With smartphone companies trying to bring a premium experience to the budget segment, the budget smartphone market is getting more aggressive than ever. In a Xiaomi-dominated world, Oppo has announced yet another budget device called Oppo A5s in the country. The smartphone comes with MediaTek Helio P35, 4230mAh battery, 4GB of RAM and dewdrop display at a sub-10k price.
Oppo A5s directly competes with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2. Lately, Oppo hasn’t shared any major success in the budget segment and this is the company’s another attempt to do so. We’ve been using this device extensively in order to find out whether the device is worth considering or not.
Price in India, Variants, Availability
Oppo A5s comes in three different storage variants – 2GB+32GB, 3GB+32GB and 4GB+64GB options. In terms of colors, the device comes in four options namely Black, Gold, Green, and Red. The base variant is priced at INR 8,990 while the top-end variant is going to cost you INR 12,990. The 3GB variant of Oppo A5s will set you back INR 9,990.
The smartphone is available for purchase exclusively via Flipkart. At the time of writing this review, there is a 10% instant discount on SBI Credit cards along with the option of No Cost EMI on all the major debit and credit cards.
In terms of packaging, Oppo A5s is packed inside a box which looks similar to other Oppo devices. There is an Oppo branding on the top and the front is dominated by the phone’s image. Opening the box, the first thing which you’ll come across is the rectangular section which consists of a soft-back case, SIM ejector pin and documentations.
Underneath all these, you can find the device itself laying there nicely covered in a protective film. Apart from all these, you get a USB wall charger along with a Micro USB cable. Sadly, the brand didn’t bundle a pair of earphones.
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box:
– Oppo A5s
– Wall Charger
– A Micro-USB cable
– SIM ejector tool
– A soft back case
– Manuals and documentation
Specs at a glance
Before we jump right into the review of the device, here is a quick look at the specifications which this device brings to the table.
Display: 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel, 720×1520 pixels, 271ppi
– Processor: MediaTek Helio P35, 12nm
– RAM & ROM: up to 4GB and up to 64GB
– Rear cameras: 13MP+2MP
– Selfie camera: 8MP, f/2.0
– Battery: 4230mAh capacity
– Software: Android 8.1 Oreo, ColorOS 5.2
– Weight: 170g
– Dimensions: 155.9×75.4×8.2mm
With specs cleared out of the way, let’s have a look at the very first aspect of this review.
Design and Build
Oppo A5s shares similar design ideology to the company’s other budget devices. The device is made up entirely of plastic with a glossy finish at the back. When almost all the budget smartphones adopted the gradient design, the A5s is still sucked at the older glossy design. Surprisingly, the phone is very light considering the fact that it has a massive battery packed inside. Not only this, the rounded corners add up to the overall comfort.
At the back, there is a horizontally-aligned dual camera module accompanied by an LED flash and a fingerprint sensor. Like with previous models, the fingerprint reader on A5s is oval in shape with golden ring circling around it which seems to grow on me after a couple of days. In terms of design, I like the subtle appearance which Oppo is trying to deliver instead of the flashy gradient patterns which might be a good thing for many.
The front is dominated by a 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel with surprisingly thin side bezels. Although the chin is comparatively thicker. There is a dewdrop notch on top of the display which houses a front selfie snapper and a earpiece positioned more towards the frame. Moving to the buttons, the power button is located on the right side and volume rockers can be found on the left. Both the buttons offer clicky feedback even though they are made up of plastic.
At the bottom, there is a speaker grille, a Micro-USB port for charging and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. The SIM card tray is located on the left which supports dual nano-SIM and a dedicated Micro-SD card. Overall, the build quality of the device was up to the expectation and the device feels sturdy considering the sub-10k price tag. Competitors are offering much better attractive looking design with a good amount of premiumness embedded in it.
Oppo A5s is equipped with a 6.2-inch IPS LCD display having a resolution of 720×1520 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9. Almost all the popular sub-10k smartphone comes with similar display experience. Having an HD+ resolution, the display offers a good level of color accuracy with vivid reproduction. The brightness level on this device is not that good, to be honest, and you might struggle under sunlight because of poor sunlight legibility.
For an added protection, the display has a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 but we would still recommend using a scratch guard. The device has a decent screen-to-body-ratio of 81.6% thanks to the thin side bezels. Although a relatively thin chin would have delivered a much better experience. Since it uses IPS LCD panel, the viewing angles are also acceptable and I faced no issue in this aspect whatsoever.
Oppo A5s lacks the Widevine L1 support meaning you will be limited to SD streaming quality when using services like Netflix and Prime Video. That’s a bit of bummer. Except this, I had no issue with the display of this device. You can change various display-related settings such as color tone using the settings application.
Oppo A5s is powered by a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset coupled with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of onboard memory. For graphics, the device makes use of a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. The Helio P35 is a decent chipset which can handle moderate tasks pretty easily. It is manufactured using the 12nm fabrication process having eight Cortex-A53 cores with four of them being clocked at 2.3GHz while the remaining ones at 1.8GHz.
