Oppo has launched a new series of phones with the Oppo K10. It dives straight into the deep end with the starting price of Rs. 14,990 for the 6GB/ 128 GB variant. The premium segment in the smartphone world might make all the headlines, but when it comes to competition, it has got nothing on the ever so competitive mid-segment, which sees a new smartphone enter the race almost every other day. Will the first phone in Oppo’s new series swim or sink in mid-segment smartphone waters?
Oppo K10: What the phone looks like
Most smartphones in the mid-segment look like they have been cut out of the same fabric and just packaged differently. Oppo has taken the difference quotient up a level, by adding dual textures on the back of the phone. The top part of the back comes with a smooth, metallic, shiny finish while the rest of the back is slightly coarse yet glittery. We received the Blue Flame variant. The phone is distinct looking and definitely will stand out from the usual budget segment crowd, but we would not call it head turning-ly beautiful.
The curved polycarbonate back has a rectangular camera unit on the top left side. On the front, there is a tall display with a dot notch on the top left side. The display is slightly raised and thick, meeting the plastic frame on the side. There is a power/display lock button that doubles up as a physical fingerprint scanner on the right while the left side has the volume buttons and SIM card and microSD card tray. The top is bare while the base has the 3.5 mm audio jack, USB Type C port, and speaker grille. The smartphone feels sturdy and the plastic does not feel cheap. Adding to those sturdy vibes is the IP54 rating that the phone comes with, making it splash and dust resistant. This is actually a very rare feature, especially in the price segment and we are all for it.
The smartphone measures 164.4 x 75.7 x 8.4 mm and weighs 189 grams. The size is pretty much in line with what we see and expect from smartphones these days. It is not exceptionally compact or light but is unlikely to be bothersome. Oppo claims the phone comes with scratch-resistant colours but we found the phone picked up both smudges and scratches, especially on the top part, quite easily.
Oppo K10: What the specs are like
The Oppo K10 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, which is strictly mid-segment. It is paired with 6 GB and 8 GB RAM options while the storage remains at 128 for both variants. Storage can be expanded using memory cards. The phone comes with a 6.59 inch full HD+ LCD display with a 90 Hz adaptive refresh rate, which might disappoint some as there are some devices bringing AMOLED panels at this price.
It has a triple camera setup on the back comprising a 50-megapixel main sensor and two 2 megapixel macro and depth sensors, making it pretty much a one-sensor show. There is a 16-megapixel selfie shooter on the front for selfies. It comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and 4G connectivity. There is no support for 5G but we do not think that should be taken as a negative considering the network still seems so far away. The phone runs on Android 11 and comes with a large 5000 mAh battery with a 33W charger in the box.
Oppo K10: What we like
The Oppo K10 will not disappoint you while going through your everyday chores. You can easily hop from one app to another, almost effortlessly. Casual gaming performance is good too. Some might not like the LCD display, we had no problems with its brightness, colours and scrolling speed. The phone also comes with stereo speakers, which makes watching shows and playing games much more immersive. The physical fingerprint scanner on the side is a treat. It unlocks the phone pretty fast and accurately.
The 50-megapixel primary camera performs well in daylight conditions. It captures a good amount of detail. Colours seem a little artificial and slightly saturated but never seem too flashy. The phone does well in low light conditions as well, delivering pleasant colours although details take a slight hit. The phone can only capture 1080p videos which turn out to be good in well-lit conditions but can be a little disappointing when the lights dim. Oppo has a formidable reputation in selfies and the 16-megapixel front-facing camera lives up to it, delivering impressive results, especially in well-lit environments.
The Oppo K10 runs on Oppo’s ColorOS 11.1 on top of Android 11. ColorOS is a very feature-rich and app-loaded interface. Those used to such UIs will feel right at home with the device. One of the biggest highlights of the Oppo K10 is its battery life. The 5,000 mAh battery can easily see more than one and a half days of normal usage and can even last a full two days if one is slightly careful. The phone comes with 33W fast charging support along with a 33W charger in the box. It takes about an hour or so to charge the phone completely, which is very good for this price point, although there are faster chargers around.
Oppo K10: What we do not like
In terms of performance, the Oppo K10 is very mid-segment. The phone is good at routine multitasking and casual gaming but will struggle if pushed into the high-end gaming territory. We also found the phone felt a little warm after an intense gaming session but it never went on to get uncomfortable. The LCD display on the Oppo K10, while pretty bright and colourful, lacks the intensity that some of the AMOLED displays in this segment bring. The phone is decent to watch and view content on but do not expect your mind to be blown by it.
The two sensors accompanying the main sensor on the back are not really performers. The macro takes a lot of time to focus on the subject while portrait shots taken with the device turn out to be average at best – the edges of the subject get blurred along with the background.
The Oppo K10 runs on Android 11 out of the box which is somewhat disappointing. Android 12 has been around for a long time now, although most devices in this price band at the time of writing are also still running on Android 11. Also, if you are used to a slight plain UI or are a stock Android fan, ColorOS might come across as overwhelming
Priced at Rs 14,990 for its 6 GB/ 128 and Rs 16,990 for its 8 GB/ 128 Gb variants, the Oppo K10 is a reasonably solid competitor in this price segment. The phone brings a different design, a pleasant display, long battery life, solid build and steady performance to the table. It, however, faces some very stiff competition. One of its biggest challengers is the Redmi Note 11, which has the same processor but comes with an AMOLED display at a price of Rs 12,999.
The Realme 9i also has almost the same spec sheet as the Oppo K10 – the same processor, similar camera arrangement, and display type and size – but is available at Rs 12,999. There is also the Poco M4 Pro, which has an older but still capable MediaTek Helio G96 chip, and also has an AMOLED display. Those seeking a 5G phone in this segment might also be tempted by the Poco M4 Pro 5G (Rs 14,999), the Qoo Z6 5G (Rs 15,499), and the Realme 9 5G (Rs 14,999). As we said at the beginning, this is a very competitive segment of the market. The Oppo K10 is a good contender at its price and represents a steady, rather than spectacular start for Oppo’s new series.