Oppo has launched the RX17 Pro at an event we attended in Milan, Italy.
This latest Oppo phone is essentially a rebadged version of the R17 Pro for the European market. Quite why Oppo couldn’t just call it R17 Pro is somewhat of a mystery as there are no different core specifications between the models. While the RX17 Neo is also been announced for Europe, the RX17 Pro is the more advanced model.
Oppo is clearly intending on following the success of other far East brands in breaking into Europe and upsetting the traditional mobile superpowers.
The RX17 is essentially a slightly different version of the OnePlus 6T based on a different platform and featuring triple cameras. OnePlus is a subsidiary of Oppo and as such the two phones share more than a passing similarity.
While this handset is 599 Euros, the OnePlus 6T costs 550 Euros or £499. We are expecting it to come to the UK imminently, but Oppo is still yet to formally announce the availability of its phones for the UK.
The RX17 Pro is based around Oppo’s own ColorOS 5.2 running atop Android 8.1 Oreo, not Android 9.0 Pie as yet.
- Teardrop notch
- Two gradient colours available
- Different arrangement on rear
As we mentioned, the core design is broadly similar to the OnePlus 6T that was launched last week.
There’s a very different camera arrangement on the rear – as we’ll come onto shortly – but the front is very similar indeed with the minute and barely noticeable teardrop notch (which, we have to say, we rather like).
It measures 7.9mm thick and weighs 183g – despite its large size it doesn’t feel too huge in the pocket although you really notice the large screen when you hold it in your hand, especially if you’ve previously used a phone that’s 5.5-inches or smaller.
The RX17 is available in emerald green and stream blue or radiant mist – a gradated pink/blue colour the shines differently depending on the ambient light.
Oppo says that while the phone will withstand a few splashes of water here and there, it's not IP certified for water resistance.
Display and specs
- 6.4-inch AMOLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
- 6GB of RAM, 128GB memory
As with the OnePlus 6T the RX17 Pro features a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED 402ppi display with teardrop notch.
The screen - covered in the latest Gorilla Glass 6 - is a fine display and take up almost all of the front of the phone. Oppo quotes a 91.5 percent screen-to-body ratio.
Like other Oppo handsets, the RX17 is based around a Qualcomm chipset as current and future OnePlus phones are. But instead of the Snapdragon 845 the also-octacore Snapdragon 710 is used.
Super VOOC Flash Charging is a really interesting addition and should give you around 40 percent of charge in 10 minutes via USB-C. A quite incredible stat.
The battery is split in two to enable the flash charge – there are two separate 1,850mAh units and the charging is safely controlled by bespoke chips that ensure consistent power delivery. Oppo says that the two cells are about splitting the voltage - so 5V+5V.
The RX17 Pro gives you 128GB of memory and 6GB of memory (not 8GB as rumoured). Plus you get the latest Bluetooth 5.0 - as you'd expect in near-2019 - and NFC for Google Pay, too.
There's no headphone jack on the phone - instead the micro SIM slot has been located there. Oppo wouldn't be drawn on the reason for the exclusion apart from saying it was a design decision - "in a sense you can say it's a cosmetic choice" said the product manager. There's no headphone adapter in the box but there are USB-C earphones.
- Similar to the 6T
- Optical sensor
- Needs a little time to set up
As with the 6T there’s an under-display fingerprint reader. We’ve now used a couple of these and we found this one to be super-quick and responsive just like the OnePlus and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
It takes a tiny bit longer to set up in the first place but once you’ve got that out of the way things are really easy and we’re sure you’ll be impressed at the speed and accuracy.
The current batch of fingerprint readers we’re seeing are optical readers – they use light to illuminate your finger with a camera underneath to capture the image of your fingerprint and send it to the chip – but we’re expecting more advanced readers to debut inside next year’s phones, helped by new hardware.
- Three cameras on the rear
- Includes a 3D ToF camera
- 25 megapixel selfie camera on the front
The rear of the RX17 Pro features a trio of cameras – a 12MP f/1.5-2.4 cam with optical image stabilisation and dual-pixel focus for night photography, a 20 megapixel f/2.6 unit and a very interesting 3D ToF (Time of Flight) camera.
The latter camera isn't working as yet but will be introduced in a later update - although Oppo wouldn't be drawn on a timeline for this to be released - slightly surprising as it's probably the key selling point for this device versus the OnePlus along with the Super VOOC charging.
Oppo says this will be useful for AR apps, such as future online shopping where you'll be able to try out objects and clothes in your home (obviously you can already do this with some apps like Ikea Place).
We think the 3D camera will be a bit of a gimmick for the foreseeable future but it's possible we'll all be using cameras like this in a few years.
There’s an LED flash, as well as HDR and panorama support. You can record 4K video at 30fps, Full HD at 60 or 120fps and 720p at 240fps so your slo-mo options are varied.
On the front, there’s a 25 (yes, 25) megapixel ultrawide snapper with HDR and Full HD, video recording. This can also be used for face unlock which, although was barely mentioned during Oppo's launch, is an alternative to the fingerprint reader.
As the RX17 Pro is just over the OnePlus 6T’s €550 price point this is definitely a phone to keep an eye on. Many will prefer to get the 6T, although Oppo believes it is aiming at a more discerning market than OnePlus, hence the slightly more expensive price.
If you’re after something that’s a little bit different then there’s no question this is a great option and Oppo has led us to believe it will be coming to the UK soon. We don't yet know UK pricing, though, so it could be more favourable versus the OnePlus handset.
There's also the question of the 3D camera - would you actually use it? We're looking forward to giving that a thorough test in our upcoming full review - providing Oppo releases the relevant software update.