Last month, Oppo launched the A71 in India at a price of Rs 9,999 which falls into a highly competitive segment in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. Let’s get something out straight away. After using it for over two weeks, the phone doesn’t look promising. While it’s good for very casual usage, but the demand of the market is much more than what A71 offers. Here is our review.
Not the UI experience you would expect:
The phone is still running the Android 7.1 Nougat with Oppo’s own ColourOS custom skin which in my opinion has failed to deliver. It’s not about the performance, but it’s about features which have become a defacto for any Android Smartphone. Right off the bat, I noticed that it did not show any notification icon from apps on top of the screen by default, then there was no app preview during multitasking, in order to remove the notification, I had to swipe, and press delete button, and lastly, there is no option to reboot when you press and hold the power button.
That said, the phone does offer a lot of customization including App Lock, Payment Protection, Kids Space, Game Acceleration and Split screen, but fails to deliver on the basic experience.
Performance & Specifications:
The phone did perform smoothly for most of the time. App launch from both memory and a fresh start were decent, and so was the app switching. On the gaming front, the phone didn’t heat that much, but high-end games like Asphalt 8 Airborne did lag quite a bit. That said, the UI gets stuck at times, and I had to
reboot shutdown, and then power up the phone again. That happened at least once every two days.
On paper, Oppo A71 is powered by 1.5 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor with 3 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. It packs a 13-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. Battery capacity is 3000 mAh. You get a 5.2-inch screen with a 720P (HD) display.
Combine the specs on paper and the experience off it, and it becomes even harder to recommend the Oppo A71. In my honest opinion, the specs look a year old. The phones that are available in the market at this price range at least offer Fingerprint sensor, 1080p display, Dual Camera and impressive build quality. I understand that Oppo doesn’t fight the specs war with the likes of Xiaomi and Honor, but we are talking about the experience here.
Build Quality & The Looks
Starting off the rear, the phone looks good. The A71 offers premium finish. Oppo claims to have used “Gilding electroface and nano silver technology strengthens the gloss of the metal and makes the body delicate to touch” which is true, and when you churn down the jargons, it also means that it’s a metal coating over the plastic body. The edges are remarkable though, and mixes the front and back seamlessly.
The front is opposite of this. The upper and lower portions have thick bezels which give the phone a standard look. Physical navigation buttons are a treat, but the missing backlight makes it impossible to use it at night.
The Oppo A71 houses a 13 MP f/2.2 primary lens and a 5 MP f/2.4 secondary lens. The primary camera is accompanied by a flash as well. That said, both of the cameras deliver average performance.
The major miss is on the details of the subject, and the background which seems to get blurry when you zoom in a bit. During the night, the camera struggles to get focus, and the captured images are full of noise.
The camera interface does offer multiple modes like Auto HDR, Time Lapse, Beauty Mode, Panorama, and even an expert mode as well. You can do video recording at max 1080p.
The front shooter offers a “Portrait Mode”, but the results are too artificial. Even though Oppo has been all about Selfie camera, the results don’t really affirm that.
Check out the camera samples below:
The phone houses a 3000 mAh battery which decently lasts for 15 hours on casual usage. If you are a heavy user, it will drop to 10 to 11 hours. There is no quick charging available with the phone. The call quality and signal reception are pretty good.
Looking at everything, the phone doesn’t get on our recommendation list for many reasons. If I have to put it in simple words, Oppo needs to come out with a phone with much better specifications, and also improve their skin to make sure it delivers all basic features. We have loved some of their other phones in the past, but the A71 is a generation too old to put it subtly.