Gadgets

Oppo A5s review

The Oppo A5s is an attractive phone with a great battery life. But are these features enough for a phone that starts at Rs 9,990 and stands among the likes of the Redmi Note 7, Realme 3 and Galaxy M20?

ppo has consistently delivered attractive phones not just in the mid-range to premium segments but in the budget segment as well, which must have been a source of inspiration for Realme as well. Even under Rs 10,000, you will find some of the best-looking phones come from Oppo. Take the Oppo A5s, for example, which brings a waterdrop display and a glasstic rear panel that give it a premium look at a starting price of Rs 9,990.

Underneath that appealing exterior is a large 4,230mAh battery, which is no doubt the biggest winning personality about the Oppo A5s. The smartphone also touts a dual camera setup, a Helio P35 chipset and Android Oreo, some of which may not be as attractive for its price. In our Oppo A5s review, we take a look at whether the phone delivers enough positives to make it worth your money under Rs 10,000.

Oppo A5s Design

Like I said earlier, Oppo has a knack for making good looking phones even in the budget segment, even if they are often derivative. The Oppo A5s does not offer anything unique. It’s a design Oppo has tried on multiple phones over the past year, and it seems the company is content with that fact. The Oppo A5s gets a waterdrop display on the front and a glasstic rear panel that houses a fingerprint sensor, dual camera setup with LED flash and the Oppo logo.

The rear panel is glossy and looks glass-like, but it isn’t. It is plastic and that’s evident when it attracts visible bruises within days of using it. The panel curves around the edges allowing it to sit comfortably in the hand. The panel meets a solid metal frame, but it’s not a seamless transition as the frame does stick out a bit. The Oppo A5s Red colour variant I received looks deep and dark rather than bright and loud, but I would still opt for the Black colour option.

The Oppo A5s does feel slightly heavy at 170 grams, which is evidently due to a large battery housed inside. The power button on the right and volume buttons on the left are placed near the middle of the frame, allowing one to reach it easily. The card slot just above the volume buttons can house two Nano SIM cards as well as a microSD card. The phone comes with a microUSB port flanked by a speaker grille and 3.5mm headphone jack on either sides.

Oppo A5s Display

The Oppo A5s sports a 6.2-inch HD+ (1520×720) dewdrop display. The droplet notch on top and the bezels around the sides are slim but noticeable. The chin is thick as well, but none of it seems distracting when viewing the display.The display offers good colours and decent clarity. The panel is as good as you can expect for a 720p display. While texts appear sharp enough, video content will look soft around the edges with noticeable pixelation if you look for it. Brightness levels and viewing angles are just about average and it certainly fares poorly under the intense Delhi sun.

Oppo A5s Performance and Software

The Oppo A5s is powered by a 2.3GHz MediaTek Helio P35 chipset coupled with 2GB or 3GB of RAM. You will also get 32GB of internal storage for both RAM options, which is low but luckily there is a dedicated expandable storage slot. This doesn’t instill any confidence considering you can get phones like the Redmi Note 7 with a Snapdragon 660 SoC and the Realme 3 with a Helio P70 processor at similar prices that are faster and consistently smooth at handling day-to-day tasks.

Given the specs, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Oppo A5s isn’t the snappiest phone in this segment. Apps are slow to open and you will experience lags here and there through the UI. Scrolling through apps like Instagram and Twitter will be jittery as well. The A5s is also not a gaming phone and should be skipped if you’re looking to play games like PUBG or Asphalt 9 as the performance is laggy while resolution is unappealing. Also, if you are planning to pick this phone up, you should only consider the 3GB RAM option that costs Rs 10,990.

Performance is unfortunately not the biggest disappointment here. The Oppo A5s ships with Android Oreo with ColorOS 5.2 on top, which makes the software quite dated halfway into 2019. Consumers are now expecting phones to ship with Android Pie, especially considering Realme has been launching its 2019 phones with Pie and ColorOS 6 out-of-the-box.

With ColorOS 5.2, you get a mess of preloaded apps like NewsPoint, UC Browser, Daily Hunt, Paytm, Amazon and so on, which unfortunately does not change much with ColorOS 6 as well. You also don’t get an app drawer and the multi-app window only shows app icons on ColorOS 5.2 rather than a screenshot of the background apps. The other big issue to deal with is constant spam notifications from native apps like Browser.

The rear-mounted fingerprint is snappy as one would expect and the default choice to unlock the device. Face unlock is available as well, but it won’t be fast or accurate indoors and in low light. The bottom-firing speaker lacks clarity, but it can get loud.

Oppo A5s Camera

The dual camera system on the back of the Oppo A5s includes a 13-megapixel main camera with f/2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel secondary camera with f/2.4 aperture. On the front, the A5s gets an 8-megapixel selfie cameras. These are pretty elementary cameras that don’t offer anything exciting or unique, but they do work as well as they ought to.

You can capture some attractive phones in daylight with good colour reproduction and high saturation levels. There is decent sharpness at the center of an image, which tends to fade away around the edges and HDR does an admirable job. The camera app support portrait mode which will give you bokehs with decent edge detection.

The camera struggles in low light and indoors as you get images with a lot of noise and softness. Photos lack brightness and the camera will face trouble locking on to a subject quickly.

Selfie camera is again quite average when it comes to shooting bokehs or in low light. The best selfies will be found in broad daylight as you get good sharpness and natural-looking skin provided the AI beauty effect is disabled.

Oppo A5s Battery

Arguably the biggest USP of the Oppo A5s is the battery. The smartphone houses a 4,230mAh battery, which is sufficient to take you over a full day of usage with ease. The battery life is excellent primarily because the HD resolution and low power consuming chipset do little to drain the battery.

Even on a heavy usage day where you’re constantly messaging, browsing social media or spending a few hours watching videos or playing games, you will still get a day and a half of battery on a single charge.

The box includes a 10W charger that will be able to juice up the Oppo A5s is about two hours.

Should you buy the Oppo A5s?

The Oppo A5s has two things going for it – attractive design and great battery life. And while those features do rank high among consumers, the expectations today from a phone, even a budget phone, is far higher. The Oppo A5s struggles in the performance, software and camera departments in a time when the competition is at its fiercest.

Today, consumers want a complete package at Rs 10,000, and phones like the Redmi Note 7, Galaxy M20 and Realme 3 have proved that that is possible. Not only do these alternatives offer attractive designs, but they also provide a feature or two that is new and exciting for consumers.

About the author

David

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