Oppo is a diverse smartphone brand with product offerings that cover almost all major price points, starting from budget focused devices and going up to flagships. Talking of flagships, their recent R series release comes named as R17 Pro — also known as RX17 Pro in some regions — which we have with us and will be discussing about in detail within this review. The R naming lineup is renewed at least once each year and carries the best Oppo has to offer. Sporting interesting hardware such as a rear triple camera system and an in-display fingerprint scanner, R17 Pro is what Oppo has brought to the table in 2018.
For any premium range smartphone, as a good foundation for the overall experience, the hardware needs to be top-grade. As for the R17 Pro, it carries 128GB internal storage with options of either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Further, it has a dedicated multiple-lens camera system on the back, minimum bezels and some quite visually striking color options. For software, it is running the brand’s very own ColorOS 5.2 Android skin. Having tested this whole package quite thoroughly, here are our thoughts and conclusions on the R17 Pro from Oppo.
Before we begin with our review, here are all the important specs of the Oppo R17 Pro.
- Network: (GSM / FDD / TDD / WCDMA)
- Display: 6.4 inch 19.5:9 AMOLED FHD + (2340 x 1080)
- Processor: Snapdragon 710
- OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo), ColorOS 5.2
- Camera Rear: 12MP F1.5 / F2.4 (Dual Aperture) + 20MP F2.6
- Camera Front: 25MP F2.0
- Connectivity: USB Type-C, USB 3.1
- Sensors: E-Compass, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G-Sensor/Acceleration Sensor
- Memory: 6/8 GB RAM + 128GB internal storage
- Dimension: 157.6m x 74.6mm x 7.9mm, 183g
- Battery: 3,700mAh
Oppo R17 Pro: Design and Hardware
Phones with black plastic and two main color options — black or white — are a thing of past. No longer do we see standard slab designs that once were so popular. Rather, the industry has shifted towards curvier, more sleek devices that incorporate colors which were previously considered to be too bold. Oppo R17 Pro is a great example of this new strategy. Starting from the color, our unit arrived in the dual Radiant Mist configuration which is a combination of vibrant blue and purple. There is a second color configuration as well which is called Emerald Green, however, that color option is singular. Adding further to the experience, there is a light effect within the paint-job which shines in an S shape. This reflection ties in quite well with the design as it integrates with the curved borders and sloping edges of the rear. To achieve this, Oppo utilized a frosted glass back.
Further along, to unite the front and rear, there is a metal surround. What’s unique about the metal chassis is that it follows the dual color scheme. The left side — whilst looking from rear — has a purple paintjob whereas the other has blue. Both colors meet at the center with a gradient. We haven’t seen this before yet it looks so amazing. Further, there is a slight divot on the top and bottom which adds another unique touch. Exploring the sides itself, starting from the bottom, there is a USB Type-C port which supports Oppo’s VOOC fast charging — more on that ahead –, speaker cutout and the SIM/microSD card tray. The speakers are quite powerful, in fact, one of the better ones we have tested but they are not stereo which is a bummer. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack on the R17 Pro. On the left side, you will find the volume buttons whereas on the right, there is the power button. Up top is pretty empty as it only has a small hole for the speaker. The rear is fitted with the extended triple lens camera system. All modules are fitted in this elongated circular-cut rectangle shape to fit in with the curved corners. As for the front, the phone houses a 6.4 inch AMOLED display at a resolution of 2340×1080 and this panel has a fingerprint sensor fitted underneath. Also, the notch is shaped as a teardrop which makes it less intrusive and leaves space for more content.
The in-display fingerprint scanner is one of the key features this phone offers. Rather than increasing bezels to fit in a fingerprint scanner button, Oppo R17 Pro allows users to simply place their finger directly on the display itself to unlock the device. This isn’t something new but its good to see more and more phones adopt it. As for the accuracy and speed, it is still not upto par with physical scanners but the convenience and wow-factor is there. Judging the display’s quality, as Oppo went with an AMOLED panel, the colors are sharp with deep blacks and crisp text.
