Blackview has one device that looks pretty nice on paper. We are talking about the R7 phone. It has some great specs and it costs below $190. Learn more in our full review.
Blackview R7 Review: VIDEO REVIEW
Blackview R7 Review: UNBOXING
The phone ships with all the usual stuff and some extras include USB OTG cable, a screen protector, a pair of earphones and a soft TPU case.
Blackview R7 Review: SPECS
5.5″ 1080p (Full-HD)
Mediatek Helio P10, 64-bit, octa-core (up to 2GHz)
5MP Front/13MP Back
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
3.000 mAh (non-removable)
15.20 x 7.80 x 0.89 cm
32GB (expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB)
Blackview R7 Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY
When it comes to the design, the Blackview R7 is pretty comfortable to hold in the hand.
It uses metal chassis that does around the device. It’s hard to tell if the metal was used in the backplate but it has a primer coating (similar to the LG G5), which feels like plastic to me.
As far as camera, we have a 13MP Omnivision sensor coupled with a single LED flash. The fingerprint scanner is not the fastest I’ve seen but it unlocks your phone from the standby mode and it is pretty accurate.
The buttons, which sit on the right side, are made of metal too, they are tactile but the problem is that they rattle quite a bit(Maybe just because this is an engineering sample, the factory promise better quality on the first batch).
Same can be said about the hybrid dual SIM card slot.
We have a 5.5” 1080p display, which is covered with the Gorilla Glass 3. It is pretty sharp and vivid but I wish it had a higher brightness output for a better sunlight legibility. A front-facing camera has 8MP.
One of the disappointments of this device is that there is no notification LED light and the capacitive buttons are not backlit. It is strange that Blackview did not implement these features considering the price of the phone.
The loudspeaker quality is just mediocre as I would love to hear more depth and balance.
Blackview R7 Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE
One of the main selling points of this device is its powerful internals. The Blackview R7 ships with an octa-core MTK6755 Helio P10 chip, which has the max. clock speeds of 2.0GHz, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be further expanded via the microSD card slot.
These kind of specs sound impressive but in real life, the phone struggles handling some 3D games like Asphalt 8 on the highest graphics. On the other hand, changing the graphics to medium solves this issue and the phone handles the game with just a few skipped frames.
I’ve tested the phone with some other games like Nova 3 and the device handles it pretty well.
The phone gets a little warm but it does not alter the gaming performance.
Blackview R7 Review: BENCHMARKS
Blackview R7 Review: USER INTERFACE
The phone ships with the Android 6.0 but it has Blackview’s skin on top of it, which removes the app tray for some reason. Also, we have some redesigned icons and some other design touches.
There are a few features like gesture and motion controls that work pretty well but the phone could recognize gesture input faster.
So far I didn’t have any hiccups or lag and the phone performs well on the daily basis.
Blackview R7 Review: IMAGE QUALITY
The daylight image quality is pretty good for the category of the phone and the photos look quite sharp. A few shortcomings would be that the camera struggles adjusting the dynamic range in some of the shots. Also, the colors look too warm and some of the shots seem to have a slightly yellowish tint. In addition, there were a few close-up images that were not as sharp as I expected but other macro shots look great.
The low-light camera performance is not the worst I’ve seen but it has the shortcomings that are common to most of the phones in this price range – a low amount of detail and high level of noise. A worse thing is that there is a visible red tint if you take pictures close to the light source e.g. street light.
The video quality would be pretty good but there is a noticeable choppiness when panning the phone. See a video review for a video sample.
A selfie camera is pretty good and it will do the trick for social media if you take pictures in good lighting.
Blackview R7 Review: CONNECTIVITY
I didn’t have any connectivity issues. Even the GPS lock speeds were fast and the GPS was accurate.
Blackview R7 Review: BATTERY LIFE
The phone ships with the 3000mAh battery that performs pretty well for its capacity. You should expect just over 4 hours of screen-on time but the results may vary, depending on the usage.
When you need to recharge your battery, the phone supports quick charge tech. I was able to fully charge the phone in just over 1 hour and 20 mins. Keep in mind that the screen-on time was measured before connecting a phone to a charger (the phone simply died before I managed to take a screenshot).
Blackview R7 Review: CONCLUSIONS
The Blackview R7 aims to bring some great specs at the price of less than $190.
Well, it delivers in some ways. The phone is well-built and it sports a sharp display and the UI performs well. Also, the Blackview R7’s camera can take some good looking daylight images for the price, the phone has a decent battery life and a pretty accurate fingerprint scanner.
However, Helio P10 processor may sound impressive on paper but it can only handle games like Asphalt 8 on medium graphics. On the other hand, I’ve tested the phone mainly with the most demanding 3D games.
Other shortcomings would be that buttons and the SIM card tray rattle quite a bit and the phone does not have neither notification LED nor backlit capacitive buttons.
At the end of the day, the Blackview R7 still brings quite of lot of value to the table for the price. The phone definitely has more pros than cons but make sure to consider if the previously mentioned shortcomings are important to you or not(This unit is an engineering sample, the factory promise better quality for the first batch).
Blackview R7 still brings quite of lot of value to the table for the price. The phone definitely has more pros than cons but make sure to consider if the previously mentioned shortcomings are important to you or not.