Oppo A83 Review: A genuine alternative to Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
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Despite a poor show in Q4 2017, according to research firm IDC’s latest mobile tracker numbers, Oppo remains one of the top five smartphone vendors in India. It is hoping to revive its position with a series of trendy-looking smartphones with the in-vogue thin bezel design. After the Oppo F5, the Chinese company has now released the A83. It is priced at Rs12,999 and readily available through offline stores, unlike the more popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Rs11,999), which is only available through weekly online sales, as of now. Here are the key highlights of the A83.
■ With thin bezels on the front and the all-metal finish on the back, the Oppo A83 looks and feels premium. It is handy, grips well due to the matte finish and is a lot lighter at 143g compared to Redmi Note 5, which weighs 180g.
■ Unlike the Redmi Note 5 and several other thin-bezel smartphones which offer fingerprint sensor on the back, Oppo A83 doesn’t support fingerprint unlocking. Oppo has tried to make up for it with the less reassuring face unlocking feature. It is fast, but ineffective in low light. Also, it is not as secure as the fingerprint sensor or the Face ID feature of iPhone X which uses 3D face mapping to remember the owner’s face.
■ The Oppo smartphone offers a 5.7-inch screen with a resolution of 1,450x720p and pixel density of 282ppi, which is lower than the 2,160x1,080p resolution and pixel density of 403ppi available on the Redmi Note 5, which also offers a bigger 6-inch screen. As a result, videos and games look sharper on the Xiaomi smartphone.
■ Like most Chinese phonemakers, Oppo has got a custom UI, called Color OS. It runs on top of a one-year-old Android 7.1 (Nougat). Some of its features such as the default app icons and the swipe up quick settings panel are clearly inspired by Apple’s iOS. While it allows users to change the position of navigation keys, apply themes, run two versions of one app, it is not as feature-rich as Xiaomi’s MIUI 9, also on Android 7.1 (Nougat).
■ The A83 is powered by MediaTek’s 16nm Helio P23 chipset which is quite at par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor used in the Redmi Note 5. With 3GB RAM in tow, the Oppo smartphone worked smoothly and was able to handle resource-intensive apps such as Hotstar and Facebook and games such as Shadow Fight 3 without any stutter or overheating. The 3,180mAh battery can eke out a day’s backup on modest use comfortably.
■ Internal storage in the A83 stands at 32GB, but one can add 256GB more through microSD cards. There is a separate slot for microSD cards in addition to the two nano SIM slots. The Redmi Note 5 offers 64GB storage, but its microSD card slot is built on one of the SIM trays.
■ For photo enthusiasts, the A83 has a 13-megapixel camera with 2x optical zoom. While it is at par with the 12-megapixel camera on the Xiaomi smartphone when it comes to detail reproduction, colours look slightly brighter.
The Oppo A83 is a lot more compact than the Redmi Note 5, looks stylish, offers a separate microSD slot and runs on an equally capable processor. The Redmi Note 5 offers a better screen, offers slightly more battery backup, has a fingerprint sensor and a more feature-rich MIUI.