Oppo A71 (2018) review: Is it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor?

Oppo A71 (2018) was launched earlier this month with a price tag of Rs. 9,990 and it comes in Black and Rose Gold colors.

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Oppo is a brand that mainly focuses on the segment of selfie-centric smartphones. They have already launched a couple of smartphones in India this year; the Oppo A83 and Oppo A71 (2018), both of which are budget offerings from the company. The A71 (2018) was launched earlier this month with a price tag of Rs. 9,990 and it comes in Black and Rose Gold colors.

Rating:
2.5/5

Oppo A71 (2018) review: Is it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor?

 

The recently launched A71 (2018) is also a selfie-centric smartphone, which the company claims to have included an upgraded AI Beauty Technology. The USP of the Oppo A71 (2018) is that not many phones in the sub-10K category come with this kind of feature. Now the question is whether or not the smartphones is worth its price.

Build and Design

Build and Design

Well, if you are a sucker for aesthetics, then Oppo A71 (2018) may not be your perfect choice. In the time of full-screen design and 18:9 displays, it sticks to the display with traditional aspect ratio of 16:9. Unfortunately, you won't find any difference between the original Oppo A71 from last year and the latest one, in terms of design.

The Oppo A71 (2018) is ideal for one-hand usage, thanks to its small display. Moreover, the edges of the handset are slightly curved so it fits perfectly in your hand. What we really liked about the phone is how lightweight it is. Notably, the phone doesn't have a fingerprint scanner.

5.2-inch HD TFT Display
 

5.2-inch HD TFT Display

The Oppo A71 (2018) is fitted with a rather small 5.2-inch touchscreen display. The display delivers a HD resolution of 720×1280 pixels. During my encounter with the smartphone, I found its display to be quite bright with decent viewing angles in daylight.

Although the display offers HD resolution, the colors still look pretty vibrant and the text looks sharp. Despite following the standard resolution for a budget device, with impressive brightness, the display sometimes fails to register the fingertip gestures which could be annoying for some.

During my time with the phone, I also noticed the app launch time is sluggish but Oppo might soon roll out a firmware update to fix that.

Talking about the viewing experience, the HD display does qualify as a decent performer.

 

Software: Android Nougat with ColorOS 3.2

Software: Android Nougat with ColorOS 3.2

The Oppo A71 (2018) runs on 7.1.1 Android Nougat with custom ColorOS 3.2 layered on top of it. The smartphone also comes with Android security patch for January 5, 2018. Well if you have used an Oppo phone, you might have noticed that the ColorOS includes features like customizable gestures for screen off, screen on, communication, a security center, lock screen magazines, options for long screen shot and more.

At first glance, the UI looks slightly similar to Apple's iOS. The Notification Panel seems inspired by iPhone's swipe up gesture, which is quite unusual for an Android-powered phone.

The smartphone also comes pre-installed with apps such as Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Duo, etc. Even the Amazon Shopping app was there.

 

Performance and Battery

Performance and Battery

I felt the Oppo A71 (2018) is decent when it comes to performance. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor clubbed with 3GB RAM and 32GB expandable (up to 256GB) internal storage.

While I was using the device, I didn't find any noticeable lags and the A71 (2018) was able to perform most of the tasks quite smoothly. That said, navigating the user interface, launching apps and switching between multiple apps was not quick enough.

Do note that light games such as Subway Surfer and Dancing Line ran smoothly. However, you may find some glitches like heating issues as well as lagging when it comes to heavy games.

If you are a person of stats, on Geekbench, the smartphone obtained a single-core score of 738 and multi-core score of 3279. For comparison, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 which comes in the same price range, scored 1484 points in the single-core test.

Talking about the battery life, the A71 (2018) draws power from a 3,000mAh cell. The battery can easily last a day on moderate usage. When I was using the phone, it lasted more than a day on single charge. However, I mostly used to the phone to check WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

If you are a person who keeps browsing the net and watching videos, you might have to carry your charger with you. The Oppo phone comes with OTG function so it can be used to charge other devices.
Overall, the Oppo A71 (2018) should work fine in an everyday usage scenario.

 

Camera

Camera

On the optics front, the Oppo A71 (2018) is equipped with a 13MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. The rear camera is said to come with a Multi-Frame Denoising Technology that reduces noise for providing a better night photography experience. Further, the camera app has an Ultra HD feature that combines multiple burst photos into one, so pictures taken on the 13MP rear camera is claimed to look in effect like 32MP.

While all these may sound good on paper, we were not impressed with the main camera performance. The rear camera doesn't justify its 13MP pixel resolution. Pictures captured in daylight look clear, buy you will notice grains in the images taken under-low light conditions. When we zoomed into the picture, it got pixelated. So don't expect clear and sharp pictures if you are using the phone where light is not sufficient. Some blurriness will be there.

Coming to the front, there is a 5MP sensor with an aperture size of f/2.4. The front camera offers Bokeh Effect, which we tried. Well, the Bokeh Effect is alright, but it is not something outstanding.

The front camera is also equipped with Oppo-specific AI Beauty Recognition technology, which is claimed to capture more than 200 facial features, makes face recognition more accurate and beauty retouching more refined.

Again the selfie camera failed to match up to our expectation. The much-hyped Beauty AI Technology is just like any other beauty mode. When you take a selfie, it will just whiten your complexion, blur the sharp edges and increase the color contrast. The selfies often come out to be blurry and they don't give a natural look, until you are at the perfectly lit area.

Other aspects

Other aspects

To start with the positive, the Oppo A71 (2018) delivers loud and clear audio from speakers. On the flip side, the smartphone doesn't feature a fingerprint scanner.

In terms of connectivity, the dual-SIM smartphone offers 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. Sensors on board include Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Accelerator Sensor and E-compass.

Verdict

Verdict

Truth be told, the Oppo A71 (2018) might be a budget-friendly smartphone with average specs, but when it comes to competition it may not be able to match with its rivals.

Secondly, there is no fingerprint scanner on board, which could be a deal breaker for many. Especially when almost every other phone in this price range comes with fingerprint scanner.

Moreover, the camera performance is average, but Oppo could have made the camera better for clicking images in low-light situations and capturing minute details in the photos.

In a much crowded sub-10K segment, the Oppo A71 (2018) doesn't bring anything new for the specs-conscious Indian smartphone users. Considering the fierce competition in this price bracket, it is hard to recommend the A71 (2018) over the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Lenovo K8 Plus which offer better features and functionality.

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