ZOPO Speed 7 first impressions: pocket-friendly yet tuned for performance
It's not easy to gauge the pace at which the Indian smartphone market is growing, but the fact that many new brands are vying for a slice of the pie indicates the tremendous growth opportunity it represents. With Chinese manufacturers having their heyday in the subcontinent, another brand from the east is arriving on our shores. Zopo, a Shenzhen-based seven-year old company has debuted in India with the launch of its flagship offering, the Speed 7. We were there to witness its launch and got some time to spend with the device to share our initial impressions.
Instead of following the herd with a large screen size, ZOPO has chosen to stick with a compact size for its handset. The Speed 7 is build around a 5-inch display, making it an ideal option for one-handed usage. In addition to that, extremely narrow bezels around the display panel make the phone look even more compact. It fits the hand well and you can reach any corner of the screen very easily. It's also very ergonomic to hold thanks to its slim frame and rounded corners.
The 5-inch IPS display panel features a screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 441ppi. It reproduces vibrant colours and the text also appears quite crisp.
The device has minimal design attributes, with only the earpiece, front snapper and a couple of sensors above the display and brand's logo below. The navigation keys are available as part of the interface. While our demo unit was in white, there's a black variant as well.
Both the volume rocker and the power switch can be found on the right spine, while the left side is completely barren. The 3.5mm audio socket is at the top, whereas the micro-USB port is present at the bottom along with the primary microphone.
The removable back panel features a smooth finish with a design pattern, which is only apparent when looked upon closely. Here you’ll find the primary camera that protrudes slightly along with an LED flash. Towards the middle, there's ZOPO logo, while the speaker mesh is further down below.
In accordance with its name, the ZOPO Speed 7 is a performance powerhouse – it comes equipped with MediaTek's octa-core chipset coupled with a generous 3GB of RAM. The true octa-core processor from MediaTek is future-proof thanks to its 64-bit architecture. This combination should not only deliver a smooth and lag-free operation, you won’t find any trouble in running multiple apps together, thanks to the ample amount of RAM at your disposal. In our brief time with the phone, there was not even a single instance where we felt that the device was lagging.
For taking care of your storage requirements, the ZOPO Speed 7 ships with 16 gigs of memory on board, out of which around 10GB is available to use. There's an option to extend it further with the use of a microSD card.
At the back of the ZOPO Speed 7, you’ll find a 13-megapixel snapper that is supplemented by an LED flash. For selfies, the phone sports a 5MP camera. The device comes with the standard Android camera app, which offers the usual modes. While the actual quality of the shooter can only be known when it's tested out extensively, in indoor lighting conditions, the images seemed to be quite grainy.
Software-wise, the ZOPO Speed 7 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, with the brand's custom skin called Z-UI on top. While the interface is customised in terms of icons, the interface mostly remains stock. There are also some additional features such as support for screen-off gestures, allowing you to double-tap-to-wake-up the smartphone or draw certain letters to open apps. Along with that, you can also use gestures to change songs or browse pictures in the gallery. In terms of preloaded content, the phone comes with titles such as APUS Launcher, Facebook, Opera, Skype and more.
In the connectivity department, the handset offers dual-SIM support, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. However, it must be noted that it supports only FDD-LTE (Band 3) and not the TDD band (Band 40), which will be deployed nationwide. The ZOPO Speed 7 draws juice from a 2,500mAh user-replaceable battery.
The ZOPO Speed 7 is priced attractively at Rs 12,999 and will go on sale exclusively on Snapdeal. It’ll be facing tough competition in the form of theXiaomi Mi 4i and third-gen Moto G if one is looking for compact phones. However, the smartphone should be able to stand out amidst the rivals with its 3GB of RAM, as it's among the most affordable devices with this capacity of RAM.