is a well balanced smartphone.
5.5 glorious inches of Quad-HD, Day-long battery
The Find 7 is the second smartphone to be sold with a 1440p display in Australia. Like LG’s G3, its screen flaunts technology with dizzying specs. The LCD display uses IPS technology for a wide 178 degree viewing angle. Its 1440x2560 resolution gives the 5.5in screen a 538 pixel-per-inch (ppi) resolution — the highest to date on any smartphone.
Herein lies the problem: there’s little point in having a sharp screen if it is poorly backlit
No doubt photos and videos viewed on the Find 7 are sharp. Unfortunately powering more pixels demands more from a smartphone’s battery. LG’s G3 was crippled by poor battery life.
The display in the Find 7 achieves a balance between brightness and resolution. Brightness has been compromised in an effort to aid battery life. Herein lies the problem: there’s little point in having a sharp screen if it is poorly backlit. The display used on the Find 7 is brighter than the LG G3, although it’s a far cry from the blinding levels of the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Oppo has been able to squeeze better brightness levels than its LG counterpart by investing in the Find 7’s battery. The smartphone comes equipped with a removable 3000 milliamp-hour battery that has one undeniably cool party trick.
Charging a Find 7 from flat to 75 per cent takes only thirty minutes. The rapid-charge feature means you don't have to worry as much about battery life because it can be replenished so much quicker. Watching a Find 7 on charge happens in fast forward as the percentage bar increases every minute.
Good Gear Guide used the Oppo Find 7 as our primary smartphone to make calls, send texts and manage emails. We spent hours listening to music, surfing the web and watching YouTube videos, in addition to using the camera and making heavy use of social networks.
Brightness during testing alternated between auto and max, while we occasionally enabled GPS usage. We would describe our usage patterns during the test period as moderate.
the Oppo Find 7 performed better than expected by averaging 20 hours of battery life. Our lowest recorded battery life was 18 hours, while our highest was a whole 24 hours. This far exceeds the average 15 hours of battery life we achieved with the LG G3.
An older version of Android, Too good looking to care
The Find 7 runs the now defunct 4.3 Jelly Bean version of Android. Oppo’s ColorOS overlay covers nearly every facet of Android in a predominantly green-on-white scheme. The styling is consistent, well laid out and aesthetically pleasing, far surpassing the overlays of South Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG.
Several tweaks and additions have been made to the Oppo’s rendition of Android. Swiping the notification blind from the left hand side opens a ‘Gesture panel’, a panel where gesturing a letter will launch determined applications. Writing a ‘V’, for instance, will turn on the flashlight, while ‘O’ initiates the camera. The ability to link new gestures to actions of your choice is one way ColorOS can be tailored to individual preferences.
Jot down the specs of today’s smartphone flagships and the Find 7 will surprise by coming out on top
Further changes have been made to the layout of the settings, or with the addition of savvy apps responsible for measuring storage, power consumption or data management. The inclusion and simplicity of these applications is reminiscent of the software featured on the Huawei Ascend P7, although ColorOS proved flawlessly reliable.
Oppo has exercised finesse in how the company has improved on existing Android features. The task manager, for instance, is the same stock manager found on any vanilla Android smartphone. Few differences set it apart, such as the ability to close all applications at once, the ability to lock applications you do not want closed and a bar telling of RAM usage.
Time and effort has gone into making the operating system intuitive. The OS catalogues favourite contacts and suggests them when making phone calls and drafting text messages. Having them on hand streamlines the Find 7, and it’s these seemingly insignificant improvements, which are prevalent throughout, that make the software easier than alternative renditions of Android.
ColorOS doesn’t focus on speed as much as it does on doing things with pizzaz. Screen selections transition with eloquent animations. The software is a polished showman working hard at constructing an enjoyable experience, as opposed to the sanitised, yet spiffy, operations of vanilla Android.
The Find 7’s heavy overlay is more than compensated by an impressive arrangement of hardware.
Performance hardware, Sony cameras
Jot down the specs of today’s smartphone flagships and the Find 7 will surprise by coming out on top. Oppo has achieved this by combining a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU with an abundant 3GB of RAM. Rival flagships either have one or the other, but no rival has managed to combine such powerful components together.
Also featured is an Adreno 330 GPU, a 4G modem, 32GB of internal storage and support for microSD memory cards up to 128GB in size.
Completing the Find 7’s featureset is a strong suite of connectivity, which includes dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and GPS. This hardware cocktail runs the comprehensive software with ease.
Oppo has not mucked around by incorporating some no-name camera in its flagship. The BSI sensor in the Find 7 comes from Sony and it’ll capture photos at 13 megapixels. The camera calls on a dual-LED flash when lighting runs dim, although the f/2.0 aperture ensures artificial lighting is no requisite.
The Find 7’s camera performance is worthy of a flagship. Photos have a wide colour range, transition from one tone to the next with subtlety and are well lit across the board. The camera’s interface hosts a variety of shooting modes, including HDR, panorama and a GIF mode.
The camera can record video in the nascent Ultra high-definition standard, which is a trick Apple’s iPhone 6 cannot claim. UHD video can be recorded at 30 frames per second, with the frame rate increasing to 60- and 120-frames for Full HD and HD recording respectively.
Videos are quick to focus and adjust lighting on the fly well. The same sensibilities that make the still camera proficient can be found in recorded videos, with good colour and lighting. A 1min 4sec UHD video used 316MB of storage and played back poorly on a notebook, although the Oppo Find 7 handled playback with ease.
The front camera of the Find 7 takes photos at 5 megapixels and records video in 720p resolution. The high resolution camera proves ideal for self-photography and alternates to ‘beauty mode’ by default. Consider beauty mode a mobile version of photoshop as it blurs tones for clear looking skin.
Oppo’s Find 7 is tough to fault. The smartphone bests rivals with powerful specs and a 1440p display. The battery’s rapid-charge mode is a standout, as is the 13 megapixel camera, loud stereo speakers and aesthetically pleasing software. Let’s not forget it’s cheaper than almost all of the established flagships at $719 outright.
Only one fault can be made against the Find 7: it’s too tall and heavy to be comfortable. Pocketing the smartphone causes the bezel to dig into your thigh. Some won’t find this a problem, while others may consider the heft a deal breaker. We respect Oppo for creating a wonderful phone, it’s just not a wonderful phone for everyone.
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