OPPO A98 5G review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

OPPO A98 5G review: Pretty good or just pretty?

In Phones by Marvin Velasco1 Comment

The OPPO A98 5G has been in the public eye for several months now. It’s OPPO’s Swiss Army knife, able to perform well in multiple aspects. It has an efficient processor, large battery, and even an audio port for wired headphones. In addition, it has the company’s usual set of features for its midrange smartphones, such as SUPERVOOC charging and AI-powered cameras.

These set up the A98 5G for success, but at a price of P18,999 (around $344), it would take more consideration before placing it in your cart. This is a crowded market segment with lots of strong competition, after all.

Looking sharp, OPPO

The OPPO A98 5G is a solid piece of hardware. The frame is flat on the sides and looks like it can take a beating, even without its included clear case. Its rear panel is flat except for the slightly curved edges. We love the shine of our Cool Black unit’s matte finish. While it looks totally black in promotional photos, it glistens with a midnight blue tone under direct light. The plastic doesn’t attract fingerprints outside of the glossy portion below the camera array.

It’s 8.2mm in thickness without the few millimeters added by the camera bump. Because of the 6.72-inch screen and 5,000mAh battery, the A98 5G is hefty in hand. The bezels aren’t uniform in size, sadly. Having an LCD panel means the bottom bezel is noticeably thicker than the rest. To compensate, the front camera is placed at the top-center for better symmetry.

OPPO A98 5G review and price and specs via Revu Philippines
Check out our OPPO A98 5G review at Revu Philippines!

The best parts take more time to notice. For one, the elongated power button doubles as the fingerprint reader. We appreciate its slightly raised position and fast response to light touches for quick unlocking. Then we have the stereo speakers: one found beside the USB-C port and the other inside the earpiece. OPPO’s software allows you to boost the volume beyond the max level if needed. Lastly, there’s a 3.5mm audio port on the chin. This lets you use wired headphones while charging the phone.

Cutting some corners

So far so good, but there are a couple of things to nitpick. Although the display is large and has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, it’s an LCD panel. On top of the asymmetrical bezels mentioned earlier, the screen can’t produce true blacks and contrast is weak at times. An LCD panel can also be less energy-efficient compared to its OLED equivalent, depending on how often the latter needs to illuminate every pixel.

OPPO A98 5G review and price and specs via Revu Philippines
Check out our OPPO A98 5G review at Revu Philippines!

Another concern is the ColorOS 13.1 user interface. Based on Android 13, it has all the bells and whistles found in other Android 13 phones, including extensive notification control and per-app permissions for more transparency. Unfortunately, the OS is loaded with bloatware. Even if you opt out of the suggested apps during the initial setup, the OPPO A98 5G will still install several apps through its own App Market. After that, you’ll be bombarded by push notifications every now and then to install more apps. We’ve seen this happen in cheaper phones, but we expect better from devices at this price range.

On the other side of the specifications sheet, OPPO made sure to equip the A98 5G with lots of storage. The base storage is 256GB which can be expanded up to 1TB using the microSD slot. The 8GB of RAM can be increased as well by an additional 8GB. And even though the Snapdragon 695 chipset is beginning to show its age, it offers 5G connectivity.

Balanced performance and thermals

The OPPO A98 5G’s Snapdragon 695 is two years old at this point, but manages to keep up with today’s demands. Everyday usage is smooth, and the benchmark numbers line up with those of other Snapdragon 695-powered phones we reviewed. The best part is the thermals. The unit stayed cool and stable during stress tests for both the CPU and GPU. This translates to sustained performance when rendering videos or playing games.

OPPO A98 5G benchmark scores and battery life test result via Revu Philippines

Since this is a lower-midrange processor, you’re limited to low graphics settings for newer games. Honkai: Star Rail, for example, would stutter when pushed to medium graphics. We settled for low settings at 30 frames per second and were satisfied with the performance. Mobile Legends is more forgiving, letting us play at high graphics and 60fps with no issues whatsoever.

In spite of the large 5,000mAh capacity, the battery endurance was a mixed bag. We’d get more than a day’s worth of juice when sticking to Wi-Fi, and less than a day when prioritizing its 5G connection. PCMark’s battery test gave us about 12 hours of continuous usage, which is lower than we had expected from this processor and battery capacity. The real highlight is the 67-watt SUPERVOOC charging. The bundled charger consistently charged our A98 5G from an entry tank in about 45 minutes on average.

More than just 64 megapixels

As expected from OPPO, the A98 5G comes with a specialized set of cameras. The primary camera is backed by a 64-megapixel sensor, while the microscope and depth cameras each own a 2-megapixel sensor. The front camera contains 32 megapixels. There’s no ultrawide or telephoto camera on board so the main camera does most of the heavy lifting.

The 64-megapixel camera produces strong colors and sharp details under good lighting. With AI scene enhancement turned on, photos sometimes have more pop at the expense of a longer processing time. Shooting at night is a different story. Photos drop in quality, even if you use night mode. By default, the photos are actually 16 megapixels in size, but you have the option to utilize the full 64 megapixels in the camera app. This would remove the ability to digitally zoom, however.

OPPO A98 5G camera sample picture in review via Revu Philippines
OPPO A98 5G camera sample picture in review via Revu Philippines
OPPO A98 5G camera sample picture in review via Revu Philippines
OPPO A98 5G camera sample picture in review via Revu Philippines

Sample shots

It’s a similar narrative for the 32-megapixel front camera. Selfies in broad daylight look fantastic especially with portrait mode on, while nighttime shots don’t look nearly as sharp or vibrant. The more interesting feature is the 2-megapixel microscope camera. It’ll inevitably become a novelty feature to most users, but it’s surprisingly fun to use once you figure out the correct shooting distance. The video shooting settings are straightforward; both the front and rear cameras output at a maximum of 1080p at 30 frames per second.

Desert rose shot on the microscope camera

Final thoughts

As mentioned at the start of the review, this price range is tricky. With so many great smartphones available below P20,000, a single drawback could ruin one phone’s chances of eclipsing its rivals. The A98 5G has both highs and lows as OPPO’s all-rounder offering.

The A98 5G’s strengths are in its multimedia and thermal performance. The drawbacks are scattered in bits across different facets, such as the inconsistent battery life and camera quality. We also would’ve appreciated an ultrawide camera and OLED panel on this model. We still recommend this phone to those who value a side-mounted fingerprint reader, audio port, and super-fast wired charging.

OPPO A98 5G review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

The OPPO A98 5G’s strengths are in its multimedia and thermal performance

OPPO A98 5G specs

  • 6.72-inch 1080p LCD, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • 64-megapixel main, 2-megapixel microscope, 2-megapixel depth rear cameras
  • 32-megapixel front camera
  • Side-mounted fingerprint reader
  • 3.5mm audio port
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 67-watt wired charging
  • ColorOS 13.1 based on Android 13
  • Colors: Cool Black, Dreamy Blue

Online availability: Shopee and Lazada

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Learn About This Author

Marvin Velasco


Marvin Velasco is a former technology editor who continues to read and write about the latest trends. He also dabbles in old-school tech such as film photography -- but don't call him a hipster!