In 2017, Apple introduced the iPhone X - its first smartphone with an aspect ratio of 18: 9, thin frames around the entire perimeter of the case and bangs. Only the lazy did not condemn the design decision of the company - everywhere there were funny and not very jokes about the cutout on the screen. However, it’s stupid to deny that the iPhone X had a strong influence on the mobile industry. One by one, smartphones with a similar notch at the top of the screen began to appear on the market and soon most of the flagships became similar to the brainchild of Apple. A year passed, and the trend went beyond premium devices. Now on the market there are a number of smartphones with bangs for every taste and budget - I do not want to choose. It is about the representative of this fashionable trend that will be discussed today. Introduced in the summer of 2018, the OPPO A5 seems to have incorporated all the possible “chips” at the moment: an analogue of FaceID, an 18: 9 screen, a dual camera, and gesture control. What is the result of this?
As we all know, the opinion about the device begins to be made exactly from the moment when its box falls into the hands. In this regard, Chinese manufacturers are making progress by adding various accessories to the package. So, for example, a dense silicone case came as a gift for this smartphone, saving the buyer from the need to look for protection for his device. The case fits very tightly on the smartphone upon first use and subsequently holds tight, does not fall off. Moreover, from the box, the OPPO A5 screen is covered with a high-quality film with a good oleophobic coating. The protection is glued well and, if you do not look closely, its presence is simply imperceptible. The charger has a very large case, given its low power - the output here is only 1A.
The first thing that catches your eye when you see the OPPO A5 is a striking design. The smartphone really attracts the attention of people around. The version intended for the Russian market has only two colors: red and blue, each of which can hardly be called ordinary and calm. The back panel is an interesting corrugated texture hidden under polycarbonate. Unfortunately, OPPO stinted on the glass, which causes some concerns about scratches. I don’t think it’s worth recording this in the minuses of the smartphone, because the use of plastic has reduced the weight of the smartphone - it really feels light in the hand, despite its size. At a certain angle, the surface resembles broken glass - it looks unusual. As observations have shown, people react to the OPPO A5 with interest precisely because of the catchy design of the rear panel. It is also worth noting that the smartphone definitely looks more expensive than the price tag. During use, there were no problems with the case - the buttons are pressed clearly, no squeaks.
The smartphone is well assembled and feels whole in the hand. Contrary to general fashion, the OPPO A5 supports the simultaneous use of two Nano-SIMs and a MicroSD card - there is a triple tray that can be removed using a paper clip. By the way, with a high probability you will need a memory card, since the smartphone has only 32 GB of user storage, some of which is out of the box occupied by the system.
In contrast to the beauty of the back panel is its practicality. The device slaps extremely quickly and is very reluctant to wipe off fingerprints and dust. The transparent case does not save the situation, putting on which you will surely stain the phone. During testing, the back cover was not scratched, despite the material of manufacture. It is worth noting the convenient location of the fingerprint scanner - it is easy to find it by taking the smartphone out of your pocket. However, the FaceID analogue installed here eliminates the need to put the finger of those who do not like it. Both Facial Unlock and the finger scanner work very quickly and do not cause negative emotions. Moreover, the smartphone accurately recognizes the face even in the dark. In this regard, OPPO acted wisely, giving the user a choice, in contrast to the well-known company from Cupertino, which forces customers to switch to innovation.
The front panel looks less original: an 18: 9 screen, standard bangs. In this regard, the smartphone is difficult to distinguish from the vast majority of frameless devices in 2018. However, as it turned out, such a design is still able to impress. Many people still perceive this aspect ratio as an element of the devices of the highest price segment, which only plays into the hands of OPPO A5. The smartphone display occupies 88% of the front panel - a strong result. By the way, before that I had not used devices of this format and was pleasantly surprised: the cutout on the screen catches your eye only the first time and after a day it stops interfering. The most unusual are the sensations experienced when returning to the “classic” smartphone with normal frames and a 16: 9 screen - comparable to using the iPhone 4S after the iPhone 7 Plus. In other words, not even the most expensive OPPO A5 is able to give the user a new experience. In my opinion, this is the main feature of the smartphone. At a time when even flagships rarely surprise a buyer, a middle-class smartphone that is able to give a new sensation is perceived as a breath of fresh air and really interests, pushes to get to know it better.
As soon as the first vivid emotions, caused by the screen format, pass, the realization comes that the display is actually the Achilles heel of OPPO A5. The smartphone has a TFT-screen and this decision of the company is difficult to justify. It’s also difficult to pick up any good words about this 6.2-inch display - the brightness margin is not enough for a sunny day, and the resolution of 1520 × 720 is barely enough for such a diagonal. Viewing angles are not bad for a TFT-matrix, but they cannot be compared with IPS-analogues. From the positive - the night mode, which makes the picture "warmer" and harmless to the eyes, as well as an adequate light sensor.
