Pretty much like no other Samsung-made flagship device in recent history, the Galaxy S5 has violently split the mobile tech world in half. On one side of the barricade, there are those who say Sammy’s latest top dog is far less gimmicky than some of its predecessors, raising the bar only where it needed to and wisely boycotting an artificial and unnecessary display resolution upgrade beyond Full HD.
Meanwhile, plenty of vocal skeptics point to Sony’s Xperia Z2 or even LG’s G2 as the stronger alternatives to the underwhelmingly compromising GS5. Well, guess what, those of you that love to hate the Galaxy S5 have just got backup, in the form of a mind-blowing, bar-raising, record-breaking Oppo Find 7.
Shrewdly teased for a good few months prior to its formal intro, but not fully detailed ahead of today, the Find 7 is hands down the toughest world heavyweight title contender to ever rise from China. And while we can’t expect young, inexperienced Oppo to take on PR juggernauts Samsung or Sony in distribution and marketing on a global scale, they may well triumph in the spec wars in a nation first.
Will they? Only one way to find out – pit the Oppo Find 7 against the Samsung Galaxy S5 in a high-stakes numbers race:
Design and build quality comparison
A very frequent misconception among Western gadget fans is that all China-based OEMs cut corners when assembling even their finest products, ultimately delivering cheap-looking, fragile, chintzy and/or tacky slabs of silicon.
But it takes just one good look to realize the Find 7 is anything but chintzy. Or feeble. It’s probably not the ultimate Android charmer, as the HTC One continues to dominate the aesthetics department, yet it’s clearly more elegant and striking than the S5.
Large but easy to grip, the 5.5 incher combines steel elements with carbon fiber and other premium materials, unlike the plasticky GS5. Too bad it’s 1 mm thicker and 26 grams heavier. Also, it lacks water and dust protection, which is a pretty big minus.
Oppo Find 7 vs Galaxy S5 – display face-off
Is Quad HD, aka 2K, aka 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution overkill? Perhaps. However, on a gargantuan 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel, it might actually offer real, noticeable, palpable benefits. It’s certainly worth a chance, as it ups the pixel density ante to a groundbreaking 538 ppi.
The S5? It’s no pushover in color reproduction, brightness or viewing angles, but it somehow feels like a baby next to the Find 7. Both literally and figuratively, with a 5.1-inch diagonal, 1,920 x 1,080 pix res and 432 ppi pixel density. Now let’s wait and see if more thorough display comparisons confirm our hunch.
Processing speed, RAM and cameras
Wow, Oppo truly pulled out all the hardware stops to challenge its Xperia and Galaxy-branded rivals, packing the Find 7 with the exact same CPU found beneath S5’s hood – a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801.
The 5.5 incher also ties the Z2 in RAM, with 3 GB, trumping the S5, and thus ensuring, at least on paper, it’s ever so slightly punchier than both antagonists.
As for cameras, at first glance you’ll likely feel the Find 7 prevails in the selfie battle, thanks to a 5 MP front snapper, and then yields in the main shooter department, with a run-of-the-mill 13 MP sensor (vs 16 on the S5).
Only there’s nothing run-of-the-mill about Find 7’s 13 MP cam. The sensor is a state-of-the-art Exmor RS, you get 4K video recording at 30 fps, easy GIF creation, f/2.0 aperture, and, the cherry on top, a “Super Zoom” feature allowing you to combine ten photos into a whopping 50 MP pic. Bottom line, you’d better not write off the Chinese beast in imaging either.
Software and battery life
Proving there’s no such thing as perfection, Oppo messed up Find 7’s on-board software, equipping it with its own fork of Android, called Color OS 1.2 and based on 4.3 Jelly Bean. Needless to say that trails S5’s pre-loaded TouchWiz-skinned 4.4 KitKat in smoothness, responsiveness and uniqueness, especially as Samsung’s once gimmicky Air gestures, S-Voice app or Smart stay and Smart pause functions have greatly evolved.
A very nice touch on Oppo’s spearhead is something called Skyline, a fancy, glitzy notification light that unfortunately can’t do much to change the outcome of this duel.
Battery life, as you imagine, is tricky, with the Oppo Find 7 barely official and not yet tested, however I wouldn’t expect it to come out on top in real-life autonomy. The size gap is minuscule, 200 mAh (3,000 vs 2,800), and since the 5.5 incher is, well, a 5.5 incher, plus the one that boasts the superior screen resolution, the S5 should win this with ease.
Interestingly, both phones come with innovative battery-aiding technologies, an Ultra Power Saving mode on the S5 and fast charging for Oppo. You’re probably familiar with the former, while the latter allegedly allows users to charge the handheld to 75 percent capacity in a measly 30 minutes. Wow!
Connectivity, sensors, storage and pricing
Kudos to Oppo for going the extra mile in connectivity as well, in order to tie the S5 with everything from 4G LTE to NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, and also congrats for defeating the enemy in storage – 32 GB built-in and microSD support vs 16 and microSD.
Sadly, the Find 7 has nothing to keep the fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor at bay, though it does come with “award-winning” MaxxAudio stereo speakers.
What else? Oh, yeah, pricing. Oppo reportedly plans to sell its next-generation flagship for the equivalent of $565 in China, and $600 everywhere else, including stateside. That should be on par, or maybe under S5’s MSRP off-contract, albeit Samsung will no doubt be advantaged by its superior distribution capacity and close ties with, well, each and every single wireless service provider worldwide.
Any chance a subsidized Find 7 shall find its way to the US? None. But hey, when you think about it, paying 600 bucks for what’s really the best of the best hardware-wise nowadays isn’t so bad. It’s almost a steal. Thoughts? Am I rushing to conclusions by proclaiming the Find 7 a better all-around machine than Samsung’s Galaxy S5? You have the floor.