OPPO launched a couple of weeks ago their latest mid-range smartphone that packs a 5.2-inch HD display, MediaTek octa-core CPU, 3GB RAM, and Android 7.1 Nougat – the OPPO A71. Marketed as a device with “speedy operation”, is this the phone to get for a budget under Php9K? Find out in our review.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
The OPPO A71 is pretty much a simple-looking device. Meaning it’s not eye-catching but not ugly, either. While the gold color exudes premium, the black model, which we have for review, looks inconspicuous but sleek.
On the front is the 5.2-inch display, while above it is the receiver, the 5MP camera, and sensors. Down below are three capacitive navigation buttons for Recent Apps, Home, and Back. No backlighting here, which is sometimes cumbersome to fiddle in the dark.
On the left is the volume keys, while on the right are the power/lock button, and the triple-card tray which can accommodate two nano-sized SIM cards, and a microSD card, which is good news for those who hate hybrid types.
Up top is the headphone jack, while down at the bottom is the microUSB port, and two sets of holes for the microphone and loudspeaker.
Flip it on its back and you will see the slightly protruding 13MP shooter, dual LED flash, and the shiny OPPO branding in the middle.
It feels nice in the hands as it has a seamless chassis that curves to the sides and meets the edgy bezel on the front. It’s a combination of smooth and grippy, while the matte finish effectively repels fingerprints and smudges.
OPPO didn’t mention any special glass protection so our best guess is a standard scratch-resistant glass. It would have been nice to have a 2.5D glass to make the device look more attractive. Sadly, it does not have that, but OPPO is kind enough to have a screen protector pre-installed and a jelly case included in the package.
Display and Multimedia
The OPPO A71 has a 5.2-inch display with HD resolution or equal to 282ppi. The resolution is quite low considering today’s standards but it still of decent quality as we never had issues viewing photos or watching videos on it. It has good viewing angles, natural colors, and enough vibrancy to be used outdoors in strong sunlight.
For the loudspeaker, it can deliver crisp and clear audio that’s good for hands-free voice calls and casual listening. It lacks bass though and could use some boost in loudness. That said, better use a good pair of headphones or external speaker.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software side is ColorOS 3.1 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The layout is still similar to other OPPO devices, like the use of multiple home screens instead of an app drawer, but with some tweaks.
Swiping down from the top will now just bring the notifications. For the shortcuts, you will need to swipe up from the bottom. This kind of layout is actually similar to Vivo’s FunTouch OS.
Pre-installed apps are mostly from Google and the A71 uses some of them as its default apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Chrome. The only third-party app we see here is Facebook.
Storage-wise, you’re not getting much at 16GB with less than 9GB left for the user, which is really small. That being said, better take advantage of the dedicated microSD card slot to store all your multimedia files.
The A71 sports a 13MP f/2.2 rear shooter and a 5MP f/2.4 front. Quality-wise, it’s actually quite good for its class. Autofocus is quick especially in bright conditions and can produce images with natural colors and sufficient amount of details. It even has a 2x zoom feature but it’s digital instead of optical. The zoom shots are sharpened but still nice to look at.
As for the front-facing camera, it’s good in bright light but a slow and susceptible to noise when shooting in dim environments, which is not surprising as most selfie cameras of this caliber behave that way. It still has Beautify though and a Depth effect mode for selfies with artificially blurred backgrounds.
When it comes to video recording, the A71 can shoot at Full HD resolution at 30fps in MP4 format. The quality is okay, has nice colors, but a bit smudgy in details. The 2x digital zoom is also retained here so you can easily zoom into your subject with just a tap.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the A71 is an old MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and 3GB RAM. So far it was able to keep things running smoothly including gaming. We played Mobile Legends and Vainglory and we never experienced any choking, crashes or random reboots. Warming can be felt at the upper part of the device but not too much to be uncomfortable.
* AnTuTu – 42,751
* Geekbench – 661 (Single-Core), 2,652 (Multi-Core), 2,052 (RenderScript)
* Vellamo – 1,666 (Multicore), 1,166 (Metal), 2,539 (Chrome)
* PCMark – 3,596 (Work 1.0)
* AndroBench – 277.81 MB/s (Read), 50.96 MB/s (Write)
Connectivity and Call Quality
The A71 features basic connectivity which includes 4G LTE with support for Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41. There’s WiFi 2.4GHz b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. No fingerprint scanner here. So far connections on these components are quick and working well. Call quality is good as long as your telco’s signal is healthy in your area.
Providing juice to the A71 is a 3,000mAh non-removable battery which is an average capacity in today’s standards. Given the HD resolution and mid-range internals, it was able to last us for a whole day and into the night if mostly used for WiFi browsing, social media, and photography.
PC Mark’s battery benchmark rated it at 11 hours and 36 minutes, while our standard video loop test (1080p video in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume with headset) got us 12 hours and 51 minutes of playback which is good.
The OPPO A71 almost got everything right for a mid-range device – a nice design, capable processor and RAM, decent cameras, triple card slot, and above average battery life. It would have been nice if it packed a Full HD resolution, a newer CPU, and 32GB starting storage, but then we know it’s going to bump the asking price.
For Php8,990, the A71 is pretty much affordable, however, its competitors with better specs aren’t far behind. All the user needs to do is add Php1K to their budget.
OPPO A71 specs:
5.2-inch HD IPS display, 282ppi
1.5GHz MT6750 octa-core processor
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 256GB via microSD
13.0MP f/2.2 rear camera
5.0MP f/2.4 front camera
Dual SIM (nano-SIM)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/b
ColorOS 3.1(based on Android 7.1 Nougat)
148.1 x 73.8 x 7.6 mm
What we like:
* Good build
* Decent performance and camera
* Above average battery life
* Triple card slot
What we dislike:
* Low storage