OPPO A57 Unboxing, Hands-on Review: Bridging the Gap

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Today, OPPO Philippines launched their newest smartphone — the OPPO A57; a smartphone that bridges the gap between their past Selfie Experts in the F1 series to their most recent dual front cam equipped smartphones. Is the OPPO A57 a good option for those of you who may be looking for a smartphone in the sub-12k price range? Let’s find out.

OPPO A57 Specifications

  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 quad-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Adreno 505 GPU
  • 5.2-inch HD IPS TFT display; 1280×720 resolution, Gorilla Glass 4 protection
  • 32GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB via microSD)
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, PDAF, f/2.2 aperture, LED flash
  • 16-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 2900mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ColorOS 3.0

What’s in the Box?

The OPPO A57 comes in a clean, white box with a photo of the phone up in front and a few highlighted specs on the back; nothing new in terms of the unboxing experience, but its the same level of packaging quality we’ve come to know and love from the Chinese brand.

Pull off the sleeve, lift up the lid, and you’ve got the OPPO A57. Our review unit came in the gorgeous black color variant of the device, which is a great change from the white-faced phones that usually come across our desks. Along with the phone, you’ve got a bit of documentation, the SIM ejector tool, a silicon case, the microUSB cable, USB wall charger, and the earphones.

Tried and Tested Build Quality

In terms of design and build quality, the OPPO A57 stays true to what we’ve seen from the Chinese in the past and in more recent releases. It’s got the same metal back that’s sandwiched by strips of plastic on the top and bottom, and 2.5D curved glass with Gorilla Glass 4 protection covering the display. Again, nothing new here, but that means that the build quality of the phone hasn’t changed either. It’s just as sturdy and well built as its siblings in the F series.

It’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet, as you can see in the photo above, so make sure you use that jelly case that comes with the phone.

Let’s take a tour around the device.

On the right side, you’ve got the power button with the SIM tray right above it. For those wondering, you are getting two SIM card slots and a separate microSD card slot.

On the left of the OPPO A57 is the volume rocker.

You’ll find the microUSB port, speaker grille, and the 3.5mm audio jack on the bottom of the device. You also have the fast and accurate fingerprint scannerjust below the display of the A57; embedded on the home screen of the device.

Passable Content Consumption

Front and center of the OPPO A57 is the 5.2-inch HD IPS TFT display. While the most discerning of you lot will probably cringe at the fact that the A57 is rocking a TFT display at 720p, it isn’t half bad given the smaller screen size with a pixel density of 287 pixels per inch. The display has great viewing angles and a fair amount of sunlight legibility as well.

Would we have liked to see a better, Full HD display? Definitely. But, this does help the staying power of the OPPO A57, which we will get to in a little bit.

You’re also getting a decent speaker on the A57 with minimal distortion at full volume.

Good Bump Up from the OPPO F1s

The OPPO A57 is packing a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 quad-core processor that’s paired with an Adreno 505 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. Given its price point, this device was meant to take over where the OPPO F1s left off and it really is a great step up from that device. Our time with the A57 was quite pleasant and was good enough for moderate multitasking. You’ll need to free up some RAM from time to time if you are planning to make this your everyday workhorse though.

Like the other products from OPPO, the A57 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ColorOS 3.0 on top of it. We know, it’s not 2016 anymore, why aren’t they running the latest version of Android? Say what you will, but the Chinese company seems to have their OS well optimized on Marshmallow but, on the other hand, we really wish it was running on Nougat too.

On the gaming front, NBA 2K17 had to be tweaked to Ultra Low to Low in order to get the best experience with the game as possible. We also tried Injustice 2 on the A57 and turning on Power Saving Mode in the settings gave more stable frame rates while playing the game, but you can still expect a drastic drop here and there. It’ll make light work of titles like Mobile Legends or Nonstop Knight.

Beauty Mode Bokeh Works Well

For snaps, the A57 has a 13-megapixel rear shooter with PDAF at an aperture size of f/2.0. While we’ve seen mid-ranged device handle dynamic range better than this device, we were rather surprised by its low-light performance. There’s still noise present in the photos, but we were expecting a lot more. Colors are a little muted, but you can always slap on a filter or two to make it pop a bit more.

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Like its siblings in the F series of the devices, the A57’s main draw is its 16-megapixel selfie camera. While we’ve seen the same megapixel count before, OPPO has added the ability to add a bokeh effect without using a dual camera setup, which you can access through the beauty mode in the camera app. You might not be able to tweak the software-assisted effect after taking the shot, but it does work rather well.

Check out the samples below where the first two shots were taken with the studio lights on and the others were taken using just the regular lights in the room.

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Great Battery Life

If there’s something we absolutely love about the OPPO A57, it’s its battery life. Running our usual battery benchmark test, gave us a result of just over 9 hours on the A57’s 2900mAh battery. This is reflected in real world tests as well. The device managed to last with less than 50-percent from the time we left our place at 10AM and only died when we got home at around 3:30PM. Mind you, we always have our mobile data on when we leave the house to run navigation and messaging apps, and to, of course, take and share photos of our meals.

Verdict: A Solid Option Just Under 12K

At Php 11,990, is the A57 worth considering for your next purchase? We believe so.

While its main selling point — the 16-megapixel front camera — is nice to have, it’s not the reason why we’re giving it a thumbs up. OPPO’s tried and tested build quality, the A57’s processing package, and its ability to last is why it’s getting the nod. It’s a decent mid-ranged device at a rather reasonable price.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/3ChUID)

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