Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?


The Oppo Reno 7 is the smaller brother of the Reno 7 Pro (Review) and it was also launched at a lower price than its predecessor, the Oppo Reno 6 (Review). Unlike the Reno 7 Pro, the updates to the Reno 7 are mostly design-focused. It gets some useful additions such as expandable storage and a slightly bigger battery, but the features and specs haven’t really changed from the Reno 6. I described the big changes in my first impressions of the phone, and now is the time to take a closer look at its performance. Does the Oppo Reno 7 continue to offer as good value for money as its predecessor? Keep reading to find out.

Oppo Reno 7 Price in India

Oppo launched the Reno 7 in India in a single configuration, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage priced at Rs. 28,999. The increase in storage over the Reno 6 is welcome, and what’s more best is that you can expand it thanks to the dedicated microSD card slot. The Reno 7 is available in two colors, Startrails Blue and Stary Black.

Oppo Reno 7 design

The new design of the Oppo Reno 7 is pretty. The rounded frame and curved edges of the back give this phone a sleek aesthetic. The Reno 7 also gets the same laser-etched design on the back as the Reno 7 Pro. It looks good and does not attract fingerprints. This phone is also thin and light, weighing just 173g.

All of this makes the phone very comfortable to hold and use, but on the other hand Oppo had to make some compromises. The glossy frame and rear panel of the Reno 7 are constructed from plastic, not metal and glass like with the Reno 7 Pro. Even the Reno 6 had an aluminum frame, making it a bit of a downgrade.

The Oppo Reno 7 has a headphone jack. The 6.4-inch AMOLED screen is similar to that of the previous model. It has Full HD+ resolution, a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The bezels around the screen are relatively thin, except for the chin. You also get an in-display fingerprint sensor and facial recognition using the selfie camera in the punch-hole cutout.

The Oppo Reno 7 looks like the Reno 6 from the front
Photo credit: Roydon Cerejo

The Oppo Reno 7 comes with a case, 65W charger, USB cable and SIM eject tool.

Oppo Reno 7 Specifications and Software

Oppo hasn’t bothered to refresh the SoC in the Reno 7 – it’s the same MediaTek Dimensity 900 from the Reno 6. It’s still a relatively new and powerful 5G SoC, and is built on using an energy-efficient 6nm manufacturing process, but having something newer like the Dimensity 920 would have made this phone more competitive, especially against models based on Qualcomm’s offerings like the Snapdragon 778G. The Reno 7 gets Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, NFC and support for the usual satellite navigation systems. The phone lacks stereo speakers, which is a shame considering how commonplace this feature is.

The software experience on the Oppo Reno 7 is identical to using the Reno 7 Pro. It runs ColorOS 12 based on Android 11 and will most likely receive a stable Android 12 update soon. You get a plethora of shortcuts and gestures, a theme store to customize the look of your phone, and plenty of customizations for always-on display too, including new Apple-like Omoji avatars. There are also plenty of bloatware, in the form of third-party apps, that tend to clog your notification shade with spam alerts. Fortunately, all of them can be uninstalled.

Oppo Reno 7 performance and battery life

Daily performance was solid, back when I used the Oppo Reno 7. The SoC is powerful enough to handle commonly used productivity and social apps. The interface also ran smoothly at 90Hz, with no noticeable sluggishness or lag in the animations. The phone’s low weight and slim body also meant carrying it around in my pocket wasn’t a burden, and one-handed use was comfortable.

The Reno 7 also handled videos and games very well. I was unable to install the Netflix app on my device for some reason, but videos streamed via Amazon Prime Video and YouTube looked fine. Audio quality was decent but the experience could have been better with stereo speakers. Heavy games such as PUBG: New State performed well with improved graphics quality. Gameplay was smooth and the Reno 7 never got too hot even after extended sessions. The reference numbers were also correct. The Reno 7 scored 4,35,227 points in AnTuTu, which is respectable.

oppo reno 7 reviews ports ww

The Oppo Reno 7 has a laser-etched pattern on the back, like the Reno 7 Pro
Photo credit: Roydon Cerejo

The increase in battery capacity to 4500mAh (from 4300mAh) seems to have contributed to a noticeable impact on battery life. The Oppo Reno 7 lasted 19 hours and 25 minutes in our HD video loop test, three hours better than what the Reno 6 managed. With normal use, I was able to easily extract two full days of use. Charging was also quite quick and I was able to fully charge the phone in less than an hour using the included charger.

