Oppo makes some impressive smartphones these days - you only have to take a look at the flagship Oppo Find N2 Flip or Find X5 Pro that this Chinese manufacturer can compete at the luxury end of the handset market. The Oppo A78 5G, however, is designed very much as a budget model which sells at a fraction of the price of its high-spec siblings.
As the name suggests, this is a 5G handset – but what do you actually get for your money with this lower-priced smartphone?
Oppo A78 5G: Specifications
Rear cameras: 50 MP f/1.8, plus 2Mp f/2.4 depth camera
Zoom range: -
Front camera: 8 MP f/2,
Display: 6.56-inch 90Hz LCD, 1612×720 pixels at 269 ppi density
Operating System: ColorOS 13
CPU: MediaTek 6833, 8 cores up to 2.2GHz
GPU: Mali-G57 MC2 @950Mhz
Image stabilization: No
Max video resolution: 1080P@30fps
Touch ID: Yes
Face ID: Yes
Storage capacity: 128GB
Water resistance: IPX4
Battery: 5000mAh, 33W SuperVooc fast charging
Charger: USB Type-C (included)
3.5mm headphone port: Yes
Dimensions: 163.8 x 75.1 x 7.99 mm
Color options: Black, purple, or blue
Oppo A78 5G: Key features
A big attraction of this phone is its impressive 5000mAh battery, which should keep the phone running well into a second day, should you need to. This is supported by the use of Oppo's fast-charging tech - which functioning at 33W means that your battery can charge to 100% in just 67 minutes, or get you beyond 50% charged in hald an hour. Pleasingly too, you get a power brick in the box as well as the USB-C lead - so Oppo are not assuming you have a charger already, unlike some manufacturers. Not surprisingly, for the price you don't get wireless charging here.
Another pleasing addition is that alongside the USB-C socket, there is also a 3.5mm headphone jack output - a feature that has also become rarer on phones of all prices nowadays.
The screen is a basic 720P LED affair - but despite the lack of OLED, the 6.5in display is a decent size and has an adequate refresh rate of 90Hz.
In a belt and braces approach to security, you have the facility to set up both facial recognition and fingerprint ID on the phone, so that you can get into your phone, say, without having to take both your sunglasses and gloves off.
The phone uses Oppo's proprietary operating system ColorOS - which is its own version of Android. This all looks familiar and easy to navigate around - but the home-brew set-up comes with a lot of bloatware - mainly games that you probably wouldn't have downloaded yourself, but which at least you don't have to pay for.
Oppo A78 5G: Build & handling
Where the phone starts to disappointing, is round the back. The rear panel is a cheap plastic affair, that doesn't feel good to the touch. If you buy this phone, you'll want to get a protective case straight away to save you from the sound it makes when you rub or tap your fingers over the plastic casing.
The back panel also features a pair of ostentatious-looking camera lens housings. In reality, though, despite the double bump, this phone just has the one rear camera. The other lens is a basic 2MP mono affair that is simply there to help the other camera with its autofocus and depth effects.
The main camera offers a decent 50MP resolution - as long as you go into the settings to turn this on, as this is not enabled by default. And if you delve further, you can even force the camera to extrapolate 108MP images from the 50-megapixel sensor (but we'd recommend you not wasting your time, as this is just a marketing gimmick).
To get the most out of the camera, like other Oppo phones, you need to enable the Pro mode - a feature you must set out to find, as not obviously available. Unlike some of the companies more expensive phones, there are no Hasselblad-sanctioned additions such as an X-Pan panoramic mode.
What you don't get is any ultra-wide lens with this set-up. And although there is a 10x digital zoom at your disposal, there is no telephoto lens either. The lack of a wider angle of view is disappointing - and the results from the digital zoom are inevitably not really worth using (as you could always crop the images afterward instead).
Oppo A78 5G: Sample images
Oppo A78 5G: Verdict
The big appeal of the Oppo A78 5G has to be its price. This is a proper budget smartphone, but which still strives to give you lots for your money. Notable plus points are an impressive 5000mAh battery that in our weeks using the phone often made into a third day without needing a top-up. And when you do need to refresh the cells, you get a speedy 33W charging that means you can get your phone back in your pocket with the minimum of delay.
The disappointments on the phone are all around. The front panel is decent enough, but the rear casing feels really cheap and not pleasant to touch. And then despite it giving the outward appearance of having a two-camera set-up, in reality you just get the one 50MP wide lens. There are no ultrawide or telephoto options – which may well limit your photographic creativity.
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