While most Chinese smartphone-makers started off 2018 on a high note, OPPO is taking an ascending approach. It has launched two smartphones, A83 and A71, both priced affordably to target budget shoppers. While we've shared our views on the A83, the A71 had been next on the list and here's what we think of it.
Before we get started, let us quickly offer you a glimpse of all the key specifications of OPPO A71 (2018) that is priced at Rs 9,990:
Display: 5.2-inch HD TFT screen
Rear camera: 13MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash
Front camera: 5MP snapper with f/2.4 aperture and AI Beauty Recognition Technology
CPU: 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor
Storage: 16GB, expandable up to 256GB
Software: Android 7.1 Nougat-based ColorOS 3.2
Add-ons: 4G VoLTE, dual SIM card, separate microSD card and other standard sensors
Now that the general info about the device is out of the way, let us highlight the good side and the bad side of the OPPO A71 (2018).
OPPO A71 is the latest cheapest OPPO smartphone, and there are three things that we loved about the phone. The first is the camera (not just for the selfies) and then there are the battery and performance aspects.
OPPO is proudly advertising the camera of the A71 to be its biggest USP, and the phone only partly justifies it. We aren't saying the photos are bad, but they are reasonably fair for a phone that's priced below Rs 10,000.
The rear camera was quite capable of some challenging shots — thanks to the auto HDR feature. The colors appeared more natural, had less noise and the phone did decently well in low-light conditions. Landscape shots were more pleasant to look at.
As for the selfies, it is mandatory to rely on the Beauty mode for better results. There's a bonus bokeh effect option, but we'd advise against it as it doesn't outline the subject accurately while blurring the background.
Yes, the HDR function on the front camera was more than helpful. Quite frankly, we expected better selfies considering the brand's expertise in the area.
Moving on from the camera, the next valuable feature is the battery. Although it is same as the one we found in last year's A71, the 2018 edition managed to last us eight hours with mixed usage of calls, messages, social media browsing, brief gaming and even some video streaming.
If your phone's usage doesn't demand constant use and if you can cut down on the video streaming and gaming, the A71 can easily last you about nine hours.
Using the A71 without 4G isn't ideal, but when you do, the smartphone gives you up to two days of battery, which comes in handy while traveling.
Now for the last part of our favorites — the performance. Given the choice of Snapdragon 450 and 3GB RAM, we had decent expectations from the device, and the A71 lived up to them.
Be it your average gaming, video-streaming on Netflix or constantly moving back and forth between apps, we had no lags or glitches. We won't say the A71 is a high-performing phone, but it justifies the price range it comes in.
OPPO A71 is not devoid of flaws.
The first thing you'll notice is the same-old design with 16:9 aspect ratio, which is slowly being phased out in favor of a tall 18:9 aspect ratio. But it also serves in OPPO's favor as it already offers A83 with 18:9 and the A71 could be for those who do not like the bezel-less form. The choice is yours.
The HD display in the A71 isn't the best under direct sunlight, especially now that the summer is on its way. We were often adjusting the brightness to clearly see text and avoid glare when outdoors. Indoor viewing is generally never a problem.
Another major disappointment is the lack of fingerprint scanner, which is standard on most phones, and 16GB onboard storage. Even though most phones in this range offer 16GB storage, OPPO A71 offers a microSD card to add expand storage. But the 16GB storage runs out pretty quickly, as only 8GB is given to users after the bloatware sucks up most of the space.
All in all, OPPO A71 at Rs 9,990 is a sound choice only for those who want something refreshing in the sub-Rs 10,000 price range that brands like Xiaomi don't already offer. We are inclined towards the Redmi Note 5, which is quite superior compared to the A71 at Rs 10,000.