OPPO continues its progress in the middle to high end smartphone market by bringing the OPPO R17 and R17 Pro to New Zealand.
The new handset is a natural evolution, with a slightly updated design over previous models - including a teardrop-shaped notch which has a much smaller "footprint" on the screen and enhanced camera software.
The new R17 Pro is powered by a SDM710 processor and a Adreno 616 GPU - also it comes with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage to start with. The result is a smartphone with power enough to get you through the day - be it just running business apps, taking photos or playing movies. For reference, the AnTuTu benchmark gives it a total score of 157231 placing it squarely in the middle of the reference. In terms of CPU the score of 63887 puts it on the top 58%, similar to the UX 43571 result. The GPU benchmark was less than I expected, with a 41660 score.
The 6.4 inches AMOLED screen has a 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution (402 PPI) and it is basically a deeply satisfying edge to edge display - on a device that measures 157.6 mm x 74.6 mm).
With a 25 mp front-facing camera for perfect selfies, and a dual-camera (12 mp f1.5/f2.4 and 20 mp f2.6) the photos are really impressive. Like most high-end phones now the camera will use AI Scenes Recognition to automatically adjust settings for the perfect shot, while still offering the ability to manually change settings for those of you inclined to add your own personal touch to the picture.
While supporting a good number of wireless technologies - including NFC, which was missing on the OPPO Find X model, WiFi 2.4 GHz/5 GHz and mobile (it is a dual SIM model, supporting FDD-LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/32, TD-LTE bands 34/38/39/40/41), the most interesting bit I found was the oRoaming app.
Using oRoaming you can buy mobile data at competitive prices to use - even without a SIM card. Basically is like getting a new virtual SIM card on a country you are visiting. The technology uses whatever data you have available (usually WiFi or even mobile data if you are doing this before you leave your coverage) to buy a data package that will be automatically enabled when you land in the destination country of your choice.
If you have not enabled this option before leaving, don't worry - the app offers a free limited functionality data connection that allows you to buy a package on your destination country. This is the first time I've seen this technology available on a handset in New Zealand.
The OPPO R17 Pro also supports Voice over WiFi, which is available in New Zealand through 2degrees - although I have not tested it on the network so you might have to confirm this with the mobile operator before justifying the new smartphone based on this feature alone.
Another interesting feature, which I've only seen so far on the Huawei Mate 20 devices is the on-screen fingerprint - the OPPO R17 Pro has the fingerprint reader built-into the screen, an inch or so from the bottom of the front side. It uses a combination of light sensor and OLED self-lighting to capture your fingerprint scan. It works really well and is a fast alternative for security - in addition to PIN and face recognition options.
OPPO continues to use their ColorOS, a variant of Android 8.1, now on version 5.2. It is basically a very close version of the system. The main difference in my view being how notifications are shown - basically you don't see all those notification icons on the header but they are all listed when you swipe down on the screen from the top.
The OPPO R17 Pro comes with SuperVOOC, the absolutely fast charging system OPPO has put on his phones. Thanks to its 50W (10 V/5 A) flash charging, you can have your phone charged to 40% in about ten minutes. You must of course use the supplied charge and cable or the proper replacements but it's amazing seeing the phone go from almost empty to almost half full power in so little time. And of course it uses a USB-C connector.