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