Cameras Oppo Reno 7

Much like the SoC, the Oppo Reno 7’s cameras haven’t changed much. The camera app’s AI features have reportedly been tweaked and you can now digitally widen the aperture for shallower dead-of-field when shooting videos, just like on the Reno 7 Pro. However, these are minor changes and everything else is identical to what we’ve seen on the Reno 6 before. Video stabilization is still limited to 1080p and the phone can shoot up to 4K 30fps. If you enable any of the filters or AI features while recording video, the default resolution is 1080p.

The camera sensors are also very similar. The Oppo Reno 7 has a 64-megapixel main camera with an f/1.7 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, there’s a 32-megapixel camera on the front.

Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?

Oppo Reno 7 main camera sample (tap to see full size)

Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?

Oppo Reno 7 ultra-wide camera sample (tap to see full size)

Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?

Oppo Reno 7 main camera sample (tap to see full size)

Daylight landscapes and close-ups taken with the main rear camera are well detailed and colors are fairly accurate. The ultra-wide camera, as you’d expect, captured fainter detail but offered a wider perspective. Macro photos weren’t too bad if taken in daylight. When AI was enabled, colors were artificially boosted, especially in images of plants and food. Low-light shots were decent enough, and the Night mode helped improve exposure, while suppressing noise quite well.

Selfies shot during the day packed in very good detail. The skin tones looked natural once I turned off the beautify effects. The Bokeh Flare Portrait filter is also present here and provides a cool background effect. Selfies taken in low light also had good detail. A screen flash can be used to compensate for the lack of ambient light, and it has been helpful.

Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?

Example of Oppo Reno 7 main camera in low light (tap to see full size)

Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?

Oppo Reno 7 main camera sample with Night mode (tap to see full size)

Oppo Reno 7 review: still good value for money?

Oppo Reno 7 selfie sample with Portrait mode (tap to see full size)

Recorded videos were plagued with the same issues I encountered with the Reno 6. 4K videos were of decent quality in good light, but the lack of stabilization was very disappointing. You can use stabilization at 1080p, but the quality drops and its effects are amplified when shooting in low light. The ability to play with the aperture is a nice touch, and the bokeh filter can make for a fun video, but overall the video experience could have been much better.

Verdict

It’s been less than a year since the Oppo Reno 6 launched, so considering that, I can understand why Oppo hasn’t given the Reno 7 a major makeover. However, unless the company plans to replace that phone with a Reno 8 sometime this year, the Reno 7 might struggle to find its footing in the market. The Reno 6 was overshadowed by phones such as the OnePlus Nord 2 (Review) and Poco F3 GT (Review) and now the Reno 7 has to compete with them as well, in addition to newer models such as the Motorola Edge 20 ( Review), Realme GT Master Edition (Review) and Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge (Review) – all of which offer better features and performance at the same or lower starting prices.

The Oppo Reno 7 could be a reliable daily driver just like the Reno 6 was. Overall system and gaming performance is good, battery life is solid, and the phone is light and easy to live with. . The cameras aren’t too bad when it comes to stills. Also, the ability to expand the internal storage is a nice addition to this model. Some of its downsides include lack of stereo speakers, poor video recording performance, and degraded plastic body compared to the Reno 6.

My advice to anyone considering buying the Oppo Reno 7 would be the same as what I said in my Reno 7 Pro review: it’s a good phone with no glaring flaws, but just know that offers with more features are available, some of them I named above, and these alternatives offer much more for your money.

Tech

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