The smartphone manages to handle the moderate tasks very easily offering a somewhat smooth experience. The device takes a hit during the heavy multitasking or graphics-intensive gaming. During my usage, various apps were opening very slow with noticeable lags while switching between them. The memory management is not that decent with apps not staying in memory for a decent amount of time.
Coming to gaming performance, the processor is not simply meant for heavy gaming. You can run games like Asphalt 9 easily but the same is not the case with Pubg Mobile. The game by default runs on the lowest settings which occasional frame drops. If you’re planning to play games frequently on your device, then you should look elsewhere. For storage, the device is offering up to 64GB which if not enough, is expandable using dedicated Micro-SD card slot.
Oppo A5s runs on the not so latest Android operating system i.e. Android 8.1 Oreo-based on the company’s very own ColorOS 5.2 custom skin. The fact that it runs on dated operating system is going to be a deal-breaker for many including me. Further, Oppo doesn’t have any future plans of upgrading it either. On top of this, ColorOS 5,2 is not the latest one with other expensive models running on the latest ColorOS 6.
ColorOS is a custom skin similar to many others out there offering you similar homescreen setup and drop-down notification centre. Sadly, there is no app launcher on this version of custom skin. Speaking of features, the UI has plenty of it including popular ones such as Smart Sidebar, Theme Store, Music Party and Game Space. Out of these, there are plenty of useless ones which add up to the bloatware. The device was pre-installed with Opera browser for some reasons even though most users don’t use it at all. Fortunately, you can remove most of the bloatware in order to free up some space.
Smart Sidebar is indeed a very useful application which lets you access app shortcuts easily from any screen. Game Space, as the name suggests, blocks notifications and locks screen brightness on compatible games. Overall, Oppo A5s disappoints a little bit in terms of a software largely due to the dated operating system with no promise of future updates.
For imaging, the device features a dual-camera module at the back having a 13-MP primary sensor (f/2.0 aperture) and a 2-MP depth sensor (f/2.4 aperture). For selfies, there is an 8-MP front snapper having an aperture of f/2.0. The camera app is pretty easy to use with options laid out in organized manner. The device has modes like Portrait, Pano, Standard and Video. You can also use the Face Beauty if you want to beautify the images. You can set it manually or let the AI take care of it.
In daylight conditions, the cameras worked pretty well with images turned out to be decent. The level of detailing and exposure were reasonably on point. Even the autofocus was pretty quick when shooting macros. The colours were not that sharp though but it is still above average mark. Portrait mode disappointed us with poor edge detection most of the time
Like any other budget phone, Oppo A5s struggles a lot in low-light conditions. The camera apps take a slightly longer time to focus and the clicked images lacks detail and brightness. Even though the noise level were controlled, fine grains were easily visible.
Coming to the selfies, the front camera manages to beat our expectations. The image quality was pretty decent with good level of details, exposure and color accuracy. The selfies taken from this device was good enough to go on social media directly.
Video recording on this smartphone is capped at 1080p for both front and rear cameras. Since there is no video stabilization, the recorded videos are very shaky.
Oppo A5s is backed by a massive 4230mAh battery packed inside with no support of fast charging. The battery life is something in which this device excels with shining light. Thanks to the low-res display and power efficient processor, the battery life is pretty excellent with device lasting for two days on average usage.
If you’re a heavy user who plays heavy games and does a lot of work on your device, then the device manages to go through an entire day on a single charge. Since there is no support of fast charging, Oppo A5s takes more than 2 hours to charge completely from zero to 100%.
Audio, Biometrics, Connectivity
For Audio, there is a bottom-mounted loudspeaker which is not that impressive in my opinion. Competitors are offering much better audio output in this price range. Sound quality from the speaker is below average and it seems hollow most of the time. There is a 3.5-mm audio jack for headphones which delivers excellent output in contrary. In terms of calling, the earpiece and microphone worked pretty well with next to no problems in our usage.
There is a fingerprint sensor located at the back in an easy-to-reach position. It opens up the device fairly quickly and is accurate & reliable. Face Unlock also works pretty quickly but it is not that secure since it uses 2D face representation.
Coming to the connectivity, Oppo A5s has all the standard features such as single-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 with A2DP&LE, GPS, FM Radio and Micro-USB for charging.
Pros & Cons
– Subtle appearance
– Two-day battery life
– Capable cameras
– Sturdy build quality
– Weak processor
– Dated software
– Poor low-light camera performance
– Below average loudspeaker
Oppo is targeting the sub-10k range largely with this smartphone. The smartphone delivers an okayish experience overall with the only attractive option being its two-day battery life and capable cameras. The dated software is going to be a big disappointment for many. Also, we have seen better camera in this price range.
Another big deal breaker is the weak processor which can not handle multitasking and heavy games. If you’re someone who is not going to game much and prefers battery life over other aspect, then you can go for the Oppo A5s smartphone. If not, there are various other options such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 which offers impressive performance at the same price.
Also, Oppo A5s comes in a 4GB+63GB storage variant entering into the sub-15k market. At this price point, the top variant is not a value for money option.