OPPO F7 Review: The Makings of A Great Smartphone

The OPPO F7 could easily be the most sought-after mid-range smartphone in the Philippines this year. This is due to the 25MP selfie camera, which is a first in a smartphone, and the flagship-grade MediaTek P60 SoC that powers the phone. The chipset is also the same processor which drives the China-based OPPO R15 - the company's top-of-the-line smartphone. 

For what it's worth, the OPPO F7 has captured the market in its initial release. Is it a good idea to join the #CaptureTheRealYou bandwagon? Should you upgrade from an OPPO F5? We'll answer that in this in-depth review of the OPPO F7. 

OPPO F7 Review

OPPO F7 Review Philippines


Looking at the OPPO F7, there's no denying the fact that it's a 2018 phone. The notch, in it's nearly edge-to-edge screen, suggests that it has torn a page from Apple's playbook.

Speaking of the notch, OPPO F7's rectangular cutout houses the - in consecutive order - 25MP AI-powered selfie camera, the earpiece and the proximity sensor. There's no LED notification light here; but you can live with that. The rest of the front panel is defined by the display. There's also a pre-installed screen protector on top of the Gorilla Glass 5 layer.

OPPO F7 Review

More often than not, the OPPO F7 catches attention when seen in the wild. Its Solar Red and Moonlight Silver color options are unique - something that we haven't seen for a long time since the introduction of the HTC U11. The smartphone has the perfect weight - neither heavy nor too light. It's also one of those handsets that you'll carry around without a case just to brag its glossy acrylic finish. But make no mistake, the surface is an instant fingerprint magnet; thus, you need to have something to frequently wipe it with. And yes, the beautiful finish gets spoiled as soon as you touch it.

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Design
Nevertheless, the OPPO F7 is a beautiful smartphone, one that you'll get excited to use. You'll see the camera bump and the fingerprint sensor at the back together with the LED flash. The microUSB port, 3.5-mm audio jack, microphone and speaker grills are at the bottom. There's no USB Type C for an OPPO's "hero" selfie camera phone for 2018 so far. The power button is on the right together with the SIM tray, while the volume rocker is on the left.


The OPPO F7's display appeals to us in a positive way. On paper, it is a 6.23-inch FHD+ Super Full Screen LTPS IPS panel which packs 1080 x 2280 pixel resolution. Due to the notch, the display now comes with 19:9 aspect ratio and 82.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. As always, the display is vibrant with good color accuracy. It also has one of the best viewing angles in its class. Using the handset outdoors will also be a worthwhile experience since the screen is still legible even under direct sunlight.

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Display

What’s even more interesting is the fact that the OPPO F7 allows you to run compatible apps in full screen. You can even force apps to be in full screen if they’re not compatible. Whites are dominant white, while blacks register in deep black compared to other LCD panels.

I love doing things with OPPO F7’s display to the point that I could say that it’s one of its strongest suits.


The OPPO F7 might actually be the fastest MediaTek-based handset that we’ve used so far. Apps are quick to open, while the whole interface is very responsive. Scrolling inside apps is also a breeze. It’s shocking to have a mid-range phone that could keep up with other flagship smartphones. For the longest time, my shady prejudice to a MediaTek processor has been shattered; thanks to the new Helio P60 and the optimizations of Color OS 5.0.

In our Antutu Benchmark test, the OPPO F7 scores almost 140K (138911 to be exact) which exceeded my expectations. It also clouds its instant competitors in terms of performance and efficiency. The chipset also supports AI processing in most features like the camera, facial recognition, etc.

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Antutu

Gaming and Multimedia

Playing popular game titles is also a breeze. It runs Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends with almost zero issue. The PUBG Mobile also runs smoothly with the OPPO F7. However, just like any MediaTek chipset, we notice a slight heating on the upper part of the handset. But trust me, it's far from distracting.

