More than anything, Oppo smartphones have always been about the ‘perfect selfie’, but the latest Oppo A71 seems to be different. Oppo has rather a different approach to the phone. Both the box and the website put ‘Speedy Operation’ at the forefront which isn’t the selfie-centric tagline Oppo relies on usually. However, that does not mean there aren’t any selfie-centric feature. In fact, the A71 borrows the A.I beauty recognition technology from the more expensive Oppo F5, despite a 5MP shooter at the front. Nevertheless, the main feature here is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC. It is a relatively new chip and before this, the chipset hasn't been seen in a sub-10K phone.
We start with the performance first, which seems to be the highlight of the phone. The Snapdragon 450 which powers this device is an octa-core chip with eight ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. Apart from the jump in performance over the SD435, which is widespread in sub-10K smartphones, the chip is capable of supporting dual cameras and is supposed to be battery efficient.
While we don’t get a dual camera on the Oppo A71, we do get a reliable battery life out of the phone. The 3000mAh battery combined with the 720p HD display does provide 6 hours and 35 minutes of screen time on the PCMark battery test, which isn't exactly bad. In day-to-day usage, the phone feels quick enough, but we are yet to test the phone with our suite of test applications and especially games. Oppo's ColorOS 3.2 looks just as colourful and very much, unlike stock Android, just like what we have seen earlier. We are also not happy about the fact that a phone with 2018 in its name misses out on Android Oreo.
Nevertheless, the phone is quite compact and ergonomic. The five-inch form factor makes the device easy to use in one hand. The small footprint combined with the rounded corners make the phone quite ergonomic. Although, it is still isn't as compact as the Redmi 4 from Xiaomi. The top and bottom chins are spacious and make the phone look like a reincarnation of a phone from 2015. The plastic back, despite being sturdy, doesn't inspire the same level of confidence you may get while holding any other metal-clad phone. That said, the phone is not slippery and didn't get hot during our short use. One other feature missing from the Oppo A71 is a fingerprint scanner, which has become a staple feature in all phones alike.
The camera is another area beside the performance which is well catered by the phone. You get a 13MP rear camera on the phone, which going by the few images we have clicked looks like, might just be able to take on its rivals in the sub-10K price category. The images we clicked during the day had decent colour reproduction and had a fair amount of details. At the moment we feel that dynamic range could have been better, but it is too early to give a judgment on the camera based on the few images we have clicked.
In the image below, shot under fairly low light with HDR on auto, does not capture the entire subject, but the focus seems alright with a usable amount of details. The camera algorithm also keeps noise to a minimum, which is a good thing while taking images in low light. Similarly, the front-facing camera does a decent job in ample lighting conditions, but we are not sure how Oppo’s A.I technology for selfies come into play in the A71’s camera.
Overall, we think Oppo A71 is a decent smartphone for the price and might come out as one of the better performers in its price bracket. The rear camera also looks promising and initial benchmarks raised our hopes for a good battery life score from this phone. We just wished it had a fingerprint scanner as well as newer design. Nevertheless, we will be taking the phone through our thorough review process and give you a report (review) in the coming weeks.