Oppo AX7 review: opposition of alternatives appears to be too strong
Read our Oppo AX7 review
Since the end of 2018 we have a new manufacturer in the Netherlands: Oppo. They are one of the biggest in their home country of China, and now they want to break through in Europe. With the Oppo Find X and R17 Pro, the company has until now mainly focused on the high-end market.
However, that is a difficult market with a lot of competition, and that is why the cheaper Oppo AX7 will appear this spring. With a suggested retail price of 249 euros, it is the cheapest Oppo smartphone to date. Nevertheless, the Chinese company is also experiencing pressure: for the same money, you also buy good smartphones from Nokia, Huawei and Motorola. Whether the company can distinguish itself with a large battery and sleek design, you can read in our Oppo AX7 preview.
Sleek design with a large screen
The design of the Oppo AX7 is in no way inferior to more expensive devices. The screen fills almost the entire front, with only a small notch at the top where the selfie camera fits exactly. There is a narrow border at the bottom of the image. The housing is made of plastic, but feels sturdy. It is stain sensitive, but it shines beautifully. Moreover, the AX7 comes with a free case, always a plus.
Unfortunately, such a borderless smartphone stands or falls with screen quality, and that is a bit disappointing. The 6.2 inch screen has a resolution of 1520 by 720 pixels, which is less than 300 pixels per inch. Motorola, Nokia and Huawei all have a sharper full HD resolution in this price range.
Large battery is not the largest
Oppo hopes to attract attention with the large battery in the AX7, which has a capacity of 4230 mAh. That is about 30 percent larger than you usually see in this price range. The battery therefore easily lasted a full day. With relatively little effort, we even managed to get out of it for two days without recharging.
Unfortunately for Oppo, the Motorola Moto G7 Power appeared just a week ago. It has an even larger battery of 5000 mAh. Moreover, the G7 Power does support fast charging and is equipped with smoother hardware. In addition, Motorola’s alternative is four tens of euros cheaper to rub it in. Too bad, Oppo.
Another disappointment is that the Oppo AX7 is still running on Android 8.1 (Oreo). The manufacturer has informed us that an update to Android Pie is in the making, but could not tell us when it will appear.
It is also unknown how often security updates appear and how long updates are guaranteed. You could get away with it a few years ago, but now all budget competitors are running on the latest version of Android and regular updates are guaranteed.
Oppo has its own interface: ColorOS. That is an interface full of clashing candy cane colors, which makes quite a few adjustments to the “standard” design of Android. Fortunately there is hardly any bloatware on it, and the system apps from Oppo – such as the Music and Photo app – are functionally well put together. Sometimes they seem to falter a bit if you switch between the apps a little faster.
What probably doesn’t help here is that the AX7 is powered by a Snapdragon 450 chip. That is an almost three-year-old chip from Qualcomm, already intended for cheaper smartphones at the time. WhatsApp and Twitter are running reasonably smoothly, but graphically intensive websites and many games are not doing so well. Moreover, the AX7 does not support nfc or 5GHz WiFi and also has a micro USB port: this Android phone lags behind in every respect.
Camera gets kudos
The camera is still a small bright spot. On the back is a dual camera of 13 and 2 megapixels, the second lens serving as a depth sensor. With this you add a bokeh effect to your photos. The snapshots that you shoot are reasonable for this price point and the portrait mode works well. Photos are incredibly colorful, but not always sharp. In situations with slightly less light, the camera has difficulty, but that is not unreasonable in this price range.
Buy Oppo AX7?
Oppo’s new smartphone will be available in the Netherlands from 20 February. Are you looking for a loose Oppo AX7, then you can find it through our price comparison for the suggested retail price of 249 euros. The Oppo AX7 with subscription is also available through various web stores.