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OPPO F17 Review – Buy It For The Looks

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
19th Jun 2021
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OPPO F17
Review Summary

Oppo F17 is definitely a premium-looking smartphone at a competitive price tag with a superb panel on board. However, its chipset could have been better since even though it can take up a lot, it is still old and could have been better. Moving on, the battery size, although being large, it is standard in all smartphones right now although a faster 30W highlights it. The average camera, speaker sound output, and the standard 60Hz refresh rate are some other traits that you will have to comply with if you choose to buy it.

PROS
  • 3.5mm headphone jack is available
  • Dedicated microSD card slot
  • An in-display fingerprint scanner is present
CONS
  • Old tear-drop shape design used
  • The top bezel is more than enough
Key Specs
Battery Capacity
Battery Capacity
4015 mAh
Operating System
Operating System
Android v10 (Q)
Screen Size
Screen Size
6.44 inches
Highlights:
  • Yes
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • 4015 mAh
  • Android v10 (Q)
Introduction

Oppo introduced F17 and F17 Pro last year in September with a bang. Oppo F-series is one of the best-selling lineups and F17 is no different. It brings comfort with style and power in your hands with its mid-range specifications that fit right in your budget. The Sub-20K INR smartphone is slim, has a leather-styled back panel, a mid-range but Snapdragon chipset, a giant 4,000 mAh battery, and more to offer on the table.

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I got to use the phone for more than a week to test out its hardware and software configuration and its practical performance. Here’s a hands-on review of Oppo F17 that you must read.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

Oppo F17 is in store with three colour variants i.e. Classic Silver, Navy Blue, and Dynamic Orange. The 6GB+128GB variant is up for sale at INR16,990/- while the higher 8GB+128GB variant is available at Rs.18,490/- in India. Available on both Flipkart and Amazon India, you can club it with a ton of other offers including No Cost EMI, cashback, and discounts using Amex CC EMI at up to 5 per cent discount, and so on. You can also avail of the 6GB+128GB variant at Rs 15,990/- on Amazon India without an offer.

Specs at a glance

Before we talk in detail about the Oppo F17 let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?

  • Display: 16.36 cm (6.44 inch) Full HD+ AMOLED Display
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
  • Storage: 6GB/128GB
  • Software: ColorOS 7.2 based on Android 10
  • Rear cameras: 16MP (main) + 8MP (wide angle) + 2MP (mono) + 2MP (mono)
  • Battery: 4015 mAh, 30W VOOC flash charge 4.0
  • Weight: 163g
  • Dimensions: 
Design and Build

Without any further ado, I would say Oppo F17 is one of the best-looking smartphones out there. Its faux leather back panel takes the shine even from many midranges and even some flagship phones from Oppo and some other brands.

Talking about the design, the back is a faux leather panel that has a leathery feel to it. This allows users to use their phones without needing a phone cover. Oppo hasn’t gone wild with branding so there’s just a tiny plate on the bottom left corner that has Oppo branding on top of it. Plus, there’s a square quad-camera setup on the top left corner that looks neat and clean. I loved the shiny metal ring that runs across the parameter highlighting the rear camera assembly aesthetically.

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At 163 grams, Oppo F17 is also one of the lightest smartphones in the market. Having a lightweight means it is easier to hold and grip and doesn’t put a strain on your hands. I usually love flat sides and it turns out F17 has it as all four sides are flat although the edges are curved and that looks good too.

I have the Navy Blue colour edition that looks uber fantastic. You also get Dynamic Orange and Classic Silver both of which have their oomph factor to it.

About the I/O ports and buttons, you get a bottom-firing speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a primary mic at the bottom. The right takes care of the power button while the left side gives you access to volume rockers and a SIM card tray with a dedicated microSD card slot. Finally, there’s a secondary mic on top and that completes this design section as well.

Display

That’s the first and the most interactive element on a smartphone and thus, it has a top-most priority. Specs-wise, the Oppo F17 sports a rich 6.44-inch Super AMOLED panel with 1080×2400 pixels resolution. It has a 20:9 aspect ratio which is good for watching movies and games while a waterdrop-shaped notch takes care of distractions a giant notch could cause.

Having a good-quality display is paramount to all things you would find on a smartphone. Luckily, Oppo F17 gets a giant FHD+ Super AMOLED display which means it can produce vibrant colours as it should. No doubt a Super AMOLED panel is way better than an LCD panel and having FHD+ resolution to it makes it even more rewarding. Oppo says that the display has a 90.7 per cent screen-to-body ratio which means it stretches almost to the edges.

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Talking about the bezels, F17 is still a mid-range budget smartphone and thick bezels are quite natural at this price tag. Although Oppo could have embedded slightly thin bezels, you are left with decently-sized bezels on four sides where the chin is significantly larger.

The display is bright enough to stay visible even when using under bright sunlight which is something AMOLED panels are known for. I would say the display could have gone even brighter since the more, the merrier. Further, the display can stream HD content thanks to DRM L1 Widevine certification and that includes OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. This goes without saying, there’s no HDR support for OTT on F17.

Oppo F17 lets you use the Always On Display and DC Dimming feature both of which are somewhat premium features and not all smartphones may get it.

Performance

Under the hood, Oppo F17 runs on a mid-range chipset from Qualcomm. I am talking about Snapdragon 662 octa-core SoC which is built on an 11nm node and has a dual cluster arrangement. This includes four high-performance 2.0GHz Kryo 260 Gold cores and four power-efficient 1.8GHz Kryo 260 Silver cores. It comes tagged along with Adreno 610 GPU along with 4/6/8GB RAM and 64/128GB of eMMC 5.1 storage.

