OPPO A3s Review
The OPPO A3s has been a hot topic for our readers as it is a promising device to be on anyone’s radar for the budget segment. We already checked how it fared initially in our in-depth hands-on but it’s high time that we give it a full spin. Let’s start!
Before we proceed, watch our unboxing and hands-on video here:
Design and Construction
Like we said before, the A3s really feels like the F7 based on its design and construction. The frame is made up of plastic with a glossy finish, and the red color really gives it a premium look. At first, we thought that it’s made up of glass but, after tapping on it, we were sure that it’s just plastic. Personally, I dislike a smartphone that is prone to fingerprint marks and smudges, so the free jelly case in the retail package really helps a lot.
For an entry-level device, the A3s carries a large 6.2-inch screen size with a 19:9 aspect ratio which is a good indicator that it values users’ viewing experience. The front panel is quite nice as it only has minimal bezels on the top and the sides. The notch is located at the top that houses the 8MP front camera, call speaker, and sensors. One thing that we didn’t like is it doesn’t have any LED notification light which is very useful when charging or just simply getting notifications.
The right side contains the lone power button while on the left are the volume rocker and the triple SIM tray (dual-nano SIM and a dedicated microSD card slot that is expandable up to 256GB). The buttons are clicky and tactile which is good.
A standard combination of 3.5mm audio port, microphone, micro USB port, and loudspeaker are placed down at the bottom.
Flip it on its back and you’ll see the dual 13MP and 2MP cameras along with the LED flash on the side and OPPO’s logo below. No fingerprint scanner can be seen in the A3s which is a bummer just like with the A83.
In the hands, the A3s is surprisingly lighter and slimmer than we expected as it carries a large 4,230mAh battery. We didn’t have any problems with gripping the device and putting it in our pockets which is a plus. For a budget entry-level smartphone, its overall looks and feel are actually impressive as it omits a mid-range smartphone vibe to it.
Display and Multimedia
The A3s is equipped with an IPS display with HD+ (1520 x 720) resolution which produces vibrant and color accurate displays. It is bright enough to be used under direct sunlight which is good. This device is, without a doubt, a smartphone that suffices the needs of anyone’s viewing experience but with its resolution, it just doesn’t feel complete since we’re already used to a 1080p resolution.
We tested out the sound quality by listening to this music video here while maxing out the volume. The audio is loud enough to be heard in a closed room and it also gives decent highs and mids but the lows are almost non-existent. We also noticed that the sounds produced at max volume tend to be blown-out.
Moving on to the camera department, the A3s comes with a dual 13MP + 2MP rear shooters while a single 8MP lens sits in front. Let’s talk about the rear cameras first. The camera UI is pretty straightforward as all features can already be seen upon opening it. It has flash, HDR, Timer, and Fullscreen mode together with the 2x zoom and beautify mode. There are five camera modes for the rear shooter, namely, Time-Lapse, Video, Photo, Portrait, and Panorama.
We’ve taken photos and from what we’ve seen, the images produced have good details and color accuracy in decent lighting, however, we were quite disappointed on how it performed under low-light conditions. Highlights are overblown, moving objects are blurry even with just a slight movement, and the shutter speed really lags at times. Images also tend to get muddy with visible noise.
As for the front camera, the features are almost identical except for the added artificial bokeh effect. The portrait mode and 2x zoom are also removed when changing lenses.
Just like with the rear camera, decent results are produced with enough lighting but shooting selfies against the light will have a blown-out effect to your photos. In low-light conditions, the front camera does not perform as bad as the rear and the images can be used in social media posting.
Videos can be recorded up to 1080p 30fps on both rear and front cameras. We noticed that it doesn’t have any stabilization as it tends to get shaky with just the slightest of movement. Check out our sample videos below.
OS, UI, and Apps
The OPPO A3s runs on ColorOS 5.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo which is a plus. The UI is simple, organized, and straightforward. Swiping from top to bottom will show the shortcuts menu. The device has a Night Mode feature which enables blue-light filtering and built-in Screen recording.
