By Ajay Joseph
As a follow-up to the memorable Oppo Find X flagship device, comes the R17 Pro. With solid specs, insane fast-charging, a premium feel, and a great price tag to match. But with so many great phones released in 2018, the real question is — Does the Oppo R17 Pro stand out? Let’s find out.
Design and Ergonomics
The packaging in itself feels premium, which is a nice touch considering the positioning of the product. The box features a 2-tone gradient, similar to the phone. Inside the box are the charger and cable, neatly packaged earphones, a blue-tinted case, and the documentation with SIM tray pin.
Oppo largely sticks to its usual design ethos, with the glass and aluminum frame, featuring Gorilla Glass 6 at the front, and 5 on the rear. The device is large and sports a 6.4-inch screen. That said, though dense, it isn’t too heavy and is comfortable to hold. The design is elegant, with tapered edges and rounded corners. The best part is the satin-like smooth textured rear, which even makes the device feel premium to hold.
Oddly, the screen edge ridge is noticeable when the device is held from the front, which is uncomfortable. But it is more common for a mobile phone to be held with the rear against the palm, which is comfy. The volume up/down buttons are on the left, with the power button on the right. The dual SIM tray is at the bottom, beside the USB Type-C port.
At release in November 2018, there were three colors, with a fourth being added later. The Radiant Mist option pictured here is a gradient from purple to blue and is reminiscent of the Twilight color offered by the Huawei P20 Pro. Just that the gradient is from left to right, versus top to bottom. As mentioned before, it gets a frosted texturing’s, versus the shiny look. The edges feature the colors as well, which is aesthetically very nice. Simply put, it’s a good looking device, doesn’t need a case to jazz things up, and could very well match your clothes!
Specs and Performance
While going with a moderate octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, the R17 Pro pairs it with a humongous 8GB of memory, and a respectable 128GB of storage. Though the SoC is more of a midrange pick, versus the Snapdragon 845, it performs well for day-to-day use, with snappy application launches and flawless multitasking. Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, I can’t think of a scenario where the performance can be faulted. Even app installs were mighty quick!
The large 6.4 inch Amoled screen is impressive, with vivid colors, and excellent contrast. While the resolution is only 1080p, many flagships are still opting to avoid QHD for now. Atop there is a tiny notch, the teardrop, similar to the implementation on the Oppo F9. Also included is an in-screen fingerprint scanner, rounding out the premium package.
Battery and Fast-Charging
Battery life is perhaps one of the most important factors to me, and in that department, the R17 Pro does not disappoint. Heck, who wants to go about your day carrying a charger along? Sporting a 3700 mAh battery, the device easily lasts beyond a day.
The almost magical aspect of the device is the fast-charge functionality. Whatever you thought you knew of fast-charging benefits, get ready to be blown away. The device goes from 0 to 10 percent in just 1 minute. Give it 13 minutes, and it crosses 50 percent. Prior to the R17 Pro, the Huawei P20 Pro was the champ with its Super Charging, but the new Super VOOC Charge implemented here sets the new benchmark in fast-charging.
5.55pm – 2%
5.56pm – 10%
5.58pm – 15%
6.08pm – 54%
6.16pm – 80%
6.28pm – 100%
The Oppo R17 Pro runs Android 8.1 Oreo, with Color OS 5.2. If you’re familiar with the same combo on the Oppo F9 or have used other Oppo devices, you’ll find the user interface familiar. The side tray with shortcuts is present, which you can pull from the top right or left side (Smart Sidebar). The shortcuts within it can be customized based on frequently used preferences.
In addition to the Wi-Fi on and off, there’s also a dropdown list on the bottom right of the icon that lists available networks and allows you to select and join them, which is really useful, and one of my favorite inclusions. And once a WiFi hotspot has been configured, it always connects to it quickly and without hassle.
Prior to any apps being installed the devices has 115 GB of space available. What’s neat is that you can uninstall some Google apps, which are usually protected and can’t be removed, even if not used. Another interesting inclusion is data encryption for photos. The default photos app also neatly sorts the Selfies separately, which makes it easier to locate when particularly looking for front cam pictures.
Many of the cameras I’ve used in past Oppo mid-range devices have been average at best and largely forgettable. The result was always about okay on the phone screen, but lacking once transferred to say a computer. Finally, with the R17 Pro, that has improved considerably. On the rear it has a triple camera setup: a primary 12-megapixel sensor with OIS (optical image stabilization), a secondary 20-megapixel sensor, and a third TOF (Time of Flight) sensor, to help gauge distance between camera and subject.
Hardware specs aside, the resulting images are quite good, capturing impressive levels of detail. Even zooming into the images, both on the phone or say on a computer, the detail in the images is evident. Night mode is also quite impressive, requiring you to hold the device steady for a few seconds, but resulting in night shots with good highlight and detail. Though unfamiliar with the inner workings of the software, it could be a page out of the Huawei’s game-changing Night mode implementation on the P20 Pro.
Occasionally there were misses with the focus at close range/Macro sorta shots, wherein even after clicking on the preferred focus area, the focus was off. But this could be corrected with repeat efforts. In most other cases focus was quick, and the detail captured was good. For example the men on the bikes, taken while inside a slow-moving car.
The Portrait Lighting Effects in the software offer a lot of options and also allow for manipulation on images taken before which are stored on the phone. Interestingly the software now also support Portrait mode on pictures taken with the front cam. So selfies can also have a nice Bokeh effect. The front camera is a 25-megapixel lens, and as always, Oppo’s trusty Beauty enhancement is implemented, resulting in cleaner, smoother faces.
The R17 Pro was released at a price of P39,000, positioned just below the flagship category. But now, it’s available from Lazada.com and retailers at Greenhills at just a little over P29,000. Given the solid package, with the only step down being the 710 SoC, as always Oppo offers great bang for your buck. As mentioned earlier, unless you’re a hardcore gamer, needing the absolute bleeding-edge GPU, the R17 Pro behaves like a flagship and looks and feels like one too. You gotta give it to Oppo for creating such unique value propositions.
Right from the get-go, the Oppo R17 Pro is impressive — be it its packaging or the impressive textured rear and styling. Take into consideration the solid specs, good camera, massive screen, and battery, and you realize that the package is hard to beat, and then some. And all of this without even considering the insanely fast Super VOOC fast-charging, which is simply magical.
Verdict: A truly premium package at a less than premium price, with the fastest charging solution!