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Gaming

OPPO F7 is also great in consuming content like watching videos locally or with streaming apps. The display gives an immersive experience. The sound quality is also decent.


Speaking of software, OPPO’s latest version of the Color OS now runs on top of Android 8.0 Oreo. It still has the iOS-like interface which dump all the apps in the homescreen once installed in your smartphone. Apps come with rounded corners and squarish footprints.

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Software

I am also a fan of having the controls and notifications in one tray. Swiping the notification shade down will give you access to all the important information and controls at once. However, it’s a pain to get rid of the notifications. You need to swipe to the left and tap “delete” to do so. Other skins only do it by just swiping to the left like Vivo's FunTouch OS.

The Color OS 5.0 also offers great features like App Clone wherein you can duplicate popular apps and log-in easily with multiple accounts. The Game Acceleration Engine is also better than ever. You can disable notifications while you're in the game. The feature also optimizes your settings to get the best gaming experience possible.

Gesture controls are also useful if on-screen keys are not your thing. Activating gesture keys will allow you to select preferred gesture layout. For example, you can set a "Back" function by swiping up both right and left bar, go to homescreen by swiping up the middle bar, and go to recent tasks by swiping and holding the middle bar.


The OPPO F7's rear shooter is a winner. The 16MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture can shoot lovely photos in most lighting conditions. The camera also focuses faster than any other handsets in this segment. Photos in a well-lighted environment have plenty of details and great color accuracy. In lowlight, some shots tend to get over exposed with noticeable noise. The camera app features several modes namely: Time-Lapse, Video, Photo, Sticker, Pano and Expert. In the photo mode, you can also toggle HDR, Blur or Depth Effect and Super Vivid Mode. 

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Camera
Camera App Interface and AR Sticker Sample

The Depth Effect produces decent portrait mode blurs which separates the subject from the background. It may be far from perfect, but the OPPO F7's portrait mode is a great improvement from its predecessors. The rear camera can also take advantage of the Beauty Mode sans the AI-assisted preset.

OPPO F7 Review Philippines Sample Photos
Depth Effect

Auto Mode: Indoor with Good Lighting

Auto Mode: Outdoor Good Lighting

Auto Mode: Outdoor Good Lighting


Lowlight with Super Vivid Mode

Outdoor: Good Lighting


Auto versus Super Vivid Mode

Auto versus Super Vivid Mode

The 25MP selfie camera is obviously the marquee feature of the OPPO F7. It's very quick to focus and also produces photos with great detail and saturation. Dynamic range is also on point. The front camera also features the same modes and presets as those in the back camera app interface; but it has an additional AI Auto preset in the Beauty mode. In lowlight, the OPPO F7 allows you to use the screen flash for additional lighting.

Sample Selfies in Different Presets

The lack of optical image stabilization makes it harder to capture shots in motion. The OPPO F7 could record decent videos up to 1080p.


Overall, OPPO F7's battery life is okay. I'm able to get through the day with moderate usage without the need to plug it in the wall outlet. In our PC Mark Battery Performance test, the OPPO F7's 3400 mAh battery managed to score 9 hours and 45 minutes. 

In our video loop test, it played a full HD 1080p-video in the course of 10 hours with 50-percent brightness and full audio output. The handset does not support fast charging. It takes roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes for the handset to be fully charged.

The Wrap

The OPPO F7 is perfectly priced in the mid-range segment where players drop most of their premium features for the selfie market. But OPPO F7 is different. It ticks more boxes on top of being a great selfie camera phone - it has good display, stunning design, surprisingly fast processor and decent battery life. These factors make the whole package of being a great smartphone. And OPPO F7 is a great smartphone.

Needless to say, the OPPO F7 gives a fierce competition against other smartphones in its price segment. Do I recommend the OPPO F7? For sure! Though OPPO F5 owners could hold on to their money for a while, users of OPPO F3, F3 Plus or any other handsets beyond their second year could welcome the OPPO F7 as an instant upgrade.
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