OPPO A3s Review; Ordinary Phone With Lasting Battery Life

Oppo A3s was launched back in mid-2018, and it seems to be just as alluring device as when it first made its debut.  It is another entry-level smartphone by OPPO whose successor, OPPO A5s, has also been launched for the Pakistani users earlier this year.

The handset as of now is available for PKR 19,999 and in two color options; Red and Dark Purple. It comes with pretty standard specs, and despite being a last year’s smartphone, it is still a popular device in the local market, and we are here to discover if it’s worth the money. So, let’s get started.

Oppo A3s specs

  • Display: 6.2 inches, IPS LCD
  • OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo), ColorOS 5.1
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 450
  • RAM/ROM: 2GB/16GB
  • Camera (rear): 13MP + 2MP
  • Camera (front): 8MP
  • Battery: 4230 mAh
  • Full specs

Design and Display

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The design of OPPO A3s has a nostalgic appeal to the company’s OPPO F7 smartphone. Our review unit was in Red, which, just like the recently launched Galaxy A10, made the smartphone stand out in a crowd. The design standards are rising in the entry-level and budget categories, and OPPO has certainly not failed to capture its target market in this aspect.

The smartphone has a polycarbonate back, which comes with a glossy finish, giving it a relatively premium look. The user will have to keep it enclosed in a phone case to stop the phone from attracting fingerprint smudges.

On the back of the phone, we get a dual-camera setup accompanied by a flash resting on its right. The smartphone does not come with a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device.

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The power key rests at the right side of the smartphone while the volume rocker in which volume rocker rest on the left. Both keys are quite easy to use, and you can comfortably use them even while utilizing the phone with one hand.

The SIM slot is also present at the left side of the smartphone and has a dedicated slot for microSD card, a quite handy feature considering that OPPO A3s only offers 16GB of internal storage.

At the bottom, we get the standard combination of 3.5mm headphone jack, the primary mic, speaker grill, and a micro USB port.

Since it is a 2018 smartphone, we do not have the currently trending waterdrop notch at the front; instead, we get a wider iPhone X-inspired notch and bezels at the chin.

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The overall design makes the entry-level smartphone look beautiful. Its lightweight and slim size enable the user to operate the device with one hand, making it an attractive option in the saturated mobile phone market.

Oppo A3s boats a 6.2 inch IPS LCD with an HD+ (720 x 1520 pixels) resolution. The wide notch at top houses the front camera and an earpiece. There are minimal bezels on the right and left the side; however, the bottom bezel is considerably thick.

OPPO A3s display

The display quality offered of the smartphone is nothing short of impressive. It provides excellent viewing angles and ample brightness to deliver a pleasant viewing experience and enhanced usability even in direct sunlight.

Moreover, the user can also turn on the night shield feature to filter the display’s blue light, which can help to shield one’s eyes from strain.

Since we live in 2019, the notch is somewhat troublesome for us, taking away our precious screen space. What makes it annoying is that we cannot even get rid of it through the phone’s display settings.

In the end, in terms of display quality and color reproduction, Oppo A3s has got an edge over the more recent entry-level phones like Huawei Y6 Prime 2019 and the much pricier Vivo Y91. It produces crisp and punchy colors with good contrast and great viewing angles.

OS

Oppo A3s runs on Color OS 5.2.1, company’s customized skin built on top of Android Oreo 8.1. We hope that the smartphone gets the new Color OS 6, but that does not mean that the current version does not have any cool features.

The device comes with the Smart Assistant, which we adored in the mid-range OPPO F11 Pro smartphone as well. Thanks to this feature, you can access all your productivity tools like calendar, to-do lists, favorite contacts, etc. in a single space that can be accessed by swiping from left to right on the home screen.

OPPO A3s Smart Assistant
Smart Assistant

Similar to Huawei devices, the Music party app in the Oppo A3s lets you sync several phones to play a song simultaneously on all of them.

There is also a Private Safe feature that can be used to secure different content on your smartphone. Once you enable the safe from the settings, you can access it by going into the gallery, then tapping and holding down the title of the Albums. Though it may seem a peculiar way to do it, the software provides no other alternative to access the Private Safe.

