The recently unveiled Find 7 by up and coming Chinese smartphone maker Oppo offers a cutting-edge spec sheet that boasts impressive features which many users were hoping to see on the relatively disappointing Samsung Galaxy S5. So how well does Oppo’s latest flagship stand up to the gold standard of phablets, the Galaxy Note 3? We take a look.
Ever since Samsung released the Galaxy Note 3 last September handset makers have been in an arms race to deliver a better, more powerful phablet experience. While LG G Pro 2 officially arrived in February at Mobile World Congress with high hopes of becoming the biggest rival to the Note 3, LG isn’t the only company looking to keep Samsung from dominating the phablet market.
The recently unveiled Find 7 by up and coming Chinese smartphone maker Oppo offers a cutting-edge spec sheet that boasts impressive features which many users were hoping to see on the relatively disappointing Galaxy S5. As was the case with the Find 5 and the N1 that came before it, Oppo has aimed to raise the bar once again with its latest flagship. So how does the high-end variant of the Find 7 stand up against the gold standard in phablets? We take a look below:
Design and Build
Putting these two devices side by side you immediately notice two very distinct design principles. While Samsung has never been considered the king of smartphone design, the Note 3 offered huge design improvements over its predecessor with smoother lines and an improved faux-leather removable pack panel.
The Oppo Find 7 on the other hand features a sleek, exciting look similar to that of the Oppo Find 5, with a more angular design that features a premium carbon fiber back panel with a woven pattern that resembles the Motorola Droid line.
Looking towards the front of the Find 7 we see a minimalist design, with no logos or physical buttons that might draw attention away from its gorgeous 2K display and pulsating LED notification strip. On the Note 3 you have the traditional Samsung Galaxy design, with a physical home button sandwiched between two capacitive keys.
Unlike larger devices such as the 6.4-inch Sony Xperia Z ultra, both of these phablets are easily pocketed with little restrictions on your everyday movement. While the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features a slightly larger display, both devices are relatively similar in size. The Oppo Find 7 is slightly taller, but also narrower, making it easier to hold with one hand. However the Note 3 is almost a millimeter thinner and weighs 3 grams less than the Find 7, but odds are you won’t notice a difference.
|Design Comparison||Oppo Find 7||Samsung Galaxy Note 3|
|Size||152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm||151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm|
|Weight||171 grams||168 grams|
|Construction||Polycarbonite / Carbon Fiber||Polycarbonite / Faux-Leather|
It is of little doubt that the crowning feature of the Oppo Find 7 is its 5.5-inch IPS-QHD screen. With a resolution of 2560×1440, this beauty packs a staggeringly sharp pixel density of 538dpi, easily out classing the slightly larger 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which features a resolution of 1920×1080 and pixel density of just 386dpi. Both screens feature a coating of Gorilla Glass 3 for extra scratch protection.
|Display Comparison||Oppo Find 7||Samsung Galaxy Note 3|
|Screen Size and Resolution||5.5″ 1440×2560||5.7″ 1920×1080|
|Technology||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen|
At first glance it appears that the Oppo Find 7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are equally matched with 13MP rear cameras, but look again. The 13MP Sony Exmor RS sensor on the Find 7 is actually combined with a 6 part lens that when used with a special software feature called Super Zoom, is capable of stitching together 10 shots taken in quick succession to produce a detail rich 50MP image. The Find 7 also supports RAW format, dual LED flash, and a slightly faster 2.0 aperture lens, which should appeal to more serious photographers.
