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OPPO A53s 5G Review – Now 5G Made Affordable

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
Updated: 26th May 2021 21:22 IST
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Review Summary

OPPO A53s 5G gets a powerful chipset, however, it does away with several features including a faster refresh rate, an 18W charging, NFC, and stereo speakers to name a few specs. The camera setup is almost the same and thus, its camera performance is almost the same. OPPO A53s 5G does get a powerful Dimensity 700 5G chipset which is better in performance than the Snapdragon 460 used on the 4G variant which is a well-ensured upgrade. You also get 5G which is something India doesn’t have an infrastructure for at least for now.

PROS
  • MediaTek Helio 700 5G
  • Superfast 5G connectivity
  • Large 5000 mAh battery

 

CONS
  • 720-pixel display
  • Meagre camera setup
  • No fast charging
  • No major upgrades from the predecessor
Key Specs
Battery Capacity
5000 mAh
Operating System
Android v11
Screen Size
6.52 inches
Highlights:
  • Yes
  • 5000 mAh
  • Android v11
  • 6.52 inches
Introduction

OPPO A53s 5G is currently the cheapest 5G smartphone in India at a price tag of Rs 14,990/- at the time of writing this. The phone is primarily a 5G variant of the OPPO A53s 4G and has some improvements over its predecessor. The device has a Dimensity 700 5G SoC which is an upgrade from last year’s Snapdragon 460 SoC integrated on A53s. The device has also been upgraded to UFS 2.2  as well as comes with Android 11 out-of-the-box.

 

It’s not just upgraded with the OPPO A53s 5G but there are some downgrades as well. This includes a step down to 60Hz as well as no stereo speakers. Well, here’s the entire review that you can go through to decide whether you want to go through with it or not.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

OPPO A53s 5G is available in two colour variants i.e. Crystal Blue and Ink Black. It has a single 128GB storage with two RAM configurations. The 6GB variant is available on Flipkart India at Rs 14,990/- while the higher 8GB variant is available at Rs 16,990/-. Get up to Rs 14,600/- off on exchanging an eligible smartphone on Flipkart India. Of course, there are other deals and discounts available with the purchase as well such as a 10 per cent discount up to Rs 1,250/-on KOTAK Bank CC, Credit EMI, and DC EMI.

Box Contents
Specs at a glance

Before we talk in detail about the  let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?

  • Display: 
  • Processor: 
  • Storage: 
  • Software
  • Rear cameras: 
  • Battery: 
  • Weight
  • Dimensions: 
Design and Build

Talking about the design, I liked the OPPO A53s 5G more than the 4G variant. The front has a waterdrop-shaped notch instead of a chunky punch-hole cut-out. The bezels on the sides are healthy and so is the chin at the bottom.

The frame and the back panel are made up of polycarbonate that looks glossy and matte-ish similar to a glass back. Since there’s no rear-mounted FPS now, the back panel looks clutter-free. It’s just a giant triple camera setup (albeit with the same sensors) and that’s all. The sides are curved which aids in grip and usability a lot. The phone’s dimensions have changed ever so slightly just as the thickness is the same, the height is reduced by 0.4mm, and the breadth is reduced by 0.6mm and that’s all.

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You get a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the right that doubles as a power button as well. There’s nothing on top while the bottom has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port. On the left, you get volume rockers and a triple card slot for two SIMs, and a dedicated memory card slot. That’s pretty much all the I/O ports available here.

Display

It is almost the same display tech but with a water drop-shaped notch instead of a punch-hole cut-out. You get a slightly bigger 6.52-inch IPS LCD panel with a 720 x 1600 pixels resolution. The display has a protective glass on top of it although there’s no mention as to what it is using. The 90Hz refresh rate on OPPO A53s is not carried forward to A53s 5G and instead, you get a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Now that we are done with the specs and the changes, what does that mean for the OPPO A53s 5G’s display?

Talking about its hands-on display performance, you will feel the regular refresh rate is much slower if you have used the 90Hz variant too. That’s just one of the concerns. Another is the use of an HD+ panel whereas I would have gone for an FHD panel at the least in this price segment.

However, note that even with these shortcomings, the display on-board A53s 5G is still a badass. It is brightly lit at 480 nits, it is an impressive HD+ panel with punchy and vibrant colours. Viewing angles on the phone is great in case you ever wish to view the screen from a different angle just in case. As you are holding a phone with a giant 6.52-inch display, you will feel that it is great for viewing media although it isn’t an AMOLED panel so bear with it.

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Since it is HD+, you might feel that the sharpness on games like COD Mobile is a bit low but that’s because of the resolution and not because the phone cannot handle it. The bezels around the edges are thick and the chin is almost thrice the size of the side bezels. Unless you don’t have a problem with it, OPPO A53s 5G can be your great companion.

Performance

OPPO A53s 5G runs on a MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G SoC with a max 2.2GHz frequency. The chipset is made on a 7nm fabrication process and comes paired with Mali-G57 C2 GPU, 128GB UFS 2.2 storage, and 6/8GB LPDDR4X RAM configurations.

No doubt the chipset is a massive upgrade over Snapdragon 460 used on the 4G A53s 5G. The chipset brings better performance as well as 5G support onboard. The chipset manages to score around 533 and 1722 points on single-core and multi-core tests respectively which is apparently approximately the same score as Realme 8 5G.

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The chipset supports multitasking like it’s nothing. The app launch and load time are almost negligible although the processor might wear down a bit as it gets older. I was able to play COD Mobile and a few other high-graphics games on medium available settings without causing much harm to the processor. Dimensity 700 5G SoC took it all without getting warm although if you have intentions to play for some time continuously, you will end up with a phone with a raised temperature which is apparent with all other smartphones out there.

