Oppo R17 Pro Review

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Introduction

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has a reputation for manufacturing camera-centric mobile devices, especially in the budget segment. The company is offering great camera configurations to users of almost every price segment. Talking about the premium segment, the Oppo Find X was a fierce competitor for all those big and premium smartphone manufacturing brands out there. The Find X packed high configuration with innovative features and impressive camera setup. Oppo, as its second footprint in the premium smartphone segment, has launched its premium offering, the Oppo R17 Pro, in India.

The Oppo R17 Pro checks all the boxes that we see in any modern smartphone, be the edge-to-edge screen, multi rear camera setup, an in-display fingerprint sensor, a blazingly fast face unlock feature, and super-fast charging. The smartphone surely competes with other smartphones in the same price segment, such as those from OnePlus, LG, and Samsung. So, here’s our review to help you find out if the smartphone offers enough to justify the price tag or not.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

The Oppo R17 Pro comes with a price tag of Rs. 24,999 for the single 8GB RAM and 128GB storage with two colour options – Radiant Mist and Emerald Green. You can purchase it from both offline and online stores such as Flipkart, and Amazon.

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Box Contents

-The OPPO R17 Pro
-A transparent silicon case with a slight colour tinge
-50W Super VOOC charger
-USB-C to 3.5mm dongle
-A pair of USB-C earphones
-User manuals

Design and Build Quality

The Oppo R17 Pro offers a very modern design with the gorgeous gradient colour casing with shifts from deep blue to purple. Radiant mist and emerald green are the available colours rout of which we found the radiant mist colour to be more appealing, which gives a dual-tone combination of violet and blue. The back is made up of the usual metal and glass combination. The device is very sleek and provides a comfortable grip with the curvy design. The combination of the metal glass back along with tapered edges and rounded corners give the smartphone an exquisite look. Weighing just 182g, the device doesn’t feel too heavy or too light. The rear panel, due to the 3D curved Gorilla Glass 6 protection, makes the smartphone resistant to scratches and light drops.

Overall, the design is quite similar to the OnePlus 6T. The more significant triple-camera module at the back accompanied by an Oppo logo is what makes it different. Unlike other smartphones, the gradient colour on the R17 Pro is resistant to any fingerprints or smudges. The SIM tray finds its way to the bottom of the phone, alongside the USB Type-C port and a single speaker grille. The 3.5mm headphone jack is a significant missing. The power key resides on the right side, whereas the volume rocker keys are placed on the left side of the chassis.

Display

The Oppo R17 Pro houses a 6.4-inch Water Drop AMOLED display, which occupies 91.5% of its face. The notch is quite small. It houses a selfie camera, proximity and ambient sensors, and an earpiece. With an FHD+ (2340×1080) resolution and a pixel density of 402ppi, we found the display to be very sharp. Combining the above specifications with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, videos came out to be clear and crisp, and the viewing experience was quite nice due to extremely thin bezels and a very tiny notch.
The brightness and dimness levels are quite decent with appropriate deep blacks. Although there are no ‘special’ software features dedicated to the display, the colours are quite vivid and pop out as you would expect with any smartphone of this price tag. There’s also an in-screen fingerprint sensor that works well and is reasonably fast. The only complaint we had with the sensor was its placement, which we found to be a bit closer to the chin of the device. The Corning Gorilla Glass 6 further nurtures the display configuration.

Performance

The spec-sheet of the Oppo R17 Pro includes a Snapdragon 710 processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Though the 128GB of internal storage seems sufficient, some might get low on storage as there is no option of expanding the room. With this configuration, the R17 Pro was consistent but not exceptional. As we have seen with past Oppo smartphones, excellent camera performance does have some compromises with the performance.
Though the Snapdragon 710 processor is an efficient one and sits above the Snapdragon 600 series, it does lag behind the Snapdragon 800 series, which we can easily find on other competitors in the same price segment. The octa-core chipset is clocked at 2.2GHz and coupled with an Adreno 616 GPU. The performance was decent, we didn’t encounter any crashes or hitching during our use, and the phone handled most of the day-to-day operations without any hiccups. Multitasking and intense graphic games sailed smooth, but we did find the performance lag behind other smartphones when we took the benchmark test.

Software

Coming to the software, the phone runs on Color OS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. The custom skin offers a host of software features which many of you may or may not use. The phone also comes with gesture controls for split-screen multitasking, taking a screenshot, turning on the display, and assistive ball for easy navigation. Pressing and holding the power button for half a second wakes up the Google Assistant. You may find the smart bar feature to be very useful, allowing quick access to your favourite apps, similar to Samsung’s edge UX features. We also get a Smart Driving feature, which proves to be very handy. For some, the over customized skin and bloatware, such as pre-installed applications might not be appealing. The UI might feel dated and chunky and still requires improvements. If you are a ‘pure’ Android enthusiast, you want to look elsewhere.

