Oppo has been consistently increasing the number of phones in its A series lineup worldwide, but in India, the brand doesn’t often release such phones. However, the brand has launched its second A-series device in India this year, which is the 4G version of the first Oppo A78 5G that was introduced in India earlier this year. At a price of Rs 17,499, we’ll review the Oppo A78 to determine if it’s a valuable option.
Design & Display
Talking of the design first, we already told you in our initial impressions of the smartphone that it’s an appealing shade with a gradient colour scheme between purple and blue. It looks great, but the plastic sides do feel cheap, and I have definitely held better-built devices in this price range. In fact, most of its competitors, including Lava Blaze 2 5G, Redmi 12 5G, Realme Narzo series phones, etc., pack a glass panel on the back.
The in-hand feel could have definitely been better, but the plastic has its benefits, too, making it more durable and lightweight. Moreover, because it’s on the narrower side, it fits perfectly in my palm, and I can reach all the corners of the display with one hand. Oppo also gives a clear transparent case inside the box, making for a nice addition to the package.
We have already talked about the specifications of the device, so we won’t delve into that. But for the experience of the display panel, it gets adequately bright indoors while outdoor readability takes a hit. Fortunately, it’s an AMOLED panel, so the colours are decent enough, and so are viewing angles. The Refresh Rate is capped at 90Hz and once again, competition is providing 120Hz making those a better offering if you want a smoother visual experience.
Software and performance
Running on ColorOS 13.1 based on Android 13, the Oppo A78 feels snappy, thanks to the increased animation speed. There are lags sometimes while opening apps, but those aren’t persistent and can be fixed via an update. What cannot be fixed or added with an update is 5G support, and it is a bummer that this device doesn’t support that.
Redmi 12 5G, Infinix GT 10 Pro, Lava Blaze 2 5G and many other devices such as those from iQOO in similar price ranges or even lower, support 5G. This makes them future-proof, while Oppo is betting that a 4G phone powered by Snapdragon 680 SoC should look appealing to the end consumers. Don’t get us wrong, the Snapdragon 680 isn’t the worst chip out there, but it surely is inferior to other processors that are being offered at this price.
ColorOS 13.1 brings its essential customisation features such as various AOD styles, wallpaper-based theming, cloned apps, App lock and more. However, it comes with a lot of pre-installed bloatware. Fortunately, some of it is uninstallable. Gaming performance remained average for heavier, graphics-intensive titles such as Call of Duty Mobile.
Unfortunately for Oppo, a decent software skin still isn’t able to round up the overall experience, which could make me recommend it over the competition.
With a 5000mAh battery under the hood, the Oppo A78 finally does something equally, if not better, than the competition, and that’s providing more than enough backup. It can run through an entire day and even more with moderate usage.
With my usage, I got a screen-on time of about 6 hours or sometimes slightly more. What’s even more impressive is that a 67W charger comes bundled in the box that charges the device in about half an hour from empty to full.
The device has a dual camera setup, including a 50MP f/1.8 main camera sensor and a 2MP bokeh lens. The device also features an 8MP f/2.0 front camera sensor.
The photos from the main sensor come out to be decent. The dynamic range is average, but the details and sharpness look fine. The photos have an overall warm tone to them but are acceptable.
Portrait shots are hit-and-miss, with EDGE detection being very poor. This happens despite the fact that the camera is getting information from the 2MP bokeh sensor. The exposure levels are also inconsistent, but the detailing is good.
Low-light photos are terrible, with a lot of noise, making the shot look grainy. Shots under artificial lighting also fall victim to the inconsistent exposure, making them look too bright at times. Because of that, colours also look below average.
Selfies also aren’t the handset’s cup of tea. There’s some noise and the photos turn out to be too soft. Night shots have a similar overall look, with Night mode not doing much to improve things.