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OPPO F17 Pro Review – Just About The Looks

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
27th Dec 2020
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OPPO F17 Pro
Review Summary

OPPO F17 Pro is a part of the F-series and a Pro variant to the standard F17. The device has a sleek profile, premium build, and houses a quad-camera setup, a 4000 mAh battery under the hood and it is powered by Helio P95 AI processor that does all the processing. We wouldn’t want it for heavy gaming usage although the phone is above average on everything else so definitely not a bad deal.

PROS
  • Sleek profile at 7.48mm thickness
  • Latest ColorOS 7.2 skin with minimum bloatware
  • Excellent battery backup
  • Anti-lagging algorithm
CONS
  • Comparatively underpowered processor
  • Decent camera setup
  • Stereo speakers are absent
Key Specs
Battery Capacity
Battery Capacity
4015 mAh
Operating System
Operating System
Android v10 (Q)
Screen Size
Screen Size
6.43 inches
Highlights:
  • Yes
  • Corning Gorilla Glass v3
  • 4015 mAh
  • Android v10 (Q)
Introduction - Slimmest by OPPO

Well, if you want to talk about slimmer smartphones in 2020, then the list will be incomplete without the OPPO F17 Pro. I mean who doesn’t like a phone which is sleeker than a pencil itself. With a thickness of 7.48mm and weighing just 164gm, the F17 Pro is incredibly comfortable for longer periods of usage, whether it is gaming or texting. It features a quad-camera setup at the back and dual cameras in the front and features a bright Super AMOLED display. But what about performance and battery life? Where does it stand while competing against other devices in its price range like the Realme 7 Pro or the Vivo V20?

oppo-f17-pro

Let’s find out in our detailed review of the OPPO F17 Pro.

Have a quick look at the OPPO F17 Pro here in just 2 minutes.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

There is just a single variant of the OPPO F17 Pro with 8GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage priced at ₹21,490. As for the colour options, you get three shades to choose from- Magic Blue, Matte Black and Metallic White.

You can order it from Amazon.in or you can also purchase it offline. The F series from Oppo is widely popular in the offline market. But, do check out some awesome deals on Amazon. You can avail the buy with an exchange offer with exchange values of up to ₹11,200 off.

Box Contents

OPPO F17 Pro comes a white and blue packaging designed by OPPO. The box of OPPO F17 Pro includes a 30W charging Adapter, USB Type-C data cable, sim card ejector tool, earphones, quick start guide and warranty card, along with the device itself.

f17-pro

Specs at a glance

Before we talk in detail about the OPPO F17 Pro, let’s have a quick look at the key specifications. 

  • Display: 16.34 centimeters (6.43 inch) dual punch-hole sAMOLED FHD+ display
  • Processor: Mediatek Helio P95
  • Storage: 8GB/128GB
  • Software: Color OS 7.2 based on Android 10
  • Rear cameras: 48MP wide angle quad camera + 8MP wide angle camera + 2MP mono camera + 2MP mono camera 
  • Selfie camera: 16MP main camera + 2MP depth camera
  • Battery: 4015mAH, 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0
  • Build: Corning Gorilla Glass 3+
  • Weight: 164g
  • Dimensions: 160.10 x 73.80 x 7.48 mm
Design and Build

OPPO has put a strong focus in the design of the F17 Pro. They have tried to shrink down the form factor of the device to make it sleeker and more compact, which it definitely is. The back panel and the frame are both made of plastic and that was one big reason for my disappointment. It has a matte finish though, which gives it a premium feel and attracts fewer fingerprints and smudges. The Dual-tone design at the back has a gradient finish. I have the Magic Blue colour and it plays around with light giving different shades of blue, and purple on the edges. The camera module housing the quad cameras look similar to the one we had on the OPPO Reno4 Pro, but the camera bump is relatively smaller which is quite a relief.

oppo-f17-pro-design

At the front, there is a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED panel with a pill-shaped cutout for the dual Selfie camera, shifted to the top left corner. The camera cutout is quite thin and with the time you will no longer find it interfering while watching videos. After looking at the display for a while, I realised that the bezels are pretty slim at the top and the edges, but there is thin chin at the bottom. The screen comes protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3+ so yeah that’s sorted.

The headphone jack, speaker grille and the USB Type-C connector are all present at the bottom. The right side of the phone houses the power button, while the SIM tray along with the volume rockers is found on the left side. The secondary noise cancellation microphone is there and is present at the top.

