The Oppo Reno 7 is the smaller sibling of the Reno 7 Pro (Review) and it has also been launched at a lower price than its predecessor, the Oppo Reno 6 (Review). Unlike the Reno 7 Pro though, the updates made to the Reno 7 are mostly focused around the design. It does get a couple of useful additions such as expandable storage and a slightly larger battery, but the features and specifications haven’t really changed compared to the Reno 6. I’ve outlined the big changes in my first impressions of the phone, and it’s now time to take a closer look at how it performs. Does the Oppo Reno 7 continue to offer as good value as its predecessor? Read on to find out.
Oppo Reno 7 price in India
Oppo has launched the Reno 7 in India in just one configuration, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage priced at Rs. 28,999. The increase in storage compared to the Reno 6 is welcome, and what’s even better, is that you can expand this thanks to the dedicated microSD card slot. The Reno 7 is available in two colours, Startrails Blue and Stary Black.
Oppo Reno 7 design
The new design of the Oppo Reno 7 looks nice. The rounded frame and curved edges of the back give this phone a sleek aesthetic. The Reno 7 also gets the same laser-etched pattern on the back that the Reno 7 Pro has. It looks good and does’t attract fingerprints. This phone is also slim and light, weighing just 173g.
All of this makes the phone very comfortable to hold and use, but on the flip side, Oppo has had to make certain compromises. The glossy frame and the back panel of the Reno 7 are built using plastic, not metal and glass like with the Reno 7 Pro. Even the Reno 6 had an aluminium frame, which makes this a bit of a downgrade.
The Oppo Reno 7 does have a headphone jack. The 6.4-inch AMOLED display is similar to the one on the previous model. It has a full-HD+ resolution, 90Hz maximum refresh rate, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The bezels around the display are relatively slim, except for the chin. You also get an in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition using the selfie camera in the hole-punch cutout.
The Oppo Reno 7 comes bundled with a case, a 65W charger, a USB cable, and a SIM eject tool.
Oppo Reno 7 specifications and software
Oppo hasn’t bothered refreshing the SoC in the Reno 7 – it’s the same MediaTek Dimensity 900 from the Reno 6. This is still a relatively recent and powerful 5G SoC, and is built using a power-efficient 6nm fabrication process, but having something newer such as the Dimensity 920 would have made this phone more competitive, especially against models based on Qualcomm’s offerings such as the Snapdragon 778G. The Reno 7 gets Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, and support for the usual satellite navigation systems. The phone misses out on stereo speakers, which is a shame considering how commonplace this feature has become.
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 personalise the look of your phone, and plenty of customisations for the always-on display too, including new Apple-like Omoji avatars. There’s plenty of bloatware too, in the form of third-party apps, which have the tendency to clog your notification shade with spammy alerts. Thankfully, all of them can be uninstalled.
Oppo Reno 7 performance and battery life
Day-to-day performance was solid, in my time with 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 visible sluggishness or slowdowns in the animations. The low weight and slim body of the phone also meant carrying it around in my pocket wasn’t a burden, and one-handed use was comfortable.
The Reno 7 handled videos and games very well too. I wasn’t able to install the Netflix app on my unit for some reason, but videos streamed via Amazon Prime Video and YouTube looked good. Audio quality was decent but the experience could have been better with stereo speakers. Heavy games such as PUBG: New State ran well with the graphics quality cranked up. Gameplay was smooth and the Reno 7 never got uncomfortably hot even after prolonged sessions. Benchmark numbers were decent too. The Reno 7 scored 4,35,227 points in AnTuTu, which is respectable.
The bump in battery capacity to 4,500mAh (from 4,300mAh) seems to have contributed to a noticeable impact on battery life. The Oppo Reno 7 ran for a good 19 hours and 25 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is three hours better than what the Reno 6 managed. With normal use, I was easily able to squeeze out two full days of use. Charging was pretty quick too and I was able to fully charge the phone in well under an hour using the supplied charger.
Oppo Reno 7 cameras
Just like the SoC, the cameras on the Oppo Reno 7 haven’t seen much change. The AI features in the camera app are said to have been tweaked and you can now digitally widen the aperture for a shallower death of field when shooting videos, just like on the Reno 7 Pro. However, these are minor changes and everything else is the same as what we’ve already seen on the Reno 6. Video stabilisation is still limited to 1080p ,and the phone can shoot at up to 4K 30fps. If you enable any of the filters or AI features when recording video, the resolution defaults to 1080p.
The camera sensors are also very similar. The Oppo Reno 7 has a 64-megapixel primary 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 in the front.
Daylight landscapes and close-up shots taken with the main rear camera packed in good detail and colours were fairly accurate. The ultra-wide camera, expectedly, captured weaker detail but delivered a wider perspective. Macro photos weren’t too bad if taken in daylight. When AI was enabled, colours were artificially boosted, especially in pictures of plants and food. Low-light shots were pretty decent and Night mode helped improve the exposure, while suppressing noise pretty well.
Selfies shot during the day packed in very good detail. Skin tones looked natural once I disabled the beautification effects. The Bokeh Flare Portrait filter is present here too, and offered a cool background effect. Selfies shot in low light had good detail too. A screen flash can be used to compensate for the lack of ambient light, and this was helpful.
Recorded videos were plagued by the same issues that I encountered with the Reno 6. 4K videos were of decent quality under good lighting but the lack of stabilisation was very disappointing. You can use stabilisation at 1080p, but the quality drops and its effects are magnified when shooting in low light. The ability to play around 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.
It’s been less than a year since the Oppo Reno 6 was 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 this phone with a Reno 8 within this year, the Reno 7 might have a tough time finding 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 too, 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 dependable 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 are not too bad when it comes to stills. Plus, the ability to expand the internal storage is a nice addition to this model. Some of its downsides include the lack of stereo speakers, weak video recording performance, and a downgraded plastic body compared to the Reno 6.
My advice for anyone looking at buying the Oppo Reno 7 would be the same as what I said in my review of the Reno 7 Pro: it’s a good phone without any glaring faults, but just know that offerings with more features are available, some of which I’ve named above, and these alternatives offer a lot more bang for your buck.