The corresponding "chips" in the form of gesture control and multi-window mode should be attached to the widescreen screen - and this is there. Nevertheless, one gets the feeling that OPPO is shy of the phone’s capabilities, because the corresponding options are hidden in the settings and activated manually. It is not said about them either at the first start-up, or later through tooltips. It is likely that curious users will simply stay with the Anroid stock navigation bar.
Gesture navigation, although it does not look as elegant as in iOS, is conveniently implemented. The basic control scheme equates a swipe from the bottom of the screen left and right to the back button and a similar gesture from the middle to pressing the Home button. If you pull from the middle and hold it, the multitasking menu opens. A fairly simple and natively understandable control scheme, which you quickly get used to. In the menu of recently launched applications, swipe up deletes the application, swipe down - allows you to protect it from being accidentally closed or open in split-screen mode. The multi-window mode on Android is no longer surprising; this feature appeared years ago in LG and Samsung smartphones, and for some reason it has only recently become widespread. I think it’s not worth explaining that on a 6.2-inch screen it is really convenient to work with two applications at the same time. 4 GB of RAM, built into the OPPO A5, allow you to run two windows on your smartphone without problems and freezes. On top of Android 8.1 Oreo, there is a proprietary ColorOS shell that respects all the canons of Chinese firmware - bright icons, built-in masks and an analogue of FaceTune, doubtfully “improving” the face. The Music Party function, which allows me to combine several devices on ColorOS 5.1 into one audio system for playing music, seemed interesting to me. In some scenarios, this functionality can solve the problem of having a portable speaker.
The performance of the Snapdragon 450 processor integrated into the smartphone is enough for rendering animations and stable operation of the system. Moreover, there are no problems with the games either: PUBG and World Of Tanks play smoothly at medium settings - the Oppo A5 still falls short of high ones. After opening any game, ColorOS carefully switches on the “OPPO Games” mode, which improves the performance of the smartphone, optimizes applications and blocks notifications for the most comfortable process.
The OPPO A5 lacks an NFC chip, which is why the smartphone cannot be used as a means of contactless payment in stores. This is disappointing, because in 2018 even cheaper devices can offer this option to the buyer.
Speaking about the photo capabilities of the device, I want to highlight the camera as its strong side. Daytime photos are sharp and contrasting. The main 13-megapixel camera copes with fine details and shadows perfectly - in a word, the module justifies the price of a smartphone, the photos you receive do not scare your Instagram followers.
There is an HDR mode that does not cause delight due to its thoughtfulness. Evening and night photos, unlike daytime ones, look much worse. Taking a sharp shot on the OPPO A5 in low light is a kind of quest. Nevertheless, the camera evokes rather positive emotions, especially if you take into account the price and positioning of the smartphone.
Another fashionable “chip” of the smartphone is the presence of portrait mode. To blur the background, the smartphone uses an additional 2 MP camera, which quite adequately determines the silhouette of a person. Unfortunately, getting an interesting shot with a bokeh effect is extremely difficult due to the lack of clarity of the person in the photo. It is not clear what this is connected with, but it is obvious that such shots are unlikely to surprise your friends. The 8 MP front camera also supports background blur, implemented at the software level using neural networks. The situation with portrait mode is the opposite of the main photomodule - the sharpness of the face is at a decent level, while the definition of the silhouette is lame.
The OPPO A5 also offers users a double zoom function. It remains a mystery to me - the optical or digital zoom is used to obtain this effect, but the result could pleasantly surprise. Enlarged photos do not lose in detail and sharpness - a decent indicator for such a smartphone.
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A bonus to the above advantages OPPO A5 is a powerful 4230 mAh battery. The smartphone runs on a single charge for a very long time - in the active mode of use, the device lasted about two days. Such results are not so much the merit of a capacious battery, but a consequence of the small screen resolution. At the same time, there is an energy saving mode that severely limits the background operation of programs. Recharging the battery with the included charger is an incredibly long and tedious task.
To summarize, the OPPO A5 is a mid-range smartphone that is trying its best to look more expensive than its price. In part, he does it: there is a set of flagship functions and a bright, catchy design. However, most of the "chips" do not work as well as we would like. The main factor that allows you to close your eyes to certain problems is the price. They ask for 16 990 rubles for the device, which is an adequate amount for the capabilities offered by the smartphone. In other words, the OPPO A5 is a nice device with a good price tag.
- bright design;
- convenient face and fingerprint scanner;
- good daytime shots;
- widescreen screen;
- powerful battery;
- modest TFT display;
- lack of NFC;
May not like:
- easily soiled body;
- slow charge.
Final rating: 8 out of 10.