Internally, Oppo R17 Pro ships with a Snapdragon 710 processor, 128GB of storage and either 6 or 8GB of RAM, our unit arrived with 8. While the RAM and storage figures are quite well for the price, the Snapdragon 710 processor is a let-down. Keeping in mind the price, we think Oppo should have gone with the high-end Snapdragon 845 chip. Not that 710 is a slouch, but it still doesn’t perform in high-end tasks as smoothly as a 845. We have attached benchmarks right ahead for reference.
Oppo R17 Pro: Camera
Camera on the R17 Pro is yet another strong aspect. For specs, there are three lenses. Out of those, two are actual camera sensors whilst the other is Time Of Light sensor for Augmented Reality. For photos, there is a 12MP sensor with dual aperture of either f/1.5 or f/2.4. Plus, there is another sensor which is a 20MP module with f/2.6 aperture. Using this hardware, Oppo has setup numerous different photo modes in its photo app which allows users to get the perfect shot. There is a good Night Mode present to enhance low-light shots, there is HDR, there is an Expert mode and then there is also this unique Dazzle Color option which boosts saturation.
As you can view with the sample shots, the photos are quite good. For a detailed analysis of each Camera mode and feature, we have written a detailed article which you can read: Oppo R17 Pro Camera Features and Review.
Oppo R17 Pro: Connectivity and Battery
Oppo has outfitted the R series with all modern connectivity that is to be expected from a 2018 flagship. Starting from Bluetooth 5.0, 4G LTE support, the phone also comes with USB Type-C port which is capable of USB 3.1 transfer speeds and has OTG functionality. Before we move on ahead, this port also packs SuperVOOC charging. Thanks to this, the phone is able to reach a 40% charge from 0% within just 10 minutes. In our tests, we found this to be quite true as times recorded by us very just couple of seconds after the 10 minute mark. However, it is to be noted, that only the official cable and charger are capable of providing these speeds, otherwise the phone will react slowly to other chargers.
Despite the amazing charge speeds, the battery endurance still is quite important as you don’t always find yourself near an outlet and we are glad to report, the R17 Pro performed really well in that regard. Uniquely, the phone comes with two 1850mAh cells that power the phone hence making up a total of 3,700mAh capacity. We found ourselves heavily testing the phone, running benchmarks, testing apps yet it still managed to give a full day of usage and had some percentage left to last couple of hours throughout the next day. Combining this with the SuperVOOC, R17 Pro is truly an endurance smartphone. In fact, if you are looking for a device that has the best battery life in the market right now (at time of writing), we think R17 Pro is definitely up there with the best.
Oppo R17 Pro: Software
The end user doesn’t interact directly with any smartphone’s hardware rather it is the software which acts as a connecting unit hence it plays a pivotal role in any device. For R17 Pro, it runs Oppo’s ColorOS 5.2 which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo. At the time of launch, Android Pie was starting to arrive for Pixel devices so back then that wasn’t any issue but now, months after, there is still no Pie update which is alarming. Nonetheless, ColorOS sort of softens the blow. As the name suggests, the skin takes a very color inspired approach. The icons throughout the UI are bright and lots of different color combinations have been used. This skin is definitely suited towards the younger generation and that also is Oppo’s target market. Further, features such as Navigation gestures, which natively first arrived on Pie, are already present due to ColorOS.
In terms of customization options, Oppo R17 Pro has a lot of them. Users aren’t locked down in any way and they can choose to set up the phone however they like. Further, additional accessibility features such as Smart Sidebar and Assistive Ball are both unique and useful. We have highlighted some key functionality found in ColorOS.
Default bundled Oppo R17 Pro Apps and Features:
- Face Unlock: To ease users, ColorOS supports face unlock. Through this, users just need to look at the phone and swipe up to unlock. The service is reliable in low lit conditions and works quite fast.
- Oppo Secure Keyboard: To avoid any security risks, ColorOS automatically detects when users are inputting sensitive data such as passwords and automatically switched to its secure keyboard rather than allowing third-party keyboards to input.
- Smart Sidebar: As part of accessibility offerings, there is a smart sidebar which can be activated and the utilized by a simple swipe at any screen. Through this users can access apps and different functions like screenshots.
- Split Screen: To boost productivity, ColorOS also has its own split screen feature which lets users utilize two apps at once through split screen.
- Navigation Gestures: In order to provide users with extended display space and provide easy navigation, ColorOS supports complete navigation gestures.