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OPPO A71 Review - Fast Performance on a Budget

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The OPPO A71. It claims to have a speedy performance along with an affordable price point. We have put it through all its gear and this is our honest review.
OPPO A71 Review -  Fast Performance on a Budget
OPPO A71 review!


Display Quality

Decent screen
Decent screen

The OPPO A71 has a 5.2-inch HD TFT display with a 281 ppi pixel density. It also has a scratch resistant glass on top of it to protect the display itself. The HD resolution is still understandable at this price point as more expensive phones such as the Vivo V7+ still sport the same resolution and managed to be a head turner.

Colors are fairly accurate with a bit of saturation but not to the point that it is bothersome. It gets pretty bright as well and can be used outside on a gloomy day. However, under direct sunlight I struggled to see my notifications even when the brightness is turned all the way up.

Viewing angles are superb here. I haven't found any struggle while watching YouTube videos on this while lying down. There is no white washing on any angles which makes it a great multimedia phone.

Using this for gaming is also great as it has a 10 points of touch.

Audio Quality

The speaker is found at the bottom of the device. The speaker itself works great in a small room with minimal noise. However, when you use the OPPO A71 in a place where background noise is an issue, the speaker is barely audible. I actually had trouble hearing my notifications when I am in a cafe or restaurant with a lot of chatter going on.

With headphones on, it is the same problem as well. Unless you are using some noise cancelling earphones, outside noise can easily overpower the A71's max volume.

Headphone driving power is not strong.

This can be useful if you need to be aware of your surroundings while listening to music or while watching videos but it can be a nuisance. Dialogues in videos and movies are a hit or miss from one video to another but overall it can be better.

Microphone quality is okay. Not great, but average in performance. Decent for calls!

Battery Life

Battery performance

The OPPO A71 has a 3,000mAh battery which for the specs and size of the display is fairly big. During our benchmarks and daily usage, it can go 10-12 hours without a charge.

Strong battery performance!

You can watch YouTube videos, use Chrome for browsing, use it for navigation, play some light games and still have some battery left in the tank. Mind you, we are using LTE as well and it exceeded our expectations.

Charging time, on the other hand, is pretty average. We get from 0 - 100% in more or less 2 hours using the charger included in the box.

Camera

Back camera
Back camera

At the back of the OPPO A71, it has a 13MP f/2.2 with autofocus and LED flash. It has a decent camera app with a UI similar to the iOS camera app.

It has modes such as Panorama, Video, Timelapse and Beauty mode. It also has an Expert Mode which gives you more manual controls over ISO, Shutter Speed, White Balance, Exposure and Focus.

Focus is fairly quick and, with manual control, can get a pretty close up shot of a subject. The shutter speed can be a lot of quicker. No matter what the lighting situation is most of our shots came out blurred. We needed to take multiple shots of the same subject to capture the perfect shot.

With the Expert Mode, my personal gripe is that it doesn't adjust the picture in real time when you change the shutter speed. Unlike other smartphones with manual camera controls, you can get an immediate preview of your settings. Sometimes, I tweak the manual settings to what I think is ideal but it turns out wrong since I did not have any preview.

Image quality is great when there is good lighting but, at less ideal scenarios, you can definitely see some noise in the image. It is good enough for everyday photography but can be a tough sell for photography enthusiasts.

Rear Camera Samples

Normal vs HDR
Normal vs HDR
Indoor well lit
Indoor well lit
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Indoor lowlight
Indoor lowlight
ISO 100, 2 secs shutter, EV -0.5
ISO 100, 2 secs shutter, EV -0.5
ISO 100, 2 secs shutter

The selfie camera, on the other hand, has a 5MP f/2.4 sensor with screen flash. It has the usual beauty mode, a selfie bokeh mode, auto HDR and a square portrait mode.

The quality of the selfies are ok as long as you have great lighting. However, at lowlight, it really struggles. With minimal lighting, some of the selfies came out overexposed as you will see in the samples later.

Selfie Camera Samples

Portrait selfie daylight
Portrait selfie daylight
Indoor dim selfie
Indoor dim selfie
Indoor selfie again
Indoor selfie again
Lowlight selfie

For videos, the A71 can shoot up to 1080p 30 fps behind with acceptable quality. But, focus and stabilization isn't that great. In front, the selfie camera can also record up to 1080p 30 fps in quality w/ better stabilization.

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmark results
Benchmark results

The performance at this price point is what you can expect. It can play games that are not that graphically intensive smoothly. With more graphic intensive games, we experienced some hiccups after a while as the device can get a bit hot. A better thermal management can really benefit gamers to avoid throttling and performance dips.
Gaming is almost as smooth as the higher-end OPPO F3
Gaming is almost as smooth as the higher-end OPPO F3

Multitasking is a breeze too. Switching between apps is snappy except when it is the camera app. The 3 GB of RAM makes the everyday tasks really fast.

Related: Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Vs OPPO A71 Vs Vivo Y69 Vs Huawei GR3 2017 Specs Comparison

However, the 16 GB expandable storage is the caveat here. If you love playing huge games then you will have a hard time with just 16 GB of storage. A bigger micro SD card is suggested for you to store your photos and media.
The OPPO A71 has the Color OS 3.1 over Android 7.1 Nougat
The OPPO A71 has the Color OS 3.1 over Android 7.1 Nougat

The software side of things is not that great in my opinion. If you are an Android user then you will be weirded out here as well. The A71's software tries to emulate iOS in always every aspect of the UI. The toggles and notifications are completely separated. The notification panel can be accessed by swiping down from the home screen. However, the toggles and settings are found at the bottom of the home screen ala iOS.
The OPPO A71 separated the Notifications and Toggles
The OPPO A71 separated the Notifications and Toggles

It is good looking. However, it lacks that Android feel that you would expect from an Android phone. To say the least, the UI can take a bit of getting used to. Other than that personal gripe, the software is great and snappy as well.

On a side note, the navigation keys at the bottom of the phone, it does not light up. It can be a bit confusing when you are using it in the dark. It is a small thing but it can be improved.

Pros - Snappy performance, 3 GB of RAM, great battery life, great display, great array of sensors
Cons - UI can be better, cameras can be inconsistent, audio and speakers can be improved, thermal management can be better, a bigger internal storage is a must

Verdict

At PHP 8,990, the OPPO A71 is worth a look. It can be improved in some of its features but the overall package still garners a recommendation. It can be a great everyday smartphone if you are on a budget.

The flaws are there to be improved and OPPO can make adjustments for sure. A more original UI is going to be a great improvement. A bigger internal storage is a must if you are going to be marketing this for everyday usage. A louder and better speaker will improve the media experience as well as notifications.

Other than that, the OPPO A71 delivers speedy performance on a budget!

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.5
Camera - 4
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.17 / 5
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