Another decent phone, ruined by steep pricing
- Premium looking design
- Decent camera performance
- Good battery life
- Priced too high
- Could've used a better processing package
- Video recording limited to 1080p/30fps
While it misses out on the vegan leather cover, the back of the OPPO A98 resembles another OPPO device, which is personal favorite of mine in terms of design.
You get two circular camera modules in a dedicated section, and an extended section with a metallic finish, providing a good contrast to the rest of the rear panel. The flat sides are also in matte finish, which makes them less prone to smudges.
The power button on the right acts as a fingerprint scanner, while the left houses the volume rocker as well as the SIM slot.
Wired headphone users will also appreciate the headphone jack at the bottom, alongside a speaker grille, microphone, and a USB-C port.
Display-wise, you get a 6.72-inch Full HD+ LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate and 680 nits of peak brightness. It’s not the punchiest screen in terms of colors, but it’s decent for media consumption.
OPPO A98 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, which I’m surprised is still a thing, knowing that a lot of other brands have been using newer processors. It’s not that it’s a bad chip, but at this price point, it just seems underwhelming, even by last year’s standards.
Anyway, you also get 8GB of RAM, which is still okay for 2023, along with 256GB of storage, something that is expected from a phone at this price point.
As with every other phone with this chip, the gaming performance is as you would expect. If you’re playing games like Farlight 84 and Mobile Legends, you won’t have a problem with this chip, as it breezes through those games with the right settings. For the latter, you can even crank it up to Super (fps) + Ultra (graphics).
For more demanding titles like Diablo Immortal and Honkai: Star Rail, you’ll really have to dial down close or to the lowest settings in order to get as close as possible to a smooth experience. For thermals, the device did get slightly warm during the test, but not to an uncomfortable point.
OPPO A98 5G has a 64MP main camera, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP Microlens, which was something that was also introduced on the Reno8 T 5G. It allows for very up-close photos of basically any surface, like hair strand levels. Now, again, I will say that I’d take an ultra-wide over a macro lens any day, and it’s the same for this one.
That being said, photos we took show decent levels of detail and sharpness.
As with every other phone with a Snapdragon 695 that I’ve tested, video recording is limited to 1080p at 3-fps, which could be a deal-breaker for some.
OPPO A98 runs ColorOS 13.1 on top of Android 13, and offers some nifty features like Split Screen, Floating Windows for multitasking, and the Smart Sidebar for quick access to apps, and if you want to record what’s on the screen or take a screenshot.
You do get a lot of pre-loaded apps, which can make things look a bit cluttered. You can uninstall some of them, and for some, well, you can at least disable them.
Using PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark which simulates tasks such as photo and video editing, web browsing, and data manipulation, the OPPO A98 scored 14 hours and 39 minutes, which is a very good score. As with every device, your mileage may vary depending on your usage, but it’ll be safe to say that with light as well as moderate usage, this phone should last at least a whole workday with power left for the trip home.
Should you need to find a wall socket, charging from 20% to full only took 44 minutes using the 67W brick that came with the box, which is also a good score.
OPPO A98: Verdict
OPPO A98 delivers well in most aspects – decent camera performance and good battery life. It’s also quick to recharge, and the design looks great. However, its PHP 18,999 price tag is just too steep, especially when you look at what the competition offers, some for much less.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.