To put it simply, some people just cannot afford an OPPO flagship. Thus, the next logical step would be to get a mid-range, highly affordable, OPPO A71 . The A71 offers the OPPO experience for an affordable price, without skimping on any of the OPPO-level quality. But does this claim hold true in practice?
Every brand-new purchase of the OPPO A71 includes:
- OPPO A71 unit (1 pc.)
- Clear phone protector (1 pc.)
- Quick Guide booklet (1 pc.)
- Earphones (1 pair)
- micro-USB charging cable (1 pc.)
- OPPO Travel Charger (1 pc,)
Design and Construction
The OPPO A71 looks pretty simple, but I think its rather inconspicuous approach to design works. Indeed, some phones focus on getting all the attention by using metallic finishes and glimmering colors. For the A71, this is not a concern at all. Instead, it opts for a more mute color scheme, as if the phone was trying not to draw attention to itself.
For button and port placement, this 5.2-incher puts its receiver, 5-megapixel front shooter, and sensors on the very front of the phone. Meanwhile, the lower part contains three capacitive buttons for Recent Apps, Home, and Back. The lack of backlighting felt like an odd choice to me, especially if you plan on using the device in the dark. Nothing too terrible, though.
On the left are the volume keys, while on the right are the power/lock button, and the triple-card tray which can accommodate two Nano SIM cards, and a microSD card, which is good news for those who hate hybrid types. Up top lies the headphone jack in its lonesome. On the other hand, the bottom contains the microUSB port, and two sets of holes for the microphone and loudspeaker. Lastly, users will find the 13-megapixel rear shooter slightly raised on the back. This, in turn, is flanked by dual LED flash, and the shiny OPPO branding in the middle.
All-in-all, it’s a simple design that doesn’t offend the senses. I don’t mean this as a bad thing though–simple designs often trump complicated ones in terms of appeal to a mass market. For my personal taste, I liked the overall build quality and look of the A71.
OS, UI, and Apps
ColorOS 3.1 acts as the skin for the A71’s Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS. If you’re an OPPO veteran, you’ll feel at home. One big example of a ‘usual’ feature involves the use of multiple home screens instead of an app drawer. For those unfamiliar, though, the ColorOS setup looks clean and simple, just imagine stock Android with a few bonuses. Much like the design, it’s fairly inoffensive. Honestly though, this feels like the best choice considering the A71 panders to a larger market. Plus, I would assume that the 3GB RAM helps keep the entire operation flowing smoothly. At least, in terms of opening apps and transitioning between them.
Pre-installed apps only come from Google and Facebook, avoiding any unnecessary bloatware. That’s always a plus in my book. For storage, the initial 16GB internal space comes down to around 9GB, which honestly feels small. That in particular, I disliked. That being said, the affordable cost of the device should let buyers get a supplementary microSD card.
The OPPO A71 sports a 13MP f/2.2 rear shooter and a 5MP f/2.4 front, which felt strange at first because OPPO made its name on strong selfie shooters. In practice, though, both cameras work just fine. In fact, the autofocus of the rear cam worked fast, especially in good lighting. Plus, the colors look natural with great detail, and I barely saw any under-saturated or over-saturated photos.
Meanwhile, the front-facing camera works great in bright light as well. The only downside lies in its susceptibility to noise in low-lighting situations. This feels like a given though, especially in its price range. Fortunately, the Beautify and Depth modes allow for modifications. In fact, these modifications should help even noisy environments produce good shots.
All in all, I think that OPPO didn’t skimp on camera quality, even though both shooters admittedly look weaker on paper. While the A71 isn’t in the same rank as the ‘Selfie Expert’ lineups, it holds its own against other competitors in the same price.
OPPO A71 Sample Photos:
Performance and Benchmarks
A MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and 3GB RAM work together to power the A71. During my time tinkering with the various games and apps on the phone, I never experienced many crashes or lag. Even video games worked fine on the device, though I reckon that higher-end games might struggle. But for popular, pick-up-and-play titles like Mobile Legends will work just fine. Moreso with the ability of the phone to stay cool even after long playing sessions. At best, there will be some warmth on the upper part. However, the A71 won’t go much beyond that, echoing its superior OPPO engineering.
So far it was able to keep things running smoothly including gaming. We played Mobile Legends and Vainglory and we never experienced any choking, crashes or random reboots. Warming can be felt at the upper part of the device but not too much to be uncomfortable. For the benchmark numbers, see the list below:
- AnTuTu – 42,751
- Geekbench – 661 (Single-Core), 2,652 (Multi-Core)
- Vellamo – 1,666 (Multicore), 1,166 (Metal), 2,539 (Chrome)
- PCMark – 3,596 (Work 1.0)
Keeping this device alive requires a 3,000mAh non-removable battery which lasted for almost nine hours of moderate use. As usual, by moderate use, we mean the phone was used for WiFi browsing, some gaming, social media, and photography. For the video loop, this phone lasts for almost twelve hours. Note that the video loop test involves full brightness, the device in Airplane mode, and a continuous video loop. Lastly, in terms of charging, this device takes a little less than two hours to go from zero to fully-charged.
Despite not being a member of the ‘Selfie Expert’, the A71 gets a lot of things right, especially for a midranger. For a low retail price of PHP 8,990, buyers get a phone with a good design, a strong processor and RAM combo, and decent cameras. Not only that, but the long battery life helps justify the price for this device. For anyone who wants a phone that will be light on their wallet, but not skimp on the features, the A71 makes a great choice.
+ Good outer design
+ Efficient camera setup despite not being Selfie Expert cameras
+ Strong combo of processor and RAM
+ Long battery life
+ A lot of features for a low price
– The processor setup is older than its competitors
– Those expecting a Selfie Expert front shooter might be disappointed
– Low internal storage
OPPO A71 Specs
|OS||ColorOS 3.1, based on Android 7.1|
|Processor||MT6750 Octacore 1.5GHz|
|Display||5.2-inch HD IPS Scratch Resistant|
|Camera||5-megapixel front camera, and 13-megapixel main camera|
|SIM||True Dual SIM|