Oppo Find 7 review: A terrific screen and cool features, but still falls short

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There's a whole bunch of gestures that you can enable. Screenshot by Aloysius Low/CNET
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Screenshot by Aloysius Low/CNET

Oppo has also added Swype keyboard as the default input option, but you can swap it out for Google's default if that's your preference. I personally prefer Google's keyboard, as using swipes with a thumb while holding the phone in one hand is an exercise in frustration.

I feel that while Color OS is an interesting take on the Android landscape, it doesn't have enough compared with the offerings from Asus, HTC, and LG. Still, there's always the option to install CyanogenMod on the phone, which turns the phone into a higher-resolution OnePlus One, I suppose.

Camera

The Find 7 comes with a 13-megapixel camera, which is the standard resolution for most flagship smartphones. The shutter is pretty snappy, but image quality is average at best, on a par with the OnePlus One. You can usually make out some noise in its photos, but as long as you're shooting with plenty of light, you'd be pretty well served by the camera.

Oppo has added a special Ultra-HD mode, which snaps four pictures and then combines them into a supersize 50-megapixel shot. On paper, this sounds like a great idea, but it doesn't work as well in reality. Details were still lost, as you can see in the terrapin's head -- the non-HD version seems to be clearer in this regard. In macro-shots and mounted on a tripod, this seems to work better as you can see, but there are few reasons why you really need to do this in the first place.

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The HDR mode does a good job of brightening up a gloomy day. Aloysius Low/CNET
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The Ultra-HD camera mode doesn't really seem to offer any advantage over the normal shot. Aloysius Low/CNET
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Likewise, in this shot, the terrapin's head has more detail in the normal shot. Aloysius Low/CNET
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Indoor test shot (click to enlarge) Aloysius Low/CNET

Performance

Like other flagship phones, performance is one thing you don't have to worry about. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip performed flawlessly, and the UI was lag-free.

In the benchmark tests, the Find 7 scored 22,247 in Quadrant, similar to the OnePlus One, and on Linpack's multithread test, the phone's score of 730.159MFLOPs over 0.23-second is lower than the OnePlus One.

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Call quality

I found no issues with call quality -- the other party came across clear and crisp, while also being able to hear me fine. Audio volume was sufficiently loud; I wouldn't be too worried about being able to hear the other person in a crowded place. The speakers, found at the rear of the phone, are pretty loud, and at the lowest setting, you'll be able to hear the phone ringing even if it is in your pocket.

Battery life

Based on what I encountered with the LG G3, I was worried that the high-resolution screen would affect the phone's battery life, and it looks like it's the same case with the Find 7. The 3,000mAh battery struggled to last a full day in my anecdotal test, but as always, I'll update this section once our CNET video test is complete, so do check back.

One cool thing about the phone is that it has rapid charging. Oppo's patented Vooc charging system is able to juice up the phone from 0 to 75 percent in just 30 minutes. I tested this out myself and found that it works as promised. You will need to use Oppo's adapter to obtain this speed -- a normal USB charging point connected to your PC will not be able to charge the Find 7 as quickly.

Conclusion

If the LG G3 didn't come with such a high-res screen, the Oppo Find 7 would have been a fantastic showcase of the latest technology. Unfortunately for Oppo, LG's phone offers much more, with a better design and cleaner UI that makes the Find 7 look bland.

The problem here is that the Find 7 is priced only slightly less than the high-end phones from the major brands, so there isn't a big enough incentive to pick it instead of gravitating toward a better-known product. A price cut would increase its appeal, but the company still has to work on getting the phone on sale in out to Western countries such as the UK, where LG G3 already has a head start.

If you're keen on trying out the new high-resolution display but don't want to pay as much as LG is asking for the G3, then it looks like the Find 7 is your best bet for now, especially if you live in Singapore or the UK.

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Aloysius Low/CNET