Oppo has been present in the Indian market since quite some time, and its F series smartphones have been lauded for bringing good design and innovation in one package at a price bracket of over Rs 20,000. The company that started as a manufacturer of DVD and MP3 players has grown steadily over the years by diversifying its portfolio of smartphones and accessories. In India, the smartphone maker’s device shipments increased 83 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, primarily on the back of its budget offerings in the A-series, according to market research agency Counterpoint Research.
The Oppo F17 Pro essentially sits in the sub-Rs 25,000 price segment, which is not very crowded at present. The smartphone arrives with an AMOLED screen, big battery, an ultra-slim and light form factor and six cameras which the handset maker is marketing as AI portrait cameras. This the second smartphone from Oppo with a slim form factor after Reno 4 Pro. Given the price, the Oppo F17 Pro competes with the likes of Realme 7 Pro and the Redmi K20. How the affordable new phone from Oppo fare in real life? Read our review to know.
We have seen smartphone makers grow radically in terms of quality in the past few years. While the glass sandwich design has been a hit, we can also see some handset makers opting for polycarbonate bodies of late to cut down costs obviously, and still provide capable internals and value for money proposition. Oppo is no different and has produced some capable and good-looking devices. Its newly-launched F17 Pro also scores big in the design department, and it is safe to say that some may opt to buy the phone solely for its looks. The smartphone, at 164-gram, is incredibly light and ergonomic in the hands. Texting, multimedia browsing, and gaming for prolonged hours did not lead to any fatigue, courtesy of the slim and lightweight design language.
At 7.48-mm thick, this is also one of the slimmest phones out there, thus, making it incredibly comfortable to hold even for one-handed use. It is worth mentioning that both the frame and the back panel are polycarbonate, but that does not make it a flimsy or a delicate device. Tap on the rear, and you’d know the phone has a solid built. We got the Magic Blue colour variant for review which has a novel two-tone colour split design which has become a fad now with OEMs such as Realme that has also introduced it in the new Realme 7 series. We especially liked the addition of a hint of purple on the sides of the device. The rear also has an unusual mix of matte and shiny coating that makes it stand out in a sea of a similar-looking slab of Android phones out there. The back reflects hues of blue and purple, courtesy of the shiny coating whereas the matte finish ensures the phone doesn’t become a fingerprint magnet.
The power button is housed on the right edge while the volume keys are ergonomically placed around the phone along with the SIM card tray on the left side of the phone. The bottom of the Oppo F17 Pro sports a USB Type-C port that sits between the speaker grille and the standard 3.5-mm headphone jack. It was good to see Oppo bundle earphones in the box along with a protective transparent silicone case.
The rear houses an Apple iPhone 11 Pro-like square-shaped camera module with flash which is a refreshing change from the vertically-stacked camera setups of most smartphones. The camera does not sit flush with the body, but the protrusion is not big enough to make it wobbly on flat surfaces. The front of the Oppo F17 Pro features a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED screen with a Full-HD+ resolution that stands out. The screen has a peak brightness of 800 nits which made it easy to use it under direct sunlight and outdoors. Also, the screen was slightly better than what we saw on the Samsung Galaxy M31s — the blacks were deeper, but the colour output was slightly better in the Realme 7 Pro. However, the phone has a 60Hz panel which is a slight bummer at a time when handset makers are bringing 90Hz and 120Hz displays. The absence of HDR 10 certification was a tad bit disappointing, given the fact that even lower prices smartphones come with this feature. The Oppo F17 Pro also arrives with always-on display mode as well as an under-display fingerprint scanner; the latter was pretty fast and unlocked the device in a snap. The face recognition feature also worked smoothly during our use.
The Oppo F17 Pro scored 2,03,472 points on AnTuTu, which is a decent score. However, it is pertinent to note that a MediaTek Helio P95 chipset fuels the phone and the scores slightly fall behind phones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon’s equivalent chipsets. The performance was smooth during our time with the phone. Performing daily tasks was easy, given the responsive UI. The phone runs Oppo’s proprietary ColorOS 7.2 which is similar to what we have seen on the Oppo Reno 4 Pro. Oppo has made a cool addition to the F17 Pro which has been lifted straight off Google Pixel 4. The feature is a new gesture called ‘Air Answer,’ which, according to the handset maker, lets the user answer or reject a call by just a hand gesture in front of the front cam; it makes use of the proximity sensor to detect motion and make the feature work. During our use, we found the feature work pretty smooth, and it is indeed a nifty addition. It works decently well and could be handy if you need to answer a call without touching the phone.
The MediaTek Helio P95 processor is capable of multitasking and handling day-to-day tasks pretty well. There was no noticeable stutter or lag while toggling between multiple apps, multimedia consumption, and so on. However, the image processing does take a while. Gaming was pretty good too, and the device handled Battle Prime with much grace. However, prolong gaming sessions did make the rear of the phone a tad bit warm.
The Oppo F17 Pro runs the handset maker’s proprietary ColorOS which now has icons that are similar to what we see on OnePlus’ OxygenOS. From being an overly colourful OS to this, ColorOS has come a long way. There are a few apps that still come pre-installed, and the company can slowly do away with the practice.
Oppo is marketing the Oppo F17 Pro with six ‘AI portrait cameras’. The primary cam setup includes a 48-megapixel f/1.7 primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel monochrome lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. In almost every condition, the phone’s primary and ultra-wide cams took good shots with ample details. The images were rich in colours, and those taken in HDR mode had a fair amount of dynamic range, shadows and highlights. However, there was some issue with the explore in the primary cam, and it tends to overexpose the photos by default at times. The portrait shots and close-up shots were handled beautifully by the Oppo F17 Pro. The portraits shots had a decent background blur, and the edge detection was on point too.
Images taken in low light conditions were satisfactory, but they took some time to process. The night mode came in handy when the low light imaging fell short and fixed the noise and exposure. However, zooming in to the images magnified the grain present in them. The photos were much more detailed when we turned on the night mode, and they came out with a certain amount of added brightness. The Oppo F17 Pro’s cameras can zoom up to 10X, and 2X is optical zoom.
The Oppo F17 Pro houses a 16-megapixel front camera along with a 2-megapixel depth camera. The primary selfie camera takes good selfies under natural light. The skin tones and colours looked natural. However, the portrait mode for selfies did not deliver the best results. It is pertinent to note that we had to ensure there was enough artificial light around while taking selfies at night.
Oppo has fitted a 4,015mAh battery in the F17 Pro that supports the company’s proprietary 30W fast-charging. We were able to juice up the battery from 0 to 100 per cent in under an hour, which is worth mentioning. It may not be as fast as the Oppo Reno 4 Pro’s 65W charging, but at this price point, the charging capacity is pretty impressive. The device’s battery easily lasted a day and a half on moderate-to-heavy usage that included watching videos on loop, browsing the internet and using multiple social media apps. Like the Oppo Reno 4 Pro, this one also misses out on wireless charging, and we think it is time the handset makers starting pushing the feature into all price categories.
The Oppo F17 Pro has arrived in India in a single configuration of 128 onboard storage and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM. The phone retails for Rs 22,990 for a single storage configuration, and it is available in three colour options: Magic Blue, Matte Black, and Metallic White. The F17 Pro is Oppo’s attempt to provide a pretty-looking and sleek smartphone that is also ergonomic in the hands. Even though the phone falls a little short of handling graphic-intensive games, it easily handles every task and manages to churn out good pictures too. The design language and the rear camera of the phone are the phone’s high points, and people looking to invest in a novel-looking phone with decent internals should opt for this one.
Oppo, 5G, Smartphone, MediaTek
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