Cameras

One of the major USP of all Oppo smartphones is their camera. Often, we see the cameras in Oppo smartphones outperforming many high-end mid-range phones. Talking about the R17 Pro, the smartphone boasts a triple-rear camera setup at the back a 25-megapixel front-facing camera residing in the waterdrop notch. The Oppo R17 has one of the most curious setups, the first rear camera being a 12MP lens, the second being a 20MP depth lens, and the third is a 0.43MP Time of Flight (TOF) lens. The photos captured by the rear camera are quite excellent in most lighting conditions. The pictures in bright light settings were although better compared to dim light environments. We get the same variable aperture technology that we found on the Samsung Galaxy S9, offering sharp, detailed images with vibrant and natural colours. The depth sensor works as it should be, creating impressive background bokeh for portraits. The autofocus is quick, and so is the shutter. We also get different lighting effects meant to make your portraits look more professional or playful.

The Time of Flight sensor is another camera highlight which we hardly see on any other smartphones in the same segment. The sensor helps in 3D photography and also in AR apps and games. Unfortunately, it’s a bit buggy at present, but when implemented accurately, it can further strengthen the accuracy of bokeh and give portraits a superior edge over its competitors.

The selfies captured by R17 Pro are appealing with accurate skin tones and natural colours. The results aren’t that impressive when we compare it with other smartphones, but the picture quality is decent and more than adequate. The AI camera features are similar to the ones found on most Chinese smartphones. It works by softening the details and brightening the faces. For the front-facing camera, we found the AI modes making the selfies look artificial, but it depends on how you want the photos to look. The AI mode for the rear camera works excellently by optimizing the image based on what it sees to produce a better picture. The mode also toggles the Ultra Night Mode for low-light or night time photography if it identifies the seen to be dark. It does help in producing sharper and brighter images but also sometimes makes the pictures look artificial.

Battery Life

With a total battery capacity of 3700mAh and an energy-efficient processor, the Oppo R17 Pro promises a long-lasting battery life. Another highlight of Oppo smartphones is its impressive fast charging support. The same is for the R17 Pro, which comes with the SuperVOOC Flash Charging and a massive 50W charger. The charging speed is blazing fast, requiring less than an hour to take the battery charge from zero to 100 per cent. Oppo claims that the device can juice to 40 per cent in just 10 minutes, and we could verify it. We were able to derive a full day of usage when we extensively used the camera, browser, and multimedia streaming. With medium to light usage, you can expect to get even more life from the battery. This is quite decent when we compare it to other smartphones, such as those of OnePlus or LG.
A disappointing thing about the R17 Pro is the lack of support for wireless charging. At a similar price tag, we find almost every other smartphone coming with wireless charging support.

Pros & Cons

Pros
1. Gorgeous design
2. Super VOOC charging is high-speed
3. Eye-catching fog gradient colour
4. In-screen fingerprint sensor
5. Dual aperture camera
6. Decent camera configuration
7. Supports up to 8 GB RAM as well
8. Colour OS brings some useful software improvement and features

 

Cons
1. No water resistance
2. No 3.5mm jack
3. No wireless charging
4. Facial unlock fails in the dark
5. Color OS seems dated with excessive bloatware
6. Somewhat overpriced

Verdict

The Oppo R17 Pro is a great premium handset that scores in almost all critical areas and is a joy to use. It has some impressive hardware, decent display, and excellent camera configuration. It feels premium, looks gorgeous, and has a fantastic spec sheet, especially the SuperVOOC Flash Charging. The Ultra Night mode is a great feature to improve low-light or night time photography. Things such as software, the lack of headphone jack and wireless charging, a missing MicroSD slot, and water-resistance might sting many users out there. We wish that Oppo could have offered water resistance and support for wireless charging as these are some of the most common features that we can see in smartphones of this segment, Reliable updates can be expected from Oppo, but there can be delays. The Snapdragon 710 is a decent offering but lags behind other competitors who offer more powerful processors such as the Snapdragon 845 with much less bloatware. Of course, you won't get a camera as good as R17 Pro, but the sacrifice on performance may not be a choice for many. However, if you do not mind the dated software, and need a modern and refreshing design along with a mind-blowing charging speed and superb camera, the Oppo R17 Pro is the one for you.