Oppo is known for its affordable smartphone product range. Staying in the mid-range section, it’s mostly known for its affordability in Nepal. And so, another one in the lower-mid-range category is the Oppo A3s. Costing about Rs.19,490, this phone is really an affordable option. But is it really worth the price? Find out on our Oppo A3s review.
- 6.2-inch (1520 x 720 pixels) 18:9 FullView 2.5D curved glass display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 450 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 506 GPU
- 2GB RAM with 16GB storage, expandable memory up to 256GB with microSD
- ColorOS 5.1 based on Android 8.1 (Oreo)
- Dual SIM (nano + nano + microSD)
- 13MP rear camera with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture, secondary 2MP camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 8MP front-facing camera, f/2.2 aperture, 1.12μm pixel size
- face unlock
- Dimensions: 156.2×75.6×8.2mm; Weight: 168g
- Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS, USB OTG
- 4230mAh battery
Design and Build
Upon first look, the phone appears quite attractive. Its big, bright and glossy design catches your eye instantly. It has a plastic build but it appears premium due to its glossy finish and sturdy construction.
The glossy finish means it’s prone to finger smudges, but it comes with a soft rubber case in the box. And the phone is big, and quite so, which might be due to its large battery. It sometimes bothers you that you can feel it in your pocket while walking or sitting down. And if you snap on the case, it becomes even bigger!
However, since the phone’s curvy edges give it some grip, it is easy to hold despite it’s size. The location of the speaker is a bummer, though. It’s located in a place where you can very easily muffle it while gaming or watching videos. I had to hold it very awkwardly to prevent muffling the speakers while gaming, which is very unsettling. Also, the lack of a fingerprint sensor is another downer. Plus, there is no LED notification light, which invites its own set of inconveniences.
On the design front, it has its bright color, glossy design and its sturdy construction going for it which is good enough.
The large 6.2” IPS LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio looks good too. The HD+ resolution (720 x 1520) can produce good vibrancy and accurate colors without much pixilation. It also has good brightness levels allowing you to use your phone quite well in the sun. But for a large screen such as this, I felt like the resolution wasn’t enough. Pictures aren’t that sharp or detailed, but I guess that’s what we get for the price. And if you can get over that, watching multimedia on the large screen is actually fun!
Of course, like every other phone of today, there is a notch. But the apps are not optimized for the notch experience. If you play games in full screen, it will cut out some parts of it, making it somewhat inconvenient to play. And it’s similar with the videos. You will get an option to watch them in either 16:9 or 19:9 aspect ratios, but choosing the latter intrudes the content quite a bit. If the apps were optimized for the notch, like the OnePlus 6, then, it wouldn’t be as bad. Oppo should consider this in their other upcoming phones.
Following the industry trends, Oppo A3s, too, put dual cameras at the back. A 13 MP primary sensor with a 2 MP depth sensor is what you get for that Bokeh effect in your pictures. While the phone does a decent job with the portrait mode, its edge-detection needs some work. It’s not the best depth capture, sometimes, feeling like its more software than the hardware at work. But most times, it will do a good job.
As for regular images, the cameras are capable of capturing good photos in well-lit conditions. There are enough details but colors come out a bit off, and aren’t accurate enough to make it true-to-life. It mostly over-saturates colors, which sometimes can look pleasant and other times, not so much. And even the Auto-focus is quite slow, making the objects blurry with even the slightest movement. And as for low-light photos, it’s even worse. Photos get quite muddy with a considerable amount of noise, highlights are blown, shutter speed lags, and a bunch of other issues. The cameras are just not good at all!
The 8 MP selfie camera is also not something to be proud of for Oppo. The selfie camera can take artificial portrait shots, which is better than expected. Similar to the rear cameras, selfies come out decent in good lighting conditions, but in low-light, it’s the same story. Also, there’s beauty mode in there as well, which can do a pretty good job of beautifying your face.
As for videos, the phone is capable of capturing 1080p videos @ 30 fps. Still shooting can produce good results, but with no Image Stabilization, they tend to shake a lot even with the slightest amount of movement. Focusing, too, is very slow in videos.
Ironically, for a “selfie leader”, cameras, on this thing, are actually a hit and a miss!
Check out all the high-resolution camera samples here
With the Snapdragon 450 chip powering the phone, the phone should be powerful enough, but there are things holding it back. It can handle some heavy applications well enough. Playing Asphalt 9 was smooth enough, after some good amount of loading time. Also, PUBG is playable smoothly in low graphics and low frame rates. But multi-tasking on it is a bit stuttery as the 2GB RAM on the device is just not enough, considering the heavy ColorOS 5.1 skin on top of the Android 8.1.
Out of 2GB, only about 800 MB is usable for multi-tasking, which is enough for small apps. But if you try doing that while playing games, you will start noticing the lags between transitions. Even launching YouTube with some apps open in the background takes a while.
I mostly blame the heavy ColorOS skin for this. There’s a lot squeezed in the software and also plenty of bloatware on it. It runs deep into the UI and you will need a lot of getting used to with it.
Multi-tasking tray shows only the icons of the app running in the background and not their windows. But the thing that annoyed me most was not being able to swipe and remove the notifications. You have to swipe left and delete them, which is very unsettling. Now, Oppo users must be used to this, but for me, it made for a not-so-good user experience.
However, the software does have some noteworthy features. Take Game Space for example, which is very useful while playing games. It tweaks the graphics and offloads memory wherever it can, so that you can play heavy games like PUBG on it without much glitches. But even so, some stutters can occur, as the small RAM can only do so much.
As for the storage, Oppo A3s only has a 16 GB memory onboard. But there is a dedicated microSD card slot through which you can add up to 256 GB of storage, which you will need. Because if you just add a few games on it, you’ll begin to get low storage notifications. And moving those apps to your SD card is another hassle too.
This phone packs a huge battery – a humongous 4230 mAh unit! It is probably the highlight of the device. With normal usage, I was even able to get two days of usage on it with a full charge. And with heavy usage, the battery still lasted the whole day and then some. Not having to keep peeking at the battery percentage while playing is actually great.
However, with the micro USB and no Fast Charging feature, the phone takes over 3 hours to fully charge! With a huge battery such as this, there should have been a Fast Charging feature, but then again, it is unfair of me to ask all that for the price of this phone. So, I just stuck to charging it overnight.
Conclusion and Verdict
All in all, I have mixed feelings about this phone. It is well built with good design and features a satisfactory display. There’s Face Recognition, which, even though it’s software, does a pretty good job, even in low-light. Although, I would’ve preferred a fingerprint sensor over that.
The big battery is the major highlight of the phone. Everything else is either just average or even lower. The Snapdragon 450 processor is held back by the small RAM, considering its heavy skin on top. Gaming is okay, but multi-tasking is satisfactory at best. The cameras are also nothing worth mentioning. And it may be just me talking, but I really didn’t like the UI. Also, while the display looks attractive, the lack of optimization of the apps for the notch kind of bugs you. Yes, many aspects of the phone are only average, but then again, I get reminded of its price!
If only they could’ve included 3 GB of RAM, the performance would’ve been commendable, but it might also have increased the price as well. However, due to the lack of good competition for this phone in the price segment, the Oppo A3s might be a good deal.
- Elegant design
- Large display
- Large battery
- Good processor for the price
- Average camera
- Small RAM and on-board storage
- Speaker location
- Heavy ColorOS UI
- No LED Notification lights