Oppo Find 7 review: Dark horse

Dark horse

GSMArena team, 02 July 2014.

Color OS atop Android Jelly Bean

Oppo Find 7 runs on Oppo's proprietary Color OS v1.2, which is another name for a heavily skinned Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Oppo's launcher customizations run very deep, they keep all Google apps and services, and even bring quite a few of its own - themes support, new lockscreen, homescreen, app drawer and settings menu among others.

If you are not into custom UIs, there is a preinstalled theme called Jelly Bean, which replicates the stock Android Jelly Bean UI for you as close as possible.

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Color UI • Jelly Bean theme

Here's a quick Color OS rundown on video to get you started:

The Color OS lockscreen is almost identical to the stock Android one. There's an unlock ring, which you slide to get to the homescreen. You can have widgets on the lockscreen, which are located to the left of the main window, while on the right there's a camera shortcut.

The screen supports double tap to wake gesture which also works on the Home key. The lockscreen also has a hidden flashlight shortcut - a press and hold of the Home button (the screen needs to be awake) turns on the dual-LED flash on the back of the device. It turns off when you let go of the Home button.

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The lockscreen

The homescreen of the Oppo Find 7 likes to keep things huge - its apps above the dock are organized in a grid of 4x4 and the widgets are hardly optimized for the large, high resolution screen. On the up side, you can add up to 9 homescreen panes, whereas most custom launchers top out at 7 (the stock Android one is fixed at 5).

The bottom of the screen is reserved for the dock. You can have any shortcuts or folders you like here - you can even move the app drawer shortcut (but not remove it altogether as you won't be able to access it). The dock has four default shortcuts (Dialer, Messaging, App drawer and Camera) by default, but you can actually fit a fifth one.

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The homescreen

Exclusive space is Oppo's custom homescreen page. Currently, there are only two available - Photo and Music. Photo space takes up a whole homescreen and features a live viewfinder so you can take shots straight from your homescreen plus a shortcut to the full camera app. Below you get a timeline with all your recent photos and you can share them very easy.

The second Exclusive space homescreen pane is Music. It features a cool, if slightly intuitive design with a vinyl for changing the currently playing song and stopping/resuming playback. You can change songs, go directly to the music player or the Phone app.

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Exclusive spaces - Photos, Music, customizing docked shortcuts on an exclusive Space

By holding a finger on an empty spot on the homescreen or performing a swipe up from the dock you open up the contextual menu. It lists widgets, wallpapers, effects and themes. You drag widgets upwards to place them on the homescreen.

Oppo's Color OS supports themes, one of which changes the appearance and functionality of Color OS to match that of stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

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Customizing wallpapers, widget menu, themes, and homescreen effects • Jelly Bean theme

By default the notification area will show one row of quick toggles, a brightness slider and a shortcut for enabling auto brightness mode, the current notifications plus a shortcut to go into settings. If you do a drag gesture from the quick toggles row you get two more lines of toggles. There's also a Kill all apps button there. At the bottom of the notification area sits a clear button to remove all your notifications at once.

A long press on a toggle will bring up its respective settings entry. By the way, you can access the notification area even if you slide down from any empty part of the homescreen (not just the top), which helps single-handed use a lot.

The task switcher is pretty close to stock Android. All your apps are shown in a vertically-scrollable grid of thumbnails, which you swipe either side to close or tap to open. Oppo has added a Kill All toggle at the bottom.

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The Find 7 notification area • App switcher

The app drawer is pretty simple - it has horizontally scrollable pages of 20 shortcuts or folders. A small green dot marks newly installed apps that haven't been launched yet. You can re-arrange or add to homescreen shortcuts by a tap-and-hold.

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App drawer

You can change the wallpaper with live or static ones and change the scrolling effect of the homescreens. There's one more option - Live Weather - it can flicker snow, rain, dandelions, etc. over the screen. The effect is very impressive - for instance, snow would pile up on your dock icons and the bottom of your homescreen.

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Live Weather effects

Then there's the Gesture panel. You access it just like you would open your notification area, but you need to start your swipe in the left quarter of the bar at the top, just as if you were pulling down the notification area. You can perform various gestures in the Gesture panel to open different apps. For instance drawing a circle would open the camera app but you can assign any apps to any gestures you want.

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Gestures menu

Finally, the Gesture & motion menu deserves our attention. It holds all the various gesture and motion tricks to make your life with the Find 7 easier.

For one you can swipe with three fingers across the screen to capture a screenshot or pinch with several fingers to launch the camera and more.

The Motion options are very useful, too - flipping the device will mute the ringer, raising the ringing Oppo Find 7 to your ear will automatically answer the call and more.

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Gestures and motion

Similar to the LG G3, the Oppo Find 7 has a Guest mode. It only gives access to apps that you've pre-selected so you can share your phone without worrying about private data or settings getting messed with. In order to use Guest Mode you'll need to set up a pattern or password unlock for regular access and seperate1425 one for Guest Mode.

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Guest mode

Overall, Color OS strives to be more feature rich than stock Android and has been customized quite deeply. It is still Android though, so users who are familiar with the OS won't have trouble knowing their way around Color OS. In fact most of Oppo's additions are quite welcome and improve the overall user experience.

Reader comments

Not everyone uses same amount of apps as you.

  • Anonymous

This phone support Wi-Fi AC too, 1. Fast charging, ops, none of these 2 have it.. 2. 2K screen, these phone don't has it. 3. Double tap to wake and lock, sorry, so called flagship phone don't need it. For everything you want to compare,...

  • Johnny

Noob. I have 20 gb of apps. Not enough? If not, find a 64gb or 128gb phone.