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About the Phone
Priced at $444, it’s arguably a giant killer. The A77 feels a lot more flagship than affordable with it’s sleek iPhone-copied design, rounded corners, chamfered edges, and a small rear camera, all housed in an alloy and glass body. But there’s nothing to complain about since it costs a third of the price of an iPhone. The silicon case that is bundled in the box is a bonus, that neither adds any bulk nor detracts the eye-catching phone because of its transparency.
Lower-mid-range phones these days are becoming virtually indistinguishable from expensive, high-end mobile phones. Oppo has been consistently pumping out smartphones, focused on two segments – a high-end low cost, and the other a slightly entry-level segment with models looking far superior than they actually are. The Oppo A57, with a price tag of $328 fell in that segment. Oppo’s A77 is an upgrade from the pretty impressive A57.
The phone has been solidly built featuring an alloy frame, and the screen is similarly reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The company, however, doesn’t claim any waterproofing.
The soft back and app keys don’t take up any screen space as they are present on either side of the home key that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The home key, however, is immotile and seems mechanical but is a soft key. The haptic feedback from the key lets you know when it’s being used. The back and app keys are oriented as in the traditional Samsung way instead of the Android manner, with the apps to the left, and the back key to the right.
The Oppo A77 comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack for users with disdain towards the idea of using bluetooth headphones. The A77 seems to lose out a little on the augmented reality front with a missing gyroscope. Although gyroscopic data can be approximated using the compass and the accelerometer, many augmented reality applications don’t support this method.
The main speaker positioned at the bottom gets pretty loud and distinct. Although it is fairly punchy, it does not carry a whole lot of bass. Phone calls, however, are loud and distinct.
The A77 bumps up the display size and resolution. The 5.5 inch full HD, 1080×1920 pixel screen, is crisp, clear, and gets sufficiently bright. The colours, however, seem a little washed out.
The Mediatek MT6750T processor keeps things running smoothly with virtually zero lag while using general apps. Equipped with four 1.5GHz cores, and four 1.0GHz cores, it’s a 64-bit chip with communication standards upto Cat 6 LTE and 4GB of RAM. The phone is able to house two SIM cards, and a microSD card of up to 128GB. And you don’t have to give up one to get the other – you can have two SIM cards and 128GB of storage in your phone simultaneously.
The Basemark OS II benchmark scored the phone a 1010, higher than the Oppo A57 with a score of 943, and a bit lower than Moto G5 Plus’s 1094. The biggest losing point seemed to be the gaming benchmark where the graphics were rich and detailed, but the frame speed was visibly low. The Oppo A57’s low resolution enables it to be a better gaming phone than the A77.
The user interface of Oppo’s ColorOS 3.0 will be a familiar sight to iOS users, but it overlays Android 6.0, with supported functionality for Android 7.1 (Nougat). This allows it to feature the latest features of the Android OS – the data saver mode, split-screen, and Google Assistant.
The Oppo A77 features a selfie-crowd friendly camera with the front-facing camera is equipped with a 16MP image sensor while the rear-camera has a 13MP sensor. The camera is easy to operate and quick to start. There aren’t a plethora of settings to choose from, but it punches well above its weight.
General landscapes were good quality, sharp and had an impressive dynamic range. The HDR mode, however, did little to increase performance. Compared to a high-end flagship camera, the photos come out a little soft and less detailed. A prominent issue that crops up is the the focus – with autofocus doing its job well, but photos come out blurry when it hasn’t locked on and you have to carefully select your object of focus. Colours might be a little under-saturated for social media uploads, but all in all, it is an impressive camera for its price. Low light photos, however, come out fairly poor as the camera does little to boost brightness.
The selfie camera is high resolution and sharp, and comes with an additional beauty mode that includes variable focus, airbrushing, and fixing complexion. It does a good job of identifying your face, but it has limited functionality.
Video recording is actually impressive, with full HD at 1080p@30FPS. Loaded with an electronic stabiliser, the main problem seems to be the autofocus which loses a moving subject repeatedly.
The camera has the capability to pick out the best shot for you, comes with an anti-shake feature, and an ultra-HD mode – that overlays several shots to produce a 50MP image.
The phone uses a 3200mAh battery that lasts an entire day, even with significant operation. It lacks the VOOC fast charge feature that is available with Oppo’s higher end models. The charge and communications port is a micro-B USB. It can easily keep the phone chugging for an entire day without a problem.
Costing a mere fraction of what you thought it would, the Oppo A77 feels like a million bucks in your hand. It is a classic Oppo device with a balanced mix of features, specs, and price. This makes the A77 an excellent choice for someone looking to break into the high-end functionality without burning a hole in their pocket.