OPPO A71 (2018) Review
OPPO released the A71 in 2017, but the company has decided to release a newer version of it this year. Compared to the previous A71, the new A71 (2018) is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset, replacing the old MediaTek MT6750, and packs less RAM (the old one has a 3GB RAM). That aside, what else has changed? Find out in our review.
Design and Construction
Design-wise, the A71 (2018) has barely any difference with its predecessor. It still has that curvy yet thin design which is notable in every OPPO device. The device feels light and thin in the hands and the matte back finish isn’t a fingerprint magnet, which we really liked.
It sports a 5.2-inch display with the 5MP front camera, the call speaker, and the sensor placed above. Below the display are the capacitive buttons that serve as the task manager, menu, and back buttons.
Found on the right are the power/lock button and the dual-SIM card and dedicated microSD card slots (thanks, OPPO). The left side houses the volume keys.
Up top, we have the lone 3.5mm audio port.
Sadly, the device still uses a microUSB port. A USB Type-C port would’ve been nicer since this device is a reboot and it’s already 2018. That aside, you can also find the speaker and the microphone at the bottom.
The back houses the 13MP rear camera with LED flash and the OPPO logo. The device lacks a fingerprint scanner so you have to opt to the traditional way of locking your device by setting up a passcode. Unlike last year’s A71, this one doesn’t come with a free jelly case but still has a screen protector pre-installed.
Display and Multimedia
This year’s A71 still uses a 5.2-inch HD IPS display with the same 1280 x 720 resolution (282ppi). It would’ve been better if it bumped up to Full HD resolution, though. Color reproduction is vibrant and accurate. Viewing angles are decent and brightness is just enough, even when viewing content under harsh sunlight.
As for its speaker, audio quality is clear and crisp with a little bass to it. However, turning the volume to maximum level makes the sound get pretty tinny. It also comes with free earphones with average quality, so we recommend you plug in a better pair of earphones or a speaker for a more immersive experience.
The A71 (2018) is equipped with 13MP f/2.2 rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP f/2.4 front camera with A.I. Beauty Technology, which is the same feature found in the F5. As for rear camera modes, there’s Beauty, Panorama, Expert (manual), HDR, and Watermark. It also has nine filters for you to choose from.
The selfie shooter, on the other hand, has Beauty (adjustable from level 1 to 6), Panorama, HDR, and Depth (artificial bokeh). It also comes with the same filters found in the rear camera.
Resulting photos produced by the rear camera are vibrant and crisp, although we noticed that it has a hard time adjusting to very bright conditions, as it tends to kill off shadows. Despite that, colors are accurate with a good amount of details. It retains the 2x digital zoom feature and zoom shots look pretty sharp and nice. Low-light photos tend to look smudgy and grainy, though.
Selfies, on the other hand, are good, especially in well-lit conditions. The whole A.I. Beauty technology thing does its job well as it doesn’t necessarily mess up with our face and just smoothens it out. However, selfies in low light can get noisy, but you can still pull off a pretty usable shot.
Video-wise, the device can record up to Full HD resolution (1080p) in MP4 format. Video quality is okay, can get smudgy in low light but it would suffice for casual recording. You can use the 2x digital zoom while recording with just a simple tap.
IOS, Apps, and Storage
The A71 (2018) runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat skinned with OPPO’s custom ColorOS 3.2. Just like other OPPO devices, the UI’s layout is still the same. It uses multiple home screens instead of an app drawer. Swiping up from the bottom of the home screen will reveal shortcuts to other settings while swiping down from the top will bring the notifications.
As per usual, Google apps are pre-installed and the only third-party app present is Facebook. OPPO has its own Theme Store that lets you download themes and wallpapers alike, and Phone Manager to clean up junk and manage security on your device.
It was a downer that the device only comes with a meager 16GB of storage. Such little storage only leaves you with 8GB to use since a chunk of it is consumed by the system. OPPO compensates by providing a dedicated microSD slot that is expandable up to 256GB.
Performance and Benchmarks
The big changes are found under the hood. From MediaTek MT6750 chipset, this year’s A71 is now powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 paired with Adreno 506 GPU. It packs a less RAM, but we we didn’t encounter any lags or crashes during our time with it. We played Asphalt 8, Into the Dead 2, and Tekken Mobile with ease. It’s worth noting that the device doesn’t heat up quickly and only gets a bit warm after long usage.
We ran several benchmarking apps and here are the scores we got:
- AnTuTu – 70,668 (v7)
- Geekbench 4 – 776 (Single-core), 3,416 (Multi-core)
- AndroBench – 303.05 MB/s (Read), 53.44 MB/s (Write)
- PCMark – 5,267 (Work 1.0)
- 3DMark – 7,971 (Ice Storm Extreme)
Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life
The device comes with basic connectivity functions such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, and GPS. It supports dual nanoSIM cards and USB OTG. Gyroscope is also present.
Call quality is good; just make sure that you’re in an area where there’s enough signal. Connecting to the Wi-Fi and mobile is quick. GPS locks in fast and is accurate when using Google Maps and Waze.
The device may come with an average 3,000mAh battery but it can last you a day or two on moderate usage without reaching for your powerbank, thanks to the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 450. Our PCMark battery test yieled 14 hours and 39 minutes while our standard video loop test got us 15 hours and 34 minutes which is a pretty good result. Getting the device fully charged took us two and half to three hours, though.
Small changes make a huge difference, and that applies to the A71 (2018). It now has a better performing CPU and GPU, longer battery life, and A.I. Beauty Technology. However, it would’ve been a lot better if OPPO took this reboot opportunity to increase the internal storage, maybe add a fingerprint scanner, and switch to a USB Type-C port. If you don’t care about those and just want a daily driver that provides good performance and is below Php8K, then this device is worth considering.
The OPPO A71 (2018) is priced at Php7,990 and is now available in authorized stores nationwide.
OPPO A71 (2018) specs:
5.2-inch HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720 resolution, 282ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
Adreno 506 GPU
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 256GB via microSD (dedicated)
13MP f/2.2 rear camera w/ LED flash
5MP f/2.4 front camera w/ A.I. Beauty Technology
Dual SIM (nano-SIM)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/b
ColorOS 3.2 (based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat)
148.1 x 73.8 x 7.6 mm
What we liked:
- Good build
- Snapdragon 450
- Long battery life
- Decent performance and cameras
- Dedicated microSD slot
What we didn’t:
- Same low storage
- Lesser RAM
- Still uses microUSB port
- No fingerprint scanner