If you want to know the figures, Oppo F17 reached 309 points and 1371 points on single and multi-core tests on Geekbench, 6121 points on PCMark Work 2.0 among others. F17 uses the same chipset as Moto G9 and Realme 7i among others. I dabbled with the performance to check how it fares when tested on apps and games. Turns out multitasking and toggling between apps can not get any easier with F17. It was able to handle multitasking with ease probably because of a Snapdragon processor and not an Helio processor.

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I did have issues with the standard refresh rate since its competitors offer HRR but let’s chuck it for a moment because not all games offer a faster refresh rate. Most of the titles are limited to 60fps max and they can’t be upscaled unless the developers push the update irrespective of how powerful a processor could get.

Playing COD Mobile for some time causes no lags unless you are taking on longer sessions where you can get minor frame drops. I don’t think there will be an issue playing light games at all like Candy Crush. But let’s say it isn’t a hardcore gaming phone and thus, don’t expect it to work as such.

Cameras

Oppo F17 houses a quad-camera set up in a square camera bump. It houses a 16MP primary shooter with f/2.2, PDAF; a secondary 8MP ultrawide snapper with f/2.2 aperture and 119-degree FoV; and two 2MP sensors for depth and macro. On the other hand, the front houses a 16MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture in a waterdrop-shaped notch. That’s all about the camera setup on-board Oppo F17.

Oppo F17’s quad-camera setup is a mixed bag offering you a lot more than what you can see on paper. It is half of what most mid-range smartphones offer when it comes to the primary sensor but hey, having a camera with more MPs doesn’t guarantee better images.

The primary sensor can click average images, to be honest. You will be surprised by how the camera makes strides to take better shots. Daylight shots are obviously great and in line with many other mid-range devices. All the images maintained the required level of details and colour reproduction although you will see significant differences between shots taken under a clear sky and an overcast sky.

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As mentioned above, the colour reproduction is on-point with the price segment. In fact, now that it’s raining and every tree is blossoming with greener leaves, this gives you a whole lot of avenues to capture shots both using the primary and the ultrawide snapper.

The ultrawide snapper mounted on Oppo F17 is almost the same you get with many other budget phones. It does take images with a larger field of view, it still captures quality shots at daylight while nighttime shots suffer from a lack of details. Also, you would need super steady hands to take shots with night mode engaged so rather use a tripod instead.

Portrait shots were good although the edge detection and background blur are somewhat off point in some conditions. But overall, it can be termed as average and that too in a good way to be honest.

The beautification on the front camera is enabled by default so you need to dial it down. This ensures that the faces look as realistic as possible and not as if someone just slapped a kilo of makeup on his/her face every time you take a selfie using the front camera.

Macro shots on F17 are good perhaps although if you crop it further, the lack of details is apparent. In any case, if you snag a focused macro shot, it is overall decent in quality.

Battery

Well, it’s a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood for Oppo F17 which is a standard nowadays and nothing that stands out. It should last for a day even on moderate to heavy usage. Plus, the software is optimized well and has power-saving profiles that enable users to extend the battery life even further.

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It is paired with 30W fast charging tech that takes around 30 minutes to fill up the tank to 50 per cent while it takes around 53 to 55-minutes to juice up the battery to 100 per cent. It may not be the most powerful fast charging tech, considering the price segment Oppo F17, I wouldn’t say it is any bad. It does its job without any hassle.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

You get a single bottom-firing speaker. Now that means you get a decent sound quality which may not blow you away but it’s good for media consumption. Perhaps, having a 3.5mm headphone jack makes a lot of sense since you get to use your old pair of earphones/headphones without switching to USB-C or Bluetooth solutions.

Being a mid-range smartphone, Oppo F17 has a few connectivity features up its sleeves. You don’t get NFC but you do get Wi-FI 802.11ac with dual-band, Bluetooth v5.1 with LE and A2DP as well as GPS which includes navigation systems such as BDS, Galileo, Glonass, and A-GPS. There’s a USB-C 2.0 port that you can use for charging the phone, transferring data, and of course, connecting earphones and headphones with USB-C ports. Plus, you get a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack which is all you need if you are an audiophile.

Talking about cellular networks, you can get excellent 4G LTE on Oppo F17 from Jio (that I used here for testing). The network reception is excellent and I was able to make calls, access the internet, and even play online games like COD Mobile without any hassle.

Oppo F17 packs in a third-generation under-the-display fingerprint scanner. It is fast and snappy enough to give you access to the phone in a jiffy. The FPS is reliable as well.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 3.5mm headphone jack is available
  • Dedicated microSD card slot
  • An in-display fingerprint scanner is present

Cons:

  • Old tear-drop shape design used
  • The top bezel is more than enough
Verdict
It’s the verdict time and turns out Oppo F17 (just like any other smartphone in the world) has pros and cons to know before finalizing the purchase. F17 is definitely a premium-looking smartphone at a competitive price tag with a superb panel on board. However, its chipset could have been better since even though it can take up a lot, it is still old and could have been better. Moving on, the battery size, although being large, it is standard in all smartphones right now although a faster 30W highlights it. The average camera, speaker sound output, and the standard 60Hz refresh rate are some other traits that you will have to comply with if you choose to buy it. At the end of the day, it depends on the user’s preference on which he/she decides to go for it or not. There are a lot of alternatives to Oppo F17 available in the market that you can choose from.


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