OPPO has always been at the top in minds of Filipinos when buying budget smartphones. The success of OPPO A3s was a good indication that OPPO has definitely permeated the minds of Filipino consumers that they make affordable yet good performing smartphones.
Less than a year later, OPPO introduced the spiritual follow up to the A3s, the OPPO A5s. It bears numerous similarities to its predecessor but has a generous share of new things made for those who are upgrading or those who wish to try something affordable from OPPO.
What we have is the OPPO A5s in striking red colorway with a glossy finish. I am a big fan of this design choice by Huawei, and looking at it from the get-go gives a feeling of elegance and beauty. I particularly like the gold trimming that wraps around its rear dual camera and fingerprint sensor. Despite its laminated plastic build, its subtle design cues make the OPPO A5s a smartphone that does not look cheap for its PhP6,990 price point.
When you turn on this smartphone, you’ll be presented with a gorgeous display that sports a dewdrop notch. Most of the new smartphones today – even its main competitors – sport this kind of notch, and this is something that A5s carries with style. It is a deviation from the previous notch design of A3s, and this is something that we regard as an impressive decision from OPPO’s part.
The screen looks impressive for a smartphone that costs less than PhP5,000. Screen contrast is about right and its level of saturation is surprisingly on point. My only issue here is the resolution as this smartphone only sports an HD+ display. You can’t watch YouTube or Netflix in 1080p, and playing your favorite games that support full HD is technically impossible. I, for one, truly get this though. OPPO’s target market for the A5s are usually the ones who are budget conscious. Streaming at Full HD on Netflix requires an upgraded subscription, and watching videos on YouTube at 1080p sucks a load of bandwidth. It is understandable for OPPO to introduce a smartphone with features that perfectly fit their intended market.
For a budget smartphone, A5s is not devoid of the necessary software features on a smartphone. ColorOS 8.1.0 is packed with the essential functionalities that consumers look for without eating a bunch of hardware resources. Its camera, which I will talk about later, is packaged with the usual favorites like Panorama, Portrait and Sticker Modes. OPPO also installed Game Space on A5s, which can be a useful tool for mobile gamers. There are also pretty useful pre-installed applications that help users to be more productive and efficient like Clone Apps, App Split-Screen and OPPO Cloud. Trust me – consumers will soon find these applications very handy when they start using this smartphone.
Let’s talk about performance. If you’re planning to get this smartphone, and you consider yourself to be a non-techy person, don’t turn away just yet. I will try to explain the phone’s performance without using too much jargon.
OPPO A5s is surprisingly fast. For a smartphone that rocks a Mediatek Helio P35 Octa-core processor and 3GB RAM, it is capable enough to run your favorite games at HD settings. Think of the processor and RAM combo in A5s as the phone’s heart and brain. They work in perfect unison, which helps the games run smoothly. We’ve played Mobile Legends and PUBG Lite, and we can attest that they all work perfectly fine with minimal lag. We don’t recommend playing games like Point Blank: Strike and Darkness Rises as the phone’s current resources can’t keep up with the games’ demands.
How about taking this smartphone as your mobile photography companion? I have mixed feelings here as the quality of photos I took have qualities that didn’t deviate much from the photos I took using A3s. Color saturation and contrast appear dull at times, and portrait mode needs a lot of tweaking. Sometimes when using Portrait Mode, the cameras fail to focus properly thus making the bokeh effect on photos somewhat lacking.
Battery Life and Connectivity
A5s has a pretty packed 4230mah battery. I managed to use this for more than 11 hours at moderate usage, and we consider it as one of the phones with best battery performance. Charging the battery took longer than usual though as this isn’t compatible with VOOC Charging.
You also get the usual connectivity options from having 4G/LTE mobile internet connection to WiFi. If you are thinking about connecting your Bluetooth accessories, then I’m happy to report that OPPO A5s has also got you covered.
Should you get it?
If you’re looking for a budget smartphone with decent processing power, the OPPO A5s can hit the right spot. It’s a significant update from A3s in terms of speed and performance, but not enough to make it a worthy upgrade if you’re after mobile photography.