On the front, the Oppo Find 7 beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with its 5MP front shooter with wide angle lens capable of producing an 80 degree field of view; the Note 3 on the other hand offers a much lower quality 2MP front facing camera. Both phablets can shoot 4K video @ 30 fps, 1080p video @ 60fps, and 720p video @ 120fps for super smooth slo-mo, and offer an impressive range of photo modes and pro settings like geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, panorama, and HDR.
|Camera Comparison||Oppo Find 7||Samsung Galaxy Note 3|
|Primary||13 MP, 4128×3096 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps||13 MP, 4208×3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps|
|Secondary||5.0MP||2.0MP 1080p @30fps|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR||Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, panorama, HDR|
Under the Hood
When it comes to power, Oppo didn’t cut any corners. The Find 7 packs the upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with a quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz. This is the same hardware that powers the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2, putting the Find 7 in elite company and offering a modest advantage over the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Both phablets feature the Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM, making the faster clock speed and memory interface the biggest difference between the two processing packages. Samsung also offers a HSPA model of the Note 3 which features an Exynos 5 Octa-core processor clocked at 1.9 GHz with a Mali-T628 MP6 GPU.
Both phablets come standard with an internal storage capacity of 32GB, though it is important to note Samsung offers a 64GB variant of the Note 3. The Oppo Find 7 gains a minor upper hand in storage with its ability to support the newly launched 128GB microSD cards in comparison to the Note 3 which can only support a maximum external memory of 64GB.
Communications on both devices come standard with WiFi (with hotspot capabilities), Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC. The note 3 gets additional brownie points for its 3.0 USB port opposed to the slower USB 2.0 featured on the Find 7. Don’t expect to be able to control your TV with the Oppo Find 7 either as it is not equipped with an infrared port like the one found on the Note 3.
Both the Oppo Find 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have large removable batteries, with the Note 3 offering a 200mAh bump over the 3000mAh beast that comes with the Find 7. For emergency situations, Oppo claims that the Find 7 can be charged from 0-75% in just 30 minutes with rapid charge capability. Even just a 5 minute charge can offer you almost 2 hours of talk time. Either way, both phablets should provide more than a full day of normal use when fully charged.
For whatever reason, Oppo has decided to ship the Find 7 with the same Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system found on the Note 3. You get Oppo’s custom Color OS skin on top with a similar implementation to what is found on the N1. Alternatively, the Galaxy Note 3 features the more familiar TouchWiz interface running on top of Jelly Bean. Samsung is also rolling out the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update for its most popular devices. Hopefully Oppo has similar plans in the works, though nothing official has been announced as of yet.
|Hardware Comparison||Oppo Find 7||Samsung Galaxy Note 3|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801||Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (N9005, N9002)/ Exynos 5 Octa 5420 (N9000)|
|CPU||Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400||Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 (N9005, N9002)/ Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 (N9000)|
|GPU||Adreno 330||Adreno 330 (N9005, N9002)/ Mali-T628 MP6 (N9000)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, temperature, humidity, gesture|
|Communications||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, bluetooth v4.0, NFC, USB 2.0||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, NFC, Infrared, USB 3.0|
|Battery||3000 mAh Li-Po||3200 mAh Li-Ion|
For some people, there’s nothing better than good old-fashioned handwriting, which is probably one of the main reasons why the Samsung Galaxy Note line-up has been so successful by offering its unique S-pen. Unfortunately, the Oppo Find 7 adopts a more conservative approach to the phablet niche, and lacks a stylus.
On the other hand, Oppo made a few unique software implementations of its own, like gesture controls. Pulling down the notification bar from the top left, for example, brings up a gesture panel which you can then use to draw custom gestures to call contacts or open up apps.
On paper, it looks like the Note 3 finally has some serious competition on its hands thanks to the cutting-edge hardware found on the Oppo Find 7. It is too early to tell however if Note 3 users will be willing to trade great software features like multi-window and native handwriting recognition for a modest bump in CPU and GPU performance, especially with the Galaxy Note 4 rumored to be released sometime this fall.
The Oppo Find 7 is currently available exclusively in Chinese markets with a global release expected for mid-April at about $599. For those who don’t require high end features, Oppo will be releasing a Full HD version called the Find 7A, with a more modest price tag of $499. In comparison, an unlocked Note 3 currently sells for about $599.