All in all, the F17 Pro scores really well in the design part and I won’t be surprised if a lot of people buy the F17 Pro solely for its sleek design.

Display - Immersive but 60Hz?

The display on the Oppo F17 Pro is a 6.43-inch super AMOLED Panel with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a pixel density of 408ppi. There is the now-standard 20:9 aspect ratio and a screen-to-body ratio of 84.9%. The display can go as bright as 800 nits which is surprisingly bright for a device in this range, and from my experience with the F17 Pro, I can confirm, that you will have no problems while reading or viewing the contents on the screen even under direct sunlight.

f17-pro-display-colours

The FHD+ display provides an immersive viewing experience while watching multimedia contents. The colours look punchy and I had no issues with the viewing angles as well. You have the option to set the colour mode of the display and there is a temperature slider, so you can set the temperature based on your preference. The F17 Pro comes with Widevine L1 certification, but there is no HDR10+ or Dolby Vision support, which I personally think is a major miss from OPPO, as many smartphones even under the ₹18,000 mark have HDR support.

oppo-f17-pro-notch

Overall, the display on the Oppo F17 Pro is a pleasant one which is undermined only by its standard 60Hz refresh rate and it would have been a real game-changer if, OPPO had given at least a 90Hz panel with the F17 Pro. I mean yes, it was not that hard to incorporate considering the price.

Performance - Not One Of The Best Here

I don’t really think if the F17 Pro was made to outperform. Oppo F17 Pro is powered by the Mediatek Helio P95 SoC which is paired with 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1. It’s a decent budget chipset and can handle day-to-day usage without any difficulties. However, in terms of benchmark, it scores below the Snapdragon 720G both in multicore and single-core tests. But, leaving aside the benchmarks, in real-life use, I did not notice any particular lags or stutters while switching through apps, navigating across the UI, or multitasking.

oppo-f17-display

As for gaming, the Oppo F17 Pro is fairly capable of running almost every popular android game. I played Call of Duty Mobile at high settings and it ran without a hitch. Of course, the performance wasn’t as great as seen in high-end smartphones but what really matters is that the gameplay experience was quite comfortable. Although the device did get slightly warmed up, there was no prominent heating as such, so that the device may behave strangely.

Software - Close To Stock Android

OPPO F17 Pro ships with Colour OS 7.2 which is based on Android 10. This is the same UI that you get with the OPPO’s higher-end Reno4 series. There is a lot of bloatware that comes, across while setting up the device. Apps such as Amazon, Facebook, WPS office come preinstalled, but you can uninstall most of them. What you can’t uninstall are the 12 system apps and 10 tools, some of which I found useful like the recorder app, compass, calculator and FM radio.

There is a system-wide dark mode and it has 3 contrast levels- gentle, medium and enhanced, combined with the Auto-brightness feature it provides you with a comfortable viewing experience. The contrast levels can also be applied to third-party apps. The Game Centre adjust settings in a way that your performance is optimised, and ensures a better gaming experience.

oppo-f17-pro-software

OPPO has also incorporated air gestures for interacting with your device without actually touching it. You can wave your hand over the phone to answer a call or swipe through the gallery and much more. which is super interesting. Don’t ask about their usefulness or responsiveness but I did enjoy it.

Cameras - You Are Going To Look Beautiful

Oppo F17 Pro has a total of six camera sensors. The primary camera at the back is a 48MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture and 0.8µm pixels. The Ultra-wide angle lens has f/2.2 aperture and 1.12µm pixel size, finally we have the two 2MP depth and monochrome sensors. The dual selfie camera on the front houses a 16MP main sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. The macro camera is absent from the F17 Pro and it doesn’t have a macro mode in the camera app either.

oppo-f17-camera

The primary camera shoots 12MP binned photos with AI Scene enhancement enabled by default, but you can turn it off, if you wish so. In daylight, the shots captured are rich in detail with true-to-life colors and good exposure control. The HDR mode is hit-and-miss. It didn’t improve the overall image quality as expected. I noticed some highlight clipping or loss in details, especially in the shadow regions. The shots were taken with the Ultra-wide camera come out with equally good exposures, though there is an obvious loss in details. You don’t get a telephoto camera with the F17 pro, all you have is the 10x digital zoom, however, the image quality spoils over 5x zoom and you have to stick to 2x for some decent results.