Opening up the settings will show Notification & Status Bar where users can simply customize what they want to show in their status and notification bars. Aside from that, there are features like Smart & Convenient where the navigation keys can be customized and Security where users can use Find My Device, Payment Protection, Anti-harassment/Fraud, Pseudo Base Station Blocking, to name a few can be found in this device.
The OPPO A3s have built-in apps like Lazada, Music Party where users can connect to each other’s phones to play the same song for a louder audio performance, ORoaming, Game Space, Phone Manager, Compass, Clone Phone, Facebook, and the usual Google applications.
Out of 16GB internal storage, only 8.52GB can be used which is really disappointing since we like to install games, and store music and videos.
Performance and Benchmarks
The OPPO A3s is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset with Adreno 506 GPU and only 2GB RAM. For the usual activities such as browsing, watching videos, messaging, and social media posting, the device performs smoothly but the bottleneck of this smartphone lies in its RAM capacity. Out of 2GB, only ~800MB can be used for multi-tasking and gaming and that is not really enough. We encountered a lot of lagging and unresponsiveness whenever we try to open multiple applications. It doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner but it has a face unlock feature which is decent and quite responsive even in low-light conditions. It takes around 1-2 seconds to unlock the device which is okay for an entry-level device.
Here are the benchmark scores that we got:
|PC Mark||6,045 (Work 1.0)|
|3D Mark||443 (Sling Shot Extreme - OpenGL ES 3.1)
392 (Sling Shot Extreme - Vulkan)
|AndroBench||294.5 MB/s (Sequential Read)
47.87 MB/s (Sequential Write)
Playing games such as PUBG on Balanced settings still provide a decent amount of frames which is playable for us. Longer playing time and heavy usage will cause the device to warm up but not to an alarming level.
Connectivity, Call Quality, and Battery Life
When it comes to connectivity, the OPPO A3s is equipped with a Dual-SIM, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. This device also supports USB OTG which is what consumers are usually looking for. Calls are loud and clear, mobile data is fast, depending on the area, and navigations such as Waze, Google Maps, and Grab have accurate positioning.
The OPPO A3s carries a large 4,230mAh battery that can last for a long while. Using PC Mark’s Battery Test got us an impressive time of 19 hours and 9 minutes which surpasses most of the smartphones that are out in the market. In our video loop test (1080p movie, 50% brightness, 50% sound, with earphones, and airplane mode), the device lasted for 21 hours and 27 minutes. Charging time, however, takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours from 0% to full but, that is understandable given its massive battery capacity.
The OPPO A3s definitely proved to be a good traveling companion and for having an above average viewing experience. OPPO did a great job with the device’s build, display, performance, and battery life but, the RAM and internal storage capacities are a big deal for us.
We could use an additional RAM and internal storage juice to make the performance even smoother but if that happens, the Php6,990 price wouldn’t do much justice anymore. An increase in the price would be a disadvantage since the OPPO A83 3GB variant just sits above this price point.
OPPO A3s specifications:
|Display||6.2-inch 19:9 In-Cell IPS HD+ display @ 720 x 1520px|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.8GHz octa-core|
|GPU||Adreno 506 GPU|
|Storage||16GB internal storage|
|Expandable Storage||expandable via microSD up to 256GB (dedicated)|
|Rear Camera||13MP f/2.2 AF + 2MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras with LED Flash|
|Front Camera||8MP f/2.2 front camera|
|SIM||Dual SIM (nano), Dual Standby|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|OS||ColorOS 5.1 (Android 8.1 Oreo)|
|Dimension||156.2 x 75.6 x 8.2mm|
|Colors||Dark Purple, Red|
What we liked:
- Premium look
- Large screen size and screen aspect ratio
- Decent processor
- Straightforward UI
- Long battery life
What we didn’t:
- Subpar camera performance under low-light conditions
- Low RAM capacity
- Low internal storage
- HD+ resolution
- No Fingerprint Scanner
- No LED Notification Light