The market war in the budget smartphone segment in India is getting fiercer by the day. Not only are the smartphone players dropping prices, but they are also clubbing the best of hardware with internals in a premium package.
Chinese smartphone-maker OPPO's newly-launched A5s that is available at a starting price of Rs 9,990 competes with the likes of Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 and Realme C2 (which was once OPPO's own sub-brand).
The smartphone was launched in 32GB and 64GB storage variants coupled with either 2GB or 4GB RAM in black, gold, green and red colours. We reviewed the 2GB RAM+32GB storage variant in black colour. We used it for almost a week and here's what we think of it.
The polycarbonate back of the smartphone was glossy and reflected some light. However, it lacked a mirror finish due to the lack of glass, thus, making the device look very flashy. The 13MP+2MP dual rear camera is placed in the upper left side of the smartphone alongside LED flash, encircled around which is a copper coloured rim.
Beneath the camera set-up lies the oval-shaped snappy fingerprint sensor; OPPO's humble logo sits underneath it.
The camera app supports basic panorama, HDR, and video modes along with portrait mode that produced decent images in ample light. However, the absence of bokeh mode was disappointing.
While the left edge of the phone hosts the dual SIM card tray and the volume rockers, the power button is placed on the right edge of the device. Having a dedicated SDcard slot would give users expanded internal storage up to 256GB and use two SIM cards simultaneously.
The lower edge of the phone houses speakers, charging port as well as the audio jack input.
The OPPO A5s features a 6.2-inch dew drop-style HD+ display. While the screen size is comfortable for indoor gaming and video browsing, it gets flat in bright sunlight. The notch cutout houses the 8MP selfie camera, which worked well indoors as well as outdoors. However, pictures shot in low light appeared grainy. The selfie shooter supports HDR mode which resulted in balanced colour reproduction.
However, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based beautification resulted in skin softening that looked quite artificial.
The phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P35 Tru-Octa Core processor. The device runs ColorOS based on Android 8.1 Oreo operating system (OS). We found the phone lag while multitasking and launching multiple apps that was because of pre-installed bloatware on the phone.
The device is fuelled by a large 4,320mAh battery that lasted for a day after moderate use. The USB 2.0 charger that comes bundled with the smartphone took slightly over two hours to completely charge the device. The device did not heat-up while in use or on charge.
The facial recognition also worked better in comparison to the predecessors in OPPO's A series.
Conclusion: With decent looks, dual rear camera and a big battery, the OPPO A5s is a package that can entice a large number of buyers. But in terms of performance, it faces tough competition from Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7, Redmi Y3 and Realme 3.
(Image courtesy: Oppo)