Software

OPPO A53s 5G uses an Android 11-backed ColorOS 11.1 which is something you must try your hands on. It is snappy thanks to the software optimizations as well as how compatible the processor is with it. You get a tonne of features including chat notifications and Bubbles, HyperBoost 3.0, better permissions module, Gamer Mode, and so on. But with that, you also get a tonne of bloatware. However, lucky are you because you can remove some of the bloatware completely and not just disable it. I repeat, I said some of the bloatware not all.

Cameras

Talking about the camera setup, it is the same as the standard 4G OPPO A53s with just a tiny difference. The setup on Galaxy A53s 5G is a triple-camera setup consisting of a 13MP primary shooter with two 2MP sensors for a macro and depth with f/2.4 aperture each. The front, on the other hand, has an 8MP shooter.

In a few words, the camera setup mounted on OPPO A53s 5G is average and there’s nothing that shines bright. It is the same setup as that of its 4G version.

The primary shooter with a 13MP sensor works fine and the shots are decent. You will still end up taking shots that are okayish and usable on social media although zoom in and you will notice a lack of details on it. It’s no surprise that a 13MP sensor used on last year’s A53s and the new A53s 5G will perform the same as they are actually the same units.

Colours on shots using the primary sensor appear a bit washed out if captured without using the AI Dazzle Color feature. When you engage it, you get slightly better hues although don’t expect it to have aggressively better colour reproduction. The dynamic range on the primary sensor is decent and can be easily spotted when shooting with and without HDR.

Apparently, there’s no night mode on the device which is a big NO given the fact that night mode captures better shots in low-light than the photo mode. Thus, without a night mode, all the shots in low-light are noisy, grainy, and out of focus at times.

The macro shots on A53s 5G do the job with acceptable macro shots. If you are a casual photographer and someone who likes sticking their macro camera to see the life of the small world, you will be amazed. But if you are on the pro side, it won’t take much time to ascertain just how wild the macro sensor can get. After all, what could you expect with a macro sensor at 2MP resolution?

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Then we have a 2MP depth sensor which is essentially used for depth effects. It does take decent-quality bokeh shots although it isn’t perfect with edge detection. The same applies for portrait shots using the front camera although the difference is, it is a software-based bokeh effect and not hardware-based. The selfie shooter clicks decent shots and is far better for an 8MP sensor. However, I am talking about daylight photography since nighttime photography isn’t a piece of cake you won’t enjoy with OPPO A53s 5G.

I wonder why OPPO wouldn’t change the camera setup from OPPO A53 to A53s 4G and now the A53s 5G.

Battery

At 5,000 mAh battery, OPPO A53s 5G’ battery pack is enough to power the device for more than a day. In fact, you can easily squeeze a day and a half with a mix of usage and battery savers engaged. With heavy usage, you can still get a day’s worth of battery life which is still better than the majority of smartphones out there.

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The device has a 10W charging tech which is way slower than the 4G version of OPPO A53s which is a massive letdown. An 18W charger takes around 2 hours to juice up the 5,000 mAh battery which means a slower 10W charger would take more than 3 hours to fully charge to its capacity.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

When it comes to the audio part, OPPO A53s 5G has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker. I was disappointed because OPPO decided to cut back on the stereo speaker that the vanilla A53s had, which is surprising. However, I would assume that adding a new and faster chipset might have to do something with these cutbacks.

Now that the stereo speaker setup is out of the scene, you end up with a single loudspeaker that is loud (pun intended). It is certainly not the loudest but hey, at least you have a 3.5mm headphone jack to strap your favourite pair of headphones to listen to your favourite jam.

The phone has a Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) 5G support onboard for faster downloads and more on the upcoming futuristic network. The device has a 3.5mm headphone jack along with support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with dual-band as well as Bluetooth v5.0 with LE, aptX HD, and A2DP. Then, we have support for various navigation systems such as Galileo, Glonass, BDS, QZSS, and A-GPS.

OPPO A53s 5G sports a side-mounted fingerprint scanner instead of a rear-mounted module as seen on its 4G variant. I am a fan of side-mounted FPS since you literally press a tap and it’s on. The FPS is quick although it points with the price tag so if you are coming from a flagship phone, you will feel it is a tad bit slow. The FPS is more reliable than face unlocks on A53s 5G given the fact that the latter is a software-based system.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • MediaTek Helio 700 5G
  • Superfast 5G connectivity
  • Large 5000 mAh battery

Cons

  • 720-pixel display
  • Meagre camera setup
  • No fast charging
  • No Gorilla Glass protection
  • No dust and water protection
Verdict
Usually, you would get some improvements when a successor arrives. OPPO A53s was released in 4G last year and now, it has a 5G variant which is a step up. It gets a powerful chipset, however, it does away with several features including a faster refresh rate, an 18W charging, NFC, and stereo speakers to name a few specs. The camera setup is almost the same and thus, its camera performance is almost the same. OPPO A53s 5G does get a powerful Dimensity 700 5G chipset which is better in performance than the Snapdragon 460 used on the 4G variant which is a well-ensured upgrade. You also get 5G which is something India doesn’t have an infrastructure for at least for now. Perhaps, I don’t think so you should upgrade from A53s 4G to 5G and rather wait for some better prospects. If you were waiting for A53s, I would suggest you can go for a 5G variant or you can simply check out its various rivals.


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