Living with the TECNO R7 (Review)

TECNO R7 in hand

I have had the TECNO R7 for almost three weeks now and used it as my daily driver. I know that you have been itching to have me publish my review. Well, here it is. For the non-techies who need a summary, here are the pros and cons of the TECNO R7:

What’s Good

  • Good display with Gorilla Glass protection
  • Fast and smooth in use
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • Sales pack comes with a 5200mAh power bank and Smart View Cover
  • Good audio reproduction with headphones
  • Good loudspeaker volume

What’s Ugly

  • A limited number of apps freeze occasionally

In all, if you are thinking of getting the R7, it is a very good device for anyone looking for a moderately-sized phablet.

Detailed Review

The TECNO R7 is a dual SIM, 5.5-inch display phablet running Android OS. It feels very well put together and gives off some premium air. When the phone is used with the included Smart View Cover, messages, missed calls and time/date are displayed, and you can swipe to accept or reject incoming calls without opening the cover. The cover can also wake up the phone when flipped open. The back cover is one huge mirror and fingerprint magnet. Not bad for a selfie:

TECNO R7 rear

The R7 is a real joy to use. Performance-wise, it doesn’t let down in any way. The 1.5 GHZ hecta-core (that’s 6 cores) processor and 2GB of RAM mean that it is a difficult device to stress.

However, I did encounter occasions in which some apps freeze and I get a pop-up asking whether to wait or close the app in question. This phenomenon has happened only with Gmail, BBM and Facebook. Not once in any other app. It isn’t due to low RAM, because I check, and the R7 has never run out of RAM once. It must be due to something else.

Battery Life

The R7 charges up pretty fast. Battery life is good – good enough for me not to worry about it, but not spectacular. You will need to charge it during a busy day if you use it intensively. Otherwise, it should get you through a fair day on a full charge. Sometimes, it drains fast too – I have two SIMs active and one pegged to 3G with both network data and WiFi active.

Special Features

TECNO implemented some mild customisation of the Android the user interface. I like the idea, but I also think that they need people with a better sense of colour. The lemon green touch used in the SMS and Settings menus is not exactly the best colour they could have used. Have a look:

R7 Settings

R7 SMS

Besides that awkward colour choice, the customisation is quite nice. The drop-down menu got customised too. In addition to providing event notifications, it also has located at the top section, five fixed shortcuts to the following apps: Torch, Calculator, Camera, Recorder and Timer. Have a look:
R7 dropdown notification

But there is more. TECNO implemented a “Switch” on the dropdown menu, giving you access to various toggles:
R7 dropdown switch

The R7 supports proximity gestures. This means that you can navigate through the standby and apps menu by waving your hand across the display. You can also answer an incoming call by waving your hand too. Note that these features use the sensor at the top of the display, so make sure you wave up there. These proximity gestures can be activated in the settings under “Action”.

R7 video overlay

The R7 also lets you minimise a playing video into a smaller box, leaving it visible while you can attend to other things. You can move it around the screen while you tweet, compose an SMS or do some other activity. In the image above, you can see a video playing while I tweet.

Multimedia

The 13 megapixel rear camera on the R7 is good without being spectacular. The flash is good for close-up low-light scenarios. Video recording is good too. Video playback is lovely as well. The front-facing 5 megapixel camera is good for selfies and video calls. It is not a very good 5 megapixel snapper though, and the quality can be improved. The music player works quite well and audio reproduction is good.

Conclusions

The R7 runs Android 4.2, two steps behind 4.4 Kitkat. As already reported, the R7 supports OTA software updates. I have received and updated the smartphone twice since its arrival. Can one hope for an update to Kitkat? Despite that, the TECNO R7 is a lovely smartphone that I keep picking up again and again. Costing about N45,000, it is a good buy.

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28 comments

  1. I like the apparently non-invasive customisation and flat icon layout. classy

    2) Back cover looks tacky

    3) impressed with RAM and cores (at least on paper)

    4) you have updated twice already and it’s still on Android 4.2? what were the updates for then?

    R7 is generally a worthy A3 upgrade. I can’t help feeling it could have been a tad better especially in relation to it physical looks.

    Nice review Mo

    1. the App icons are from the third party launcher (Solo). the upgrades were minor firmware updates from TECNO

  2. For an article that begins with “I have had the TECNO R7 for almost three weeks now and used it as my daily driver”, this seems more like a preview or at best a hands-on.
    It isn’t nearly comprehensive enough and I wish you could redo it.

    I would like to finish reading your review feeling like I know the device thoroughly. I don’t! While the major points were touched, many features were glossed over: and where is the smart cover highlighted (without even pictures!)?

    I give kudos for the work you’re doing with your site and a review for such a potentially significant device can be a lot better.

    1. Juci,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      We are constantly looking at how to strike the balance between everyday users who do not care for all the technical details and more technical people who do. It is a tough one, but we are working on it.

  3. It is not easy for me to operate the r7 because I dont have access to the manual. I want to reset my password but I dont know how to access the screen again. My profile is always going to silent 30 seconds after resetting it. I have been missing most of my calls due to this and it is very frustrating. Somebody should please help me..

  4. My profile is always resetting to silent. How can it be reset and retain it where Iwant it to be? I also need operation manual for the phone.

  5. @Bolaji Olaniyi:

    I understand that leaving the phone in the battery saving mode will almost always reset the sound to silent mode. Check if you are using battery saving mode and turn it off or you can adjust the settings manually if possible.

    Please try to report back in the comment if this solves your problem for other users to learn from before posting similar problem here.

  6. I have a major issue with my Techno R7. The contacts search quits midway. Tried to have it sorted at Techno but nothing seems to change. I was happier with other Tecno’s version, now I have serious doubts on its software.

  7. Kudos to you on dis pertinent info. Just wanna know †?? current price range of †?? product as I’m intending to get it asap. Thanks.

  8. pls i hav a challenge…i dont kno how to bring bck that desktop wiget that is like a shortcut to some apps located at the top right corner of the tecno r7 screen. pls assist me tnk you

  9. Terrific internet site. Loads of handy information and facts here. I’m delivering the item for some good friends ans additionally revealing with delightful. Of course, thanks a lot in your energy! Terrific internet site. Loads of handy information and facts here. I’m delivering the item for some good friends ans additionally revealing with delightful. Of course, thanks a lot in your energy!

  10. Terrific internet site. Loads of handy information and facts here. I’m delivering the item for some good friends ans additionally revealing with delightful. Of course, thanks a lot in your energy! Terrific internet site. Loads of handy information and facts here. I’m delivering the item for some good friends ans additionally revealing with delightful. Of course, thanks a lot in your energy!

  11. Please help, my contact list is not displaying on my Techno R7 screen. when i open my message box, all my contacts are left with only numbers without their names. What should i do?

  12. Please I don’t know what’s wrong with my R7. It do pause ad play each time I play video and am getting tired of it….. Please help me!

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