There is a definite loss in detail once the light starts dropping, so it is recommended to use the night mode in the dark. It does recover some details in terms of making the scene better exposed but the results are just satisfactory. For a smartphone like this, which comes at a price of over 20K and touts its cameras as a key highlight, low light photography is quite average.

My selfies turned out good, or I would say better than good, thanks to the dual cameras at the front. By default, the images are brightened with smoothened skin tones, so better scale down the AI beautification to none, for getting more natural-looking selfies. The portrait mode selfies come out great as well with proper edge detection and good background blur. There are a lot of fun features like the ‘AI Portrait Color’ which keeps the human subject in colour while blurring out the background in monochrome. Other portrait features included are the ‘AI Super Night Portrait’ and ‘AI Night Flare Portrait’.

Video recording maxes out at 4K 30fps for the primary camera, but the videos shot look good only when recorded at 1080p resolution and during daylight due to the absence of image stabilisation in the 4K format. You do get EIS while shooting at 1080p resolution and it produces stable footage, but it struggles to focus while you walk and shoot.

Battery - Always On The Go

Talking about the battery, the OPPO F17 Pro houses a 4,015mAh cell under its hood. The device lasted for a day and a half on light to medium usage. However, upon heavy usage, there was a noticeable battery drain. I observed an 8-9 per cent of battery drain for a 20-minute gaming session.

For most average users the battery life will last more than a day but heavy users may find a need to plug-in the charger before the end of the day.

OPPO F17 Pro comes with a 30W VOOC 4.0 charging tech, that can charge the battery from 0 to 100% in just 57 minutes. Half an hour of charging is enough to charge the phone from a dead battery to 60%, which is quite impressive, though not the best. At the end of the day, I still wonder if all of these fast charging technologies are reliable, or are they just gonna destroy my battery life in no time.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

OPPO F17 Pro has a single bottom-firing speaker and it does not really impress with the sound quality. The output is clear at low and even at mid-volume, but gets muffed up at max volume. Also, the speaker gets covered up if you hold the phone in landscape and it completely blocks the sound. Even though the sound output from the solitary bottom-firing speaker is good enough and not bad, but it would have been much better if OPPO had given stereo speakers with the F17 Pro. Its closest competitors like the Realme 7 Pro and even the Poco X3, both have stereo speakers, that too at a competitive price.

The phone does have a 3.5mm headphone jack and you also get a pair of wired headphones bundled up with the device, which is a good thing to see in a smartphone box. The device does not come with Dolby Atmos sound but even though, the audio output from the headphone jack is pretty decent. The Bluetooth 5.1 ensures that audio streaming will be better with most recently launched earbuds or headphones.

The phone supports dual SIM (nano-SIM) with 4G enabled on both the SIMs. Almost all connectivity options are present onboard, like dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi calling, Bluetooth 5.1, USB Type-C 2.0 and USB On-The-Go. GPS with A-GPS and Glonass is present. Other sensors present onboard include Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Compass and Gyroscope.

For security, the OPPO F17 Pro accommodates an in-display optical fingerprint sensor, which works fairly fast. Facial recognition is also included for those who prefer this method of unlocking the device and it detected my face almost instantly and accurately in most scenarios. As usual, you can set up a secure 6-digit pin or password.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Sleek profile at 7.48mm thickness
  • Latest ColorOS 7.2 skin with minimum bloatware
  • Excellent battery backup
  • Anti-lagging algorithm

Cons

  • Comparatively underpowered processor
  • Decent camera setup
  • Stereo speakers are absent
Verdict
Oppo F17 Pro stands out on the design front. From its slim and compact form factor to the dual-tone matte-finished back panel, it is a gorgeous-looking phone. It has a bright AMOLED display, impressive fast-charging and cameras that offer a good daylight performance. But other than its premium design it doesn’t bring anything outstanding to the table, let it be performance or low-light photography. Also, Oppo hasn’t gone with aggressive pricing for the F17 Pro. The price tag of ₹ 22K feels a bit extra for the specs it offers as there are many other devices in the market with a stronger spec sheet and aggressive pricing like the Realme 7 Pro which has an equally good Super AMOLED display, a slightly better low-light camera performance and stereo speakers, all at a price of just ₹ 19,999. You can also consider the OnePlus Nord which is priced a bit higher at ₹ 25K and offers a 90Hz AMOLED display, a more powerful SoC and good Cameras.


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