Great value with few compromises.
The Oppo A57 is a no-nonsense smartphone that trades in some higher-tier processing power for price, while still delivering a solid functional experience, a pretty good pair of cameras and a stylish design.
Out of the box the device is quite light, and looks familiar but smart. It touts a full metal unibody that feels sturdy, and the display, at 5.2 inches, delivers a vibrant and pleasant viewing experience.
Though not the cheapest of the affordable smartphone incursion right now, for $328 you’ll get 3GB RAM, an octa-core processor and 32GB of internal storage that will keep it pretty reliable in frequent-use scenarios. Its stock loadout of apps doesn’t overdo it, with the Google mobile suite and the phone’s core tool set neatly packed away into a couple of groups, with the mainstays pinned to the homescreen. It’s really a what-you-see-is-what-you-get package; your base interface gets you a home screen and an app screen and that’s pretty nice.
Part of this simplicity can be attributed to the A57 running on ColorOS, an Oppo-developed variant of Android 5.1 Lollipop. The OS is touted as having optimised performance for basic tasks and power management of apps and features not in use at a given moment. That being said, it feels a little disappointing to be locked into a proprietary mod of Android OS. While I quite like what Oppo have done with ColorOS – it’s neat, simple and seems to run smoothly – users might feel they are missing out in being cut off from straight-up Android OS updates.
The quality of the 16MP rear camera is another big selling point, the phone can take some really nice images and will appeal holiday snappers or in-a-pinch photographers. A 13MP front facing camera will also get you a decent selfie, if you’re so inclined.
The fingerprint scanning works great, allowing a big of angle variation on how your thumb hits the scanner and unlocking to the homescreen almost instantly.
This a reasonably-powered, well-priced phone with a great camera. While it won’t convert the disciples of Apple or Samsung, users who want a bit of work, play and some nice photos will be proud to have made a solid saving by going with a less-recognised brand, as long as they aren’t too phased about being shut out of the direct Android OS upgrade cycle.
“This a reasonably-powered, well-priced phone with a great camera.”
Qualcomm MSM8940 octa-core CPU • 3GB RAM • 32GB storage (microSD upgradeable) • 2900mAh battery • 13MP camera • 5.2-inch HD IPS screen
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