Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 vs Oppo AX7 phone review

Full-featured phones no longer need to be expensive.

Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 and Oppo AX7 phones

In the past, you’d have to pay more than a grand for a phone with dual cameras and facial recognition. However, the Huawei Y7 Pro 2019 and Oppo AX7 deliver these high-end features in phones that cost less than $400.

Looking the part

A downside of low- and mid-range phones (less than $500) is they tend to look the part compared to expensive models. Neither of these phones has that problem – both boast clean, sleek lines and large screens with a camera notched in. The Oppo’s look and feel stood out, especially the gold detailing around the rear-facing camera and fingerprint sensor. It has metal sides (though the back is plastic) and comes in “glaze blue” and “glaring gold” with no black option. I was impressed as colour choices are rare for anything but high-end phones. The Huawei isn’t too shabby either with a smooth, rounded look, but it’s all about black with no colour options.

Left: Huawei Y7 Pro, right: Oppo AX7.
Left: Huawei Y7 Pro, right: Oppo AX7.

Both phones came with a protective gel case. The gel is transparent, so your phone isn’t hidden by the case. I preferred the slim Huawei case as it sat flush with the screen. In comparison, the Oppo’s case was bulky, sullied the phone’s clean lines and easily trapped dust. It was also harder pressing the power button through the gel case.

To make it easier for one-handed use, the Huawei has all its buttons on the right side of the phone. It also has a “mini screen view” feature, which shrinks the visible screen by a third (iPhones have a similar feature). The Oppo has a “smart sidebar”, which slides in from the side of the screen for quick access to your most frequently used apps. These features were handy, though neither screen was large enough that I needed to use them regularly.

Under the hood

Both have 1520x720 resolution screens. The Huawei is half a centimetre longer, but that extra space is used for branding along the bottom, so the usable screen space is essentially the same on both phones. The Oppo was slightly faster, likely due to having an extra gigabyte of random access memory (RAM) and double the storage space (though you can expand the storage).

They’re still mid-range models under the good looks, so these specs reflect that.

The similarities don’t stop there. Both phones weigh 168g; have identical processors (main and graphics); and only work on the 2.4GHz WiFi band (most high-end phones also have the faster 5GHz band). They’re still mid-range models under the good looks, so these specs reflect that. Neither has near-field communication (NFC), which is needed for features such as Android Pay.

Face recognition

I could use facial recognition, a feature more common in high-end models, to unlock both phones. The Oppo and Huawei did a decent job of recognising me with my hair up or down and with or without glasses. But, on a daily basis, the Oppo was faster and more consistent.

The Huawei didn’t recognise me straight away about 40% of the time, and half of attempts failed on the second try. This meant I often resorted to unlocking the phone via PIN. The Oppo was much better and, in the rare cases it failed to recognise me, I could still unlock it faster than the Huawei by using the fingerprint scanner on the back.

Cameras

Left: Huawei camera, right: Oppo camera.
Left: Huawei camera, right: Oppo camera.

Both phones have the same resolution cameras: dual rear (13 and 2MP) and single front-facing (16MP). The Oppo cameras have a slightly longer focal ratio, which means a sharper image, though this isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.

The camera apps on both phones were easy to use and took good photos, but were light on features. The Oppo has a sticker option, which was fun as you can superimpose graphics such as animal ears, on to your photos; while the Huawei is more focused on selfies, with a mode that removes blemishes and smoothes your complexion.

Bloatware

Bloatware refers to apps installed on the phone by the manufacturer. These apps are often impossible to uninstall and are a waste of storage space if you don’t use them. The Huawei came pre-loaded with bloatware, including apps for managing phone health and for the travel-comparison service booking.com.

Verdict

The Oppo AX7 and Huawei Y7 Pro are incredibly similar, with an impressive range of features for such low-cost phones. If I had to choose, I’d pick the Oppo. It’s slightly more compact, was really easy to use and looks better than the Huawei. If my phone gives up the ghost anytime soon, I’ll be buying one.

Specs

Huawei Y7 Pro 2019

Price: $349
Dimensions (mm): 77x159x8
Weight: 168g
Display: 6.26” Dewdrop display 1520 x 720
Rear cameras: 13MP, 2MP (f1.8) AI
Front cameras: 16MP
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 and Adreno 506 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM
Storage: 32GB ROM (supports memory card upgrade)
OS: Android 8.1.0

Oppo AX7

Price: $399
Dimensions (mm): 75x156x8
Weight: 168g
Display: 6.2” 1520 x 720
Rear cameras: 13MP (f2.2), 2MP (f2.4)
Front cameras: 16MP (f2.0)
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 and Adreno 506 GPU
Memory: 4GB RAM
Storage: 64GB ROM (supports memory card upgrade)
OS: Android 8.1.0

First Looks are trials of new and interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons.

These phones were loaned to the writer by Oppo and Huawei.

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