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OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus OneThe OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One are awfully similar phones. The 7 and 7A are, in fact, practically indistinguishable exteriorly. I’ve blogged about the awesome OnePlus One several times. Now, wouldn’t it be fun to also look at the Find 7, Find 7A, and see how they compare with the OnePlus One? Fun. So I asked for OPPO review phones to do this side-by-side review.

The Find 7 and 7A being so identical to each other may not be so much of a surprise. They are both made by OPPO, after all. The OnePlus One isn’t such a close clone, but it does share many similarities, both in terms of look, hardware, and even how the packaging is done.

Then again, considering that OnePlus was started by the previous Vice President of OPPO, and whom brought along a team of people from OPPO, the strong similarities might not be so surprising. Furthermore, OPPO makes the One for OnePlus, and they are both owned by the same parent, so it makes one wonder if OnePlus may simply be a branding for an alternative product strategy.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

The following table shows a quick summary of the key characteristics of the OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One.

OPPO Find 7 OPPO Find 7A OnePlus One
Display 5.5″ IPS, 1440×2560 5.5″ IPS, 1080×1920 5.5″ LTPS, 1080×1920
Processor 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
RAM 3GB 2GB 3GB
Storage 32GB 16GB 64GB
Expandable Storage Up to 128GB microSD Up to 128GB microSD None
Main Camera 13MP, dual-LED flash 13MP, dual-LED flash 13MP, dual-LED flash
Front Camera 5MP 5MP 5MP
Operating System ColorOS (Android 4.3) ColorOS(Android 4.3) CyanogenMod 11S (Android 4.4.4)
Battery 3000mAh 2800mAh 3100mAh (fixed)
Dimensions 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm
Weight 171 g 170 g 163 g

The OPPO Find 7 and 7A may look identical exteriorly, but under the hood, the 7 is clearly the one with the better technical specifications. The OnePlus One falls somewhere in-between the Find 7 and 7A. Then again, the One does come up tops in battery, thinness, and internal storage. However, the One is the only one without expandable storage, and without a removable battery.

All the phones are large. A little too large for my comfort. But I suppose if you’re considering one of these 5.5″ display phones, you should know what you’re getting into. The generous display size is really nice.

In the photos below, side-by-side phone layouts have the OPPO Find 7 on the left, followed by the Find 7A, and then the OnePlus One on the right. For photos with phones stacked up, the OPPO Find 7 is at the bottom, followed by the Find 7A, and then the OnePlus One at the top.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

All three phones have a curved back, so the left and right edges are slightly thinner than the centre. They also all have a single Micro USB port on the bottom edge.

The One has the microphone on the right, opposite of the OPPO phones, and also two speakers flanking the left and right.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

The OPPO phones have the power button on the left edge (photo above), and the volume rocker on right edge (next photo). The OnePlus One does it the other way around, having the power button on the right edge and volume rocker on the left. In addition, the One’s microSIM slot is on the left edge. The OPPO phone’s microSIM slot is hidden beneath the back cover.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

Incidentally, the easiest way to tell the Find 7 and 7A apart is to look at the small button on the bottom of the right edge. This button is for releasing the rear cover of the phone. The Find 7 has a gold colour button, while the 7A has a silver colour one. It’s a rather inconvenient way to get the back cover out. The OnePlus One’s cover doesn’t need any button to eject it, but unfortunately, it is also equally difficult to remove it.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

At the top edge, notice the OnePlus has the 3.5mm headphone jack on the opposite from where the OPPO phones have theirs. Yes, it is almost as if OnePlus One had to purposely swap sides so that they are different from the Find 7 and 7A.

On the front of the phone, you’ll notice again how the OnePlus One has put its camera on the opposite side.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

There’s also a big difference in the notification LEDs between the OPPO and OnePlus phones. The One uses a regular notification LED at the top, next to the speaker grill. The Find 7 and 7A use a LED light under the large wide lip in the plastic bezel below the bottom edge of the glass. It looks quite classy.

On the back, the OnePlus One has its camera slightly higher up compared with the Find 7 and 7A. Also, the OPPO phones have their speaker grill at the bottom. As you may recall, the One’s speakers are on the bottom edge.

OPPO Find 7, 7A and OnePlus One

Under the Find 7 and 7A covers are their removable batteries, microSD slot, and microSIM slot. The OnePlus One’s cover are removable, but there’s nothing under it that you need to access. The only purpose of removing the cover is to swap covers for a different style. OnePlus calls these StyleSwap covers, and unfortunately, there aren’t many to choose from, and indeed, not many available at all to actually buy.

There you have it, a tour of the OPPO Find 7, 7A, and OnePlus One. The first two are practically identical on the outside. The One is largely same, but different.

Under the hood, it’s much easier to tell all the phones apart. The most significant difference would be in their operating system. The OPPO phones run ColorOS. The One runs CyanogenMod in the international model, which is featured in this post. The One phones sold in the Chinese market is loaded with ColorOS, and does not have the Cyanogen branding on the back cover.

Android fans should have heard of CyanogenMod. It’s a community development of Android, based on the official Android Open Source Project, which is noted for its high customisability yet keeping with the overall look and feel of the pure Android experience. CyanogenMod is supported on many smartphones, and many Android users root their phones to put CyanogenMod on them. The OnePlus One, of course, saves all that trouble by choosing CyanogenMod to be their official operating system.

The Find 7 and 7A has a very nice always-listening “Hey Snapdragon” (no, not “Okay Google” like on the Motorolas) wake-up command that will wake up the phone even when the display is off. The One was supposed to have this feature, and indeed had it at the outset, but it was subsequently disabled in later CyanogenMod ROM updates. I guess they had some problems with it and decided to do away with the feature for the time being.

The prices of these phones will reveal another startling difference.

  • OPPO Find 7: S$719
  • OPPO Find 7A: S$599
  • OnePlus One: US$299 (16GB version), US$349 (64GB version)

OnePlus doesn’t sell to Singapore. You can buy it delivered to the US, then use a freight forwarder. The total cost, approximately, to receive the 16GB version of the One in Singapore is about S$430. Its significantly cheaper than the Find 7A. Of course, the 64GB version being only US$50 more, you’re better off getting that instead. That will work out to, maybe, about S$500, still a little less than the Find 7A.

The biggest annoyance with the One, though, is that despite it having been announced in April 2014, and shipping commencing in June 2014, you can’t simply just buy the phone. You need invites. There have been huge invites giveaway, and then pre-orders (without invites). Then, yesterday’s Black Friday deal opened up the One for sale, but they’re already out-of-stock. So, right now, you still cannot simply just buy the damn phone.

Conclusion

All the phones, the OPPO Find 7, Find 7A, and OnePlus One are excellent phones. There are some differences in the hardware under the hood, with a couple of trade-offs here and there. But by and large, the phones are all quite similar, and they can all easily pass off as being in the “premium” category.

The One is clearly ahead in value-for-money, but the Find 7 and 7A are readily available to buy any time. Naturally, being sold locally also means it’s easier to get support and warranty for the OPPO Find 7 and 7A. It will take patience and determination to get your hands on the One. For this reason alone, OnePlus may lose some sales to OPPO. That, and some users may find removable batteries and microSD card slots are absolutely must-haves.

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