[UPDATE (945PM)]: We have finally obtained OPPO Malaysia’s side of the story. Learn more here.
As per our report earlier today, we discovered that the R7 Lite that OPPO showcased at its Malaysian launch event last night might not be the smartphone that the company claimed it to be. Upon further investigation, it turns out that our suspicion is indeed spot on: it was actually the higher spec R7 which will not be released in Malaysia.
For those who missed out from our hands on article, we noted that the “R7 Lite” that we used for the article is equipped with 3GB of RAM, which is shown on the Recent Apps screen. The R7 Lite is supposed to pack only 2GB of RAM, which is why this discovery immediately raised our concern – although it is rather unfortunate that we realized it only after our article went live.
The R7 Lite is one mysterious device. It shares a similar design and size as the R7, but since its announcement in Indonesia (where even the specs were not revealed), OPPO hasn’t actually spoken much about it. At the Malaysian launch, it was revealed that the R7 Lite is only different from the R7 based on its RAM (2GB vs 3GB) and display resolution (720p vs Full HD). This table compares the specs of R7 devices:
To make sure that this situation is not unique to our device, we tried to look for hands on articles or launch coverage by other media outlets that were present at the event last night. However, most of them didn’t feature the Recent Apps screen in their articles, and like us did not realise that the “R7 Lite” on display were really the higher-end R7.
One exception is Bahasa Malaysia tech site, Amanz who not only snapped a picture of the app selector but also saved several screenshots from the “R7 Lite” that they used for their hands on article. We then contacted Amanz to obtain the original screenshot files and behold, the resolution of these image files [here, here, and here] are indeed 1080 x 1920 which corresponds to the display resolution of R7, and not the R7 Lite’s HD (720p) resolution.
This matter was eventually admitted by OPPO Malaysia’s representative earlier today when we presented our concern, but no further explanation was given to us on why the company decided to showcase the R7 as the R7 Lite at the Malaysian launch event. The way we see it, the company has used a higher-spec product to promote a different device with lower-end hardware – even though both devices might looked similar to each other.
The fact that there were more than one unit of the R7 at the media experience zone suggests that this isn’t just a mix-up – the R7 isn’t even available in Malaysa to begin with. We’re pretty disappointed with what we’ve experienced so far, and the slow response from the company in explaining what happened doesn’t help. Why didn’t OPPO just showcase the R7 for what it is, and tell the media that the R7 Lite units aren’t yet in Malaysia? That would have at least been a treat for the tech media present who then get to see two high-end smartphones at the launch.
Alternatively, the company should just refrain from showing the R7 Lite at the event if it is not ready to do so. That would still still be better than duping everyone in attendance.