Chinese smartphone vendor Oppo had its first crack at the Australian market with its mid-range handset, the Oppo R7. We thought the phone was a fantastic first entrant into the local market, especially given its price of $449. Unfortunately, the R7 faulted when it came to its not-so-flashy camera.
Now comes the R7 Plus, the ‘phablet’ version of the R7 with an enhanced camera and bigger screen. While the hardware is mostly the same, how does the R7 Plus stand up against its smaller predecessors?
Oppo has kept the same sleek design for the R7 Plus, measuring 7.75mm thick and weighing 192 grams. The screen has also been stretched to 6 inches, an extra inch larger than the R7.
We’re also happy to see the plastic case still bundled. It doesn’t offer as much protection as an Otterbox case, but it will prevent scratching. You also don't have to make a separate purchase for it.
On paper, there are a lot of similarities between the R7 Plus and the original model. The phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5GHz octa-core 64-bit processor with 3GB RAM and runs Oppo’s custom operating system - Colour OS 2.1 - which is built on Android 5.
So what’s different? Storage has been doubled to 32GB, and that’s it. But though there’s not much else new from a hardware standpoint, some of the technical aspects have been improved.
Our major gripe with the R7 was the camera, in particular the quality of photos which appeared grainy and oversaturated. While the R7 Plus camera is still 13MP, image quality has been vastly improved.
The R7 Plus also comes with a handful of new photography features. Pure Image mode allows users to capture 50MP images by taking multiple 13MP photos and stitching them together.
Another problem with the R7 was that it only had one small speaker on the back that was easy to block while holding the phone. The R7 Plus still has one speaker, but it’s less prone to being covered up because of the larger size of the phone.
The R7 Plus is priced at $549, an extra $100 than the R7. If you liked the no-frills, stripped down style of the R7 but wanted a larger screen and better camera, it's a good choice.
There are also a handful of alternatives from the likes of Huawei or LG if you want the ultimate phone/tablet hybrid experience. But if you just want a slightly better R7, then the R7 Plus fits the bill.
You can buy the Oppo R7 outright from Dick Smith for $549, or on a plan from Optus starting at $40 per month.