TECH BREAK: Is Oppo’s A7 just another smartphone?

Friday December 28 2018

Oppo A7.

Oppo A7. PHOTO | COURTESY 

KIUMBUKU MUCHUKU
By KIUMBUKU MUCHUKU
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The unfortunate thing about smartphones is that you can no longer tell between them at a single glance — you have to explore them in-depth to spot the differences.

The Oppo A7, launched in November this year. As with many 6-inch phones, this one looks bigger than advertised. It has a 6.2-inch screen with 720 x 1520 pixels resolution. It rides a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chip set with an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor. It has an Adreno 506 GPU that magically transforms the display. This comes with either 3 GB and 32GB storage while there is a 4GB option with 64GB storage expandable by microSD to 256GB.

The rear camera array at the back consists of a 13MP capture sensor backed by a 2MP depth sensor, with LED flash and HDR support while upfront is a 16MP selfie camera. It is a dual SIM phone, has LTE support, will connect to 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth 4.2 for peripherals. The rear fingerprint sensor sticks out like a sore thumb. On this phone, as useful as it is, it should have been made to look better.

So, what makes this phone special? In reality, it’s not the display. While it should have ideally gone fullHD, it didn’t and that slight shade is noticeable when you watch videos. The 6.2-inch display is really big and without physical buttons, the amount of real estate is intoxicating, though the notch does take away from the aesthetics. This phone should never have had a notch. Pure and simple. It’s not the chip set or RAM either. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo fluidly, and there is no noticeable lag, but then again, this isn’t a unique feature either. Nor is it the cameras. The rear arrangement has HDR support, panorama support, LED flash, but again, there is nothing unique to this phone.

What is there however that is unique and well placed on this phone is the battery. At 4230mAh, you get your two days easily on a single charge. The battery on this is really where the phone starts to make sense. In all earnest, as many people might imagine, this phone is simply a better looking A3 with better specs and a better battery. This in itself is not a bad thing and feels like a natural upgrade path for A3 fans. Should you get one? At around Sh25,000, it is a tough bet to be honest. It would not be my natural first, but it isn’t a bad phone.

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