It also comes with a Game Space mode that can optimize the phone and rid you of notifications and other disturbances while you are playing games on the smartphone. You can also access shortcuts from the sidebar while using an app to access quick functions like screen recording, screenshot, messaging, etc.

Oppo A3s shortcuts
Shortcuts sidebar

One of the things we love about the OS is that it can enlist all the messages from unknown numbers under a single category named “Unknown Source Messages” in the phone’s inbox, keeping the messaging list quite clean from promotional messages.

Performance and Battery

Oppo A3s is powered by Snapdragon 450 chipset and comes in a single variant with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. The Antutu benchmark performance is pretty underwhelming because of the low RAM. Oppo A7, which also comes with the same chipset but higher RAM, scored much better than the A3s. In the Geekbench benchmark, however, A3s performed even better than the much pricier Oppo A7.

oppo A3s benchmark scores
Antutu and Geekbench benchmark scores

In our real-life testing of the device, we have seen that OPPO A3s can perform all day to day tasks without any problem and calling, texting, using social media, watching Youtube, etc. should never be a troublesome experience for the user.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for heavy usage as due to the presence of 2GB RAM, paying graphic-intensive games and multitasking rapidly between different apps results in significant lag. While playing heavy games like Deer Hunter and Asphalt 9, the phone will slow down considerably.

Even with the noticeable lag, OPPO A3s never heat during the heavy usage tests, an issue which has started to accumulate in many mid-range devices of likes Huawei P30 Lite.

The device is not designed for such intensive usage; however, it performs optimum in light and moderate use.

The speaker does not produce any shrilling or ruptured sound rather, and the sound quality is quite crisp and clear even when the phone’s volume is cranked to full.

Oppo A3s packs a massive 4230mAh battery and delivers impressive battery performance. In our light usage test, the handset consumed just 10% battery in 1 hour while in our heavy usage test, the phone’s battery only dropped by 13% battery in the same period. It is good news for people who demand long-lasting battery life from their smartphones.

Camera

The smartphone comes with dual 13MP + 2MP cameras at the back and offers only HDR, auto, and portrait mode to the users.

OPPO A3s rear cameras

The pictures taken from auto mode are pretty decent, and as you can notice in the image below that the phone preserves the details of the subject that is closest to the camera. Still, the faraway objects lose the sharpness and details.

Picture of Railway Stattion at night with OPPO A3s
Auto mode

Picture with auto mode on Oppo A3s
Auto Mode

The HDR mode, instead of adding drama to the picture, lightens it up. As you can see in the two images of the Badshahi mosque, the one taken with HDR is much lighter in color than the one clicked with auto mode.

Badshahi Mosque Picture with auto mode on oppo A3s
Auto Mode

Badshahi Mosque Picture with HDR mode on oppo A3s
HDR Mode

Here’s another picture with the phone’s HDR Mode

Libaray Picture with HDR Mode on OPPO A3s
HDR Mode

At night, both the auto mode and HDR produce almost identical pictures, as seen in the images below:

Picture of Havlie Building at night with auto mode on oppo A3s
Auto Mode

Picture of Havlie Building at night with HDR mode on oppo A3s
HDR Mode

The primary camera of OPPO A5s fails to control the light at night even in HDR mode resulting in an overexposed image.

Statue Picture with at Night with HDR Mode on OPPO A3s
HDR Mode

For selfies, we have a single 8MP camera at the front, which can also take bouquet shots through the device’s software.

OPPO A3s front camera

In front camera’s auto mode, the phone smoothens the skin, but in bouquet mode, it makes the skin feel like its artificially moderated.

Selfie with OPPO A3s
Auto Selfie (left), Bouquet effect (right)

Verdict

OPPO A3s is your run of the mill entry-level smartphone, which comes with good looking design, bright display, and great day-to-day performance. The phone’s camera is capable of taking some decent pictures in daylight but tends to lose details of faraway objects.

Though the 16GB of internal storage is quite off-putting, you can always expand it via microSD card. It is an ideal device for a moderate user who is looking to upgrade from a feature to smartphone, but if you are willing to spend a little bit more, Tecno Camon i4 can prove to be a better alternative to cover for all the compromises you will have to make with OPPO A3s.

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