OPPO has officially announced its most affordable 18:9 smartphone yet for the Philippine market.
As we previously reported, the OPPO A83 (click on this for the full specs) is quite simply a downsized OPPO F5 with fewer pixels on the screen to push and smaller camera sensors on the front and at the back. Those hardware concessions, per usual, also bring the price down, with the A83 retailing at P9,990 (approximately $196).
The OPPO A83 is quite simply a downsized OPPO F5 with fewer pixels on the screen to push and smaller camera sensors on the front and at the back.
Combined with a price tag that’s closer to locally branded handsets with a similar display format than to the P15,990 ($314) OPPO F5 and P12,990 ($255) F5 Youth and some neat software features found in both phones, the A83 looks like a nice upgrade for those not quite ready to dig deeper in their pockets to purchase a more expensive model.
And is it indeed worth the expense? The short answer is yes. But we all know that’s not why you’re reading this. Scroll down to read our impressions.
The first thing that we noticed was the design similarities between the OPPO A83 and the OPPO F5 Youth. The back is made of hard plastic with a matte finish. Unlike the F5 Youth, however, there’s no fingerprint reader at the back of the unit, or anywhere on the body really.
You can unlock the device with your face, though, which is a welcome alternative to tapping in a pin code or password. OPPO claims its face-recognition implementation can unlock the A83 within 0.18 seconds. Our testing showed that it works surprisingly well, unlocking the phone in an instant — even when lighting is terrible. Face recognition here is even faster than on the Samsung Galaxy A8.
Users can lock their files and apps with the said authentication method, adding another layer of security to Android. OPPO also throws in the option to double-tap the screen to light it up.
We highly suggest you enable it in the settings and use it in conjunction with the face-unlock feature to quickly dive into the home screen without hassle and without pressing any button. Do keep in mind, though, that you can only register one face at a time, but it will be worthwhile.
The rear panel is tapered toward the edges for a more ergonomic and secure grip, and the size of the handset makes it comfortable to carry and use one-handed. The backing stays firm, and you can’t peel it from the edge to replace the battery.
The right-hand side houses a power key and a SIM card and SD card tray. Per usual with recent OPPO releases, the A83 can accommodate two SIMs and a microSD card for storage expansion. Moving to the left rail, you get the up and down volume buttons. At the bottom, there’s a speaker cutout, a traditional charging port, and a headphone jack.
Up front, the OPPO A83 has an HD display spanning 5.7 inches and touting a trendy 18:9 aspect ratio. The lower-resolution screen doesn’t bother us. Maybe it would if the company kept the 6-inch diagonal of the F5 phones.
There are no physical buttons below the display; instead, you get software keys like you’d find on a device running stock Android. OPPO offers the option to hide them, as well as the option to operate the interface using gesture controls, a la the Apple iPhone X.
In fact, the way you multitask on the A83 when software keys are disabled is similar to how one would jump in and out of apps on the anniversary iPhone. You swipe up from the bottom of the display and hold for some indeterminate amount of time until the app carousel pops up.
OPPO A83’s Apple iPhone X-like gesture controls
Performance is good — colors look natural and viewing angles are pretty wide that one wouldn’t mind sharing the screen with another person when watching a video. That extra-wide format helps. If coming from a 16:9 handset, which is most likely the case, the OPPO A83 will bring a significant upside to your viewing experience.
At the back of the device is a 13-megapixel camera that protrudes slightly from the body. The resulting stills look decent, with pleasing color reproduction and detail. In other words, it gets the job done minus the fanfare. Check out the sample pictures we took earlier.
Sample photos taken with the OPPO A83
The front-facing camera is 8 megapixels. Besides being able to recognize your face for authentication purposes, it arrives with OPPO’s AI-enhanced beautification software, which works to artificially make your skin look flawless without adjusting a bunch of settings and presets.
OPPO A83 selfies: No bokeh effect vs. with bokeh effect
Powering the A83 is the same octa-core Helio P23 processor that OPPO used for the F5 and F5 Youth. Even with 3GB of RAM to work with — less than what the F5 offers — it remains a capable and efficient chip, and the smaller 720p screen makes the interface feel slicker. Intensive 3D games run smoothly, and most apps spring to life almost instantly.
As for battery life, the early signs are promising. Power consumption during idle periods is low, and battery life doesn’t fall over a cliff when playing high-quality games such as NBA 2K18 and Titan Quest. Keeping the display on over a long stretch of time doesn’t kill the battery quickly, too.
Well-rounded and full of welcome surprises, the OPPO A83 is easily the company’s most compelling hardware in recent memory. It ticks the right and relevant boxes, arriving with a pretty generous display meant for consuming content, cameras that work well enough in almost any environment, fast and accurate face-unlock implementation, and, perhaps most important of all, a peppy processor with ample memory.
Well-rounded and full of welcome surprises, the OPPO A83 is easily the company’s most compelling hardware in recent memory.
Offering gesture controls is a nice touch, and it’s perfectly possible to operate the handset one-handed. The battery life seems great so far. All things considered, and disregarding all choices that are not officially available in the Philippines, the OPPO A83 may very well be the ultimate smartphone for under P10,000 ($196).
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