Oppo R17 Pro review: A closer look at the reference phone for OnePlus 6T
Oppo R17 Pro is one of the first phones to run Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor. It also comes with three-rear camera setup. Find out more about the phone in our detailed review.
Product: Oppo R17 Pro
Key specs:6.4-inch full HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor,8GB RAM,12MP+20MP+ToF Rear Camera, 25MP Front Camera,3,700mAh battery
Oppo R17 Pro is supposedly the reference phone for OnePlus' latest flagship phone, OnePlus 6T. The two phones do share common features such as in-screen fingerprint sensor and waterdrop notch but are quite different in their overall approach. Oppo R17 Pro is more targeted at the style conscious consumers instead of those looking for high-specced phone in budget.
But it does not mean Oppo R17 Pro cuts corners in terms of specifications or features. For instance, it's one of the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor-based phones in India. It has a three-rear camera setup, like Samsung's Galaxy A7 2018, and fast charging technology called 'Super Vooc'. The phone, however, is more expensive than OnePlus 6T base model and costs ₹45,990.
From the front, Oppo R17 Pro looks quite similar to OnePlus 6T. It has the familiar waterdrop notch on the front. Bezels on the sides are as slim as they can be. The real difference is the rear panel - radiant back with matte-like finish. We have the 'Radiant Mist' model which has purple colour merging with green. It definitely looks attractive and unique. Other colour model of Opportunities R17 Pro is Emerald Green.
The colourful back panels are the new rage. Huawei and Honor both have implemented similar colour schemes in their premium and in some budget smartphones. New colour models perhaps have also helped these Android phones get little more attention than the traditional colours that Samsung and Apple have offered.
While Oppo R17 Pro gets high scores for looks, the phone promises to be sturdy, the display at least. The front is protected by Corning's latest Gorilla Glass 6. Even though Oppo R17 Pro is a large phone at 6.4-inches, transition from another large-screen phone OnePlus 6T (6.4-inches) has been smooth. The phone feels quite thick at 7.9mm, but is slimmer than OnePlus 6T's 8.2mm. Volume and power buttons are well within the reach.
One of the big trade-offs this new phone makes is the 3.5mm headphone jack. Not that other phones haven't ditched the feature, but it continues to be a hurdle for those on wired audio ecosystem.
Another highlight of the design is the new in-screen fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, it's erratic and inconsistent like OnePlus 6T. This forced us to rely on the on-screen passcode and unsecure face recognition for unlocking. That said, face unlock on Oppo R17 Pro is among the fastest out there.
In an era of stock Android and quality custom ROMs like MIUI and OxygenOS, Oppo's ColorOS is just not up to the mark. As we've seen in case of Realme's stint with ColorOS, it has been marred with bugs and glitches. From large and distracting animations to bloatware, ColorOS needs a lot of work. Fortunately enough it's not slow on the R17 Pro, but the customisations do feel a little forced.
Based on Android 8.1 Oreo, Oppo R17 Pro's ColorOS does have a range of software features which many of you may or may not use. There's a Samsung Galaxy Note-series slide app drawer for shortcuts to frequently accessed apps like messages, Facebook, and YouTube. You can add and replace these applications.
Swiping down from the top takes you to the Settings shortcut which has access to key features such as Google Assistant, Night Mode, Oppo Share and so on. You can also customise the section with new shortcuts such as smart driving, personal hotspot and one-handed use.
Oppo R17 Pro also comes with a few gesture controls. For instance, press and hold the power button for half a second to wake up Google Assistant. Set an omnipresent assistive ball to navigate from one app to another. Smart Driving lets you connect with your car via Bluetooth Car Kit or even set Do-not-Disturb Driving.
Overall, Oppo R17 Pro's software seems pretty much dated and has barely anything new to offer. We also didn't like the over-the-top customisation. Oppo has rolled out a new firmware update to bring more stability to the system. Roughly over 2GB in size, the update optimises camera performance and photo effects and enhances system stability.
If the software is the worst part of Oppo R17 Pro, the camera is the best thing. In fact it's a lot better than many high-end mid-range phones we've seen of late. The phone joins a small league of phones with triple-rear camera setup. It has 12MP lens, a 20MP depth lens, and 0.43MP Time of Flight (TOF) lens.
Oppo R17 Pro delivers excellent results in daylight. It handles colours and temperature very well. The depth mode is definitely among the best we've seen on any Android phone. This makes the phone perfect for clicking portrait shots.
Surprisingly, its low light performance is also quite impressive. Of course, it's not as good as Google Pixel 3's Night Sight. But it has its own Night mode. The catch, however, is that you need to keep your hands stable to get the shot right. Overall, results are quite impressive. If you're a Pro user, you will like the variable aperture mode - similar to Samsung Galaxy S9.
Oppo R17 Pro comes with a 25-megapixel front-facing camera which is good enough for you to take clean selfies. There are a few pre-loaded filters and modes to enhance your selfies.
Oppo R17 Pro runs on Qualcomm's capable Snapdragon 710 processor with 8GB of RAM. The phone is no powerhouse like OnePlus 6T but it's not a slouch either. It handles graphic-intensive games like PUBG Mobile and Real Racing 3 very well. The phone does heat up after longer sessions of gaming but this is quite common for phones with glass back panels. From multitasking to app launches, the phone gets the job done.
The SuperVooc fast charger is pretty cool. The charger adds about 40% of charge in just 10 minutes - making it one of the fastest chargers out there. Under the hood, Oppo R17 Pro uses dual-battery mode (1,850mAh + 1,850mAh) to optimise the battery performance. During our usage, we drew about day-long juice from the phone. This is when we extensively used the camera, browser and multimedia streaming. With light to medium usage, you can get more life from the battery.
Except for the poor software implementation, Oppo R17 Pro is an impressive phone. It looks good and delivers solid camera quality. Overall performance is also satisfactory. At ₹45,990, the phone however feels slightly overpriced considering OnePlus (OnePlus 6T MclLaren Edition) is offering a much better processor (Snapdragon 845) and RAM combination at the same price.