Oppo RX17 Neo: excellent hardware, bad software

Chinese telephone giant Oppo sets foot on Dutch soil. The latest device is the RX17 Neo, a mid-range smartphone with innovative features such as a fingerprint scanner under the screen. How is the phone performing? We examine it in this Oppo RX17 Neo review.

Oppo RX17 Neo

Price € 349,-

Colors red and blue/purple

OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)

Screen 6.41 inch OLED (2340 x 1080)

Processor 2 GHz octa-core (Snapdragon 660)

RAM 4GB

Storage 128GB

Battery 3,600mAh

Camera 16 and 2 megapixel dualcam (rear), 25 megapixel (front)

Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, GPS

Format 16 x 7.5 x 0.74 cm

Weight 156 grams

Other dual sim, micro usb, 3.5mm

Website www.oppo.com 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Premium look and cool colors
  • Lots of storage memory
  • Fingerprint scanner under the screen
  • Performance
  • Negatives
  • Fingerprint scanner doesn't work as well as a 'normal' scanner
  • ColorOS
  • Plastic back
  • Micro USB and no NFC

If you look at the Oppo RX17 Neo, you would not expect the phone to cost 349 euros. The device looks futuristic and more luxurious than most competitors in its price range. The front consists almost entirely of screen, with only a narrow notch at the top where the microphone, light sensor and front camera are hidden. The plastic back is glossy red or blue with purple, the exact color depending on how the light hits the case. That's cool, although the plastic does attract fingerprints, hair and dust. The material also feels a bit cheap, although the build quality of the phone seems okay.

The large 6.4-inch screen has a full-HD resolution and therefore looks sharp enough. The used OLED panel also offers a high contrast and beautiful colors. The Oppo RX17 Pro and OnePlus 6T (OnePlus is a sister company of Oppo) have the same screen on paper, and I think it really is.

Fingerprint scanner under the screen

More and more expensive smartphones have a fingerprint scanner under the display. Think of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and OnePlus 6T, but also the Oppo RX17 Pro. It is striking that the RX17 Neo has the same scanner; a first in this price segment.

The scanner recognizes your fingerprint when you place your finger on the designated place on the display. This takes some getting used to, but after a few days it works fine. I don't think the scanner is inferior to the one on the Mate 20 Pro, the phone I used before. Keep in mind that this type of fingerprint scanner is not as fast as a 'normal' fingerprint scanner. He also refuses a little more often, for example because you don't keep your finger on the screen properly or because your finger is wet.

Why Oppo provides the RX17 Neo with a scanner under the screen is not clear to me. On the one hand, it is of course a cool innovation, especially on a mid-range smartphone. On the other hand, the older type of scanner simply works better, and it could have been fine on the back.

Sea of ​​storage space

Not only the scanner under the screen is a striking feature of the Oppo RX17 Neo. The amount of storage memory also raises eyebrows. Where most mid-range smartphones have 32GB or 64GB of storage space, the Oppo device has no less than 128GB on board. About 118GB of this can be used, which is an enormous amount. If it is still too little, you can put a micro SD card in the phone.

Under the hood of the RX17 Neo is a Snapdragon 660 processor. It is slightly older, but is known for its fast performance and energy efficiency. The Oppo smartphone also runs smoothly, which is partly due to the working memory of 4GB. That's enough to switch between recently used apps without any problems. Speaking of apps, all popular apps and games run smoothly. The heaviest games are less playable, but we can't blame a phone in this price segment for that.

The Oppo RX17 Neo is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, GPS and WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz). Unfortunately, an nfc chip is missing, so using the phone to pay contactless is not possible.

Battery life

The battery is 3600 mAh, which is average for this type of phone. The comparable OnePlus 6 and 6T have batteries of 3400 mAh and 3700 mAh, for example. The Oppo RX17 Neo lasts for a day without any problems. Charging at night is required, and unfortunately this is done via an outdated micro-USB connection. A micro USB cable only fits into the phone one way and charges slower than a USB-C cable. Oppo provides a VOOC fast charger. In practice, this is a bit disappointing: fully charging the battery takes almost two hours. Wireless charging is not possible, although that applies to most mid-range phones.

Cameras

A dual camera is placed on the back of the RX17 Neo. The primary lens has a resolution of 16 megapixels and takes beautiful photos during the day. Sharp, with good contrast and vibrant colours. At night, the camera also holds its own, which is partly due to the large f/1.7 aperture. As a result, the lens captures more light and takes sharper photos than the average mid-range smartphone.

The secondary 2 megapixel lens is used on the Oppo phone to capture depth of field photos. With this so-called bokeh effect, the background around a person or object blurs, so that it stands out more. This works fine, as it does for many mid-range devices.

Software

Android 8.1 (Oreo) is installed on the Oppo RX17 Neo. When asked, a spokesperson for Oppo says that an update to version Android 9.0 (Pie) is being worked on, although the company does not yet know when the update will be available. At the time of writing, the phone is running on the November 5 security update. Google releases an update monthly, but Oppo only brings an update to its smartphones once every three months. That is disappointing. Oppo says it plans to release more security updates in the future, but has not disclosed any details.

What is clear is that Oppo's ColorOS shell is not the most user-friendly. The software is quite different from the standard Android version, both visually and in terms of features. ColorOS includes extra (commercial) apps like Facebook, changes things like the notification system and adds unnecessary things like a virus scanner.

The most normal things work differently and why is completely illogical to me. I don't get along very well with Huawei and Xiaomi's software shells, and neither is Oppo's ColorOS.

Conclusion

The Oppo RX17 Neo is a phone with excellent hardware, including plenty of storage memory and an under-display fingerprint scanner. The good OLED display and the excellent performance of the device also leave a good impression. Add to that the fact that the RX17 Neo has a luxurious design and you have a smartphone with minor drawbacks such as an old USB port and no NFC.

The main reason to ignore the Oppo smartphone is the ColorOS software. Those who prefer a more bare-bones Android version would do well to look further. If ColorOS is not a problem, the Oppo RX17 Neo is one of the best mid-range smartphones at the moment.

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