OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

OPPO A71 review: A budget phone that doesn’t feel or act like one

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

THE OPPO A71 is now available in stores across the Philippines. Unlike the F series smartphones, however, it isn’t being marketed as a “selfie expert” — and rightfully so. The tagline this time around is “speedy operation,” harping on the octa-core processor and the 3GB of RAM that it incorporates, as well as the perceived performance tied to the hardware inside.

September 7 episode of #RevuLive, where one of the phones we talked about was the OPPO A71

It’s a strategy that makes sense, seeing that the A71 uses the same processor found in the more expensive OPPO F1 and F3 models and is accompanied with an agreeable amount of memory for fast multitasking and running multiple apps without any trouble. The insides are concealed in a metal unibody, in the right size for use with either hand. Plus, it’s got a lovely screen and a good pair of cameras.

Even more impressive is that it costs only P8,990 (around $177) locally, positioning it well within the reach of more consumers who refuse to spend north of P10,000 ($197) on a new handset. We do like it very much, fancy self-portraits be damned.

SEE ALSO: Complete specs of the OPPO A71

Our unit is a black slab of metal, with regular — not curved at all — glass on the front. We would have liked this phone even more if OPPO included glass with rounded edges on top of the touchscreen to make it easier to operate. The panel can take a bit of rough treatment, thanks to the Dragontrail glass that covers it entirely.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

The OPPO A71 has a regular — not curved at all — glass on the front.

If that doesn’t sound convincing enough, consider that the retail box includes the nicest soft plastic case we’ve seen bundled with any OPPO device, for added protection the moment you take one of these out for a spin. Also: The OPPO A71, as usual, ships with a basic screen protector already installed.

The side bezels are not too noticeable, but the top and bottom bezels are understandably a touch on the thick side. Three capacitive navigation buttons use up most of the space below the display. Regrettably, neither lights up when pressed. There’s no fingerprint reader, which feels like a big omission right now even for a low-cost device.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

The OPPO A71’s side bezels are not too noticeable, but the top and bottom bezels are understandably a touch on the thick side.

On the plus side, the 5.2-inch screen is excellent for the price, offering consistently lively colors and enough brightness to make the phone serviceable under harsh sunlight. Meanwhile, its 1280 x 720 resolution is plenty good given the screen size, and viewing content on this screen is a pleasant experience. People don’t normally attribute that to low-end models — and almost never when the handset in question comes from OPPO.

READ ALSO: Inside the factory where OPPO smartphones are made

Additionally, you can manually adjust the color temperature of the display to your comfort. You can even set the screen to black and white and make it easier on the eyes in dim lighting. Enabling Nighttime Reading mode, meanwhile, will render text against a black background to make reading in particular more comfortable.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

The OPPO A71’s 5.2-inch screen is excellent for the price. You can manually adjust its color temperature to your comfort.

The slight curve on the back and matte finish mean the phone sits comfortably in the hand. Coming in at 7.6mm thick, the OPPO A71 is likewise impressively thin for a unit with a 3,000mAh battery, which should keep it ticking for a day before needing a charge, and sometimes with juice to spare depending on the usage. OPPO promises decent mileage with normal use, but there’s no quick charging facility over a microUSB connector for the battery.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

The slight curve on the back and matte finish mean the OPPO A71 sits comfortably in the hand.

The back also features a 13-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture that sits almost flush with the panel, aided by an LED flash. Images look sharp and detailed, while colors appear natural and well saturated for the most part. It fares just fine in low light, and focusing is quicker with the phase-detection auto-focus feature. So far, we have zero complaints, which is unusual for an entry-level system.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

The back features a 13-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture.

Some resized sample photos taken with the OPPO A71

The 5-megapixel shooter on the front performs adequately as well and pulls in more light for improved image quality. Both cameras can use a wide selection of filters and watermarks and shooting modes, but what stands out is the ability to snap selfies with bokeh, or blurred backgrounds. So while it doesn’t excessively harp on its selfie abilities, the OPPO A71 isn’t a slouch in that regard, either.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

Resized sample selfie taken with the OPPO A71…

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

…and this time with bokeh.

Now for the part that’s genuinely intriguing: those insides. In particular, the MediaTek MT6750 chipset coupled with 3GB of RAM and graphics to handle heavier games. It’s a similar spec sheet to OPPO’s line of selfie-focused smartphones, and it performs just as well.

OPPO A71 review, price and specs_Revu Philippines

The OPPO A71’s Antutu and Geekbench benchmark scores

Even the most technically demanding games like NBA 2K17 and Lineage 2 are playable at medium detail. General navigation actually feels faster and more responsive, too, maybe largely because of Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Even the most technically demanding games like NBA 2K17 and Lineage 2 are playable at medium detail. General navigation actually feels faster and more responsive, too, maybe largely because of Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Oh, and about Nougat: The OPPO A71 is the first phone to ship to the Philippines with the operating system preinstalled. Besides performance improvements and bug fixes, the most notable additions are the aesthetic upgrades and changes to Android’s Quick Settings page. It looks and works like iOS’ Command Center now; swiping up from the bottom of the screen brings up the page.

SEE ALSO: OPPO A57 is an affordable and handy ‘selfie expert’

The A71 stands as one of OPPO’s strongest offerings to date, minus the hype and starry-eyed anticipation and higher-end features like a fingerprint reader. It’s worthwhile proof that the company shouldn’t limit itself to producing midrangers with expertise in the camera department. Who knew that a budget entry from OPPO could be so compelling?

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 15 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between. His latest addiction is the comments section of viral Facebook posts.