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Device review: Oppo A72

Saf Malik
November 24, 2020

Oppo delivers a solid budget option in a crowded market 3.75/5

With several vendors fighting for budget smartphone supremacy, earlier this year Oppo released the A72 which is a low-price, high spec smartphone that punches slightly above its weight and price.

The Chinese manufacturer faces stiff competition from the likes of Motorola, Xiaomi, and Realme who have released similar, impressive devices that offer an all-around great performance for a low cost.

This device is the latest in Oppo’s A series and pretty much delivers what you would expect across the board, but can it propel itself to the top of the budget range?

The device comes in two versions, with the other offering 5G connectivity. However, it should be noted that the Oppo A72 5G sacrifices its specs for 5G capabilities and may not offer better performance than the original variant of the device.

Both devices should be considered as direct rivals to the Realme 7 and Realme 7 5G, with the latter releasing just last week.

Design and unboxing

The box comes with the Oppo A72 smartphone, an 18W fast-charger, a jelly case, and headphones.

The Oppo A72 looks pretty much like every other budget smartphone with a 6.5-inch screen protected by an anti-scratch gorilla glass 3 coating. The smartphone features an 8.9mm thick body and clocks in at a weight of 192g which is average for a budget smartphone.

The device features a 90.5 per cent screen to body ratio with the hole punch selfie camera on the top-left corner.

This was the Aurora Purple version of the smartphone looks very slick and modern. There is a two-tone look to the back of the device as there is with a few budget phones but this one stands out as being one of the best looking from the bunch. Unfortunately, though, the back of the phone is prone to scratches and smudges so the phone covering it comes with is essential.

The back of the device features the quad-camera while the side of the device has a mounted fingerprint scanner. The phone comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C charging slot.

Hardware specs

  • OS: Android 10
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665
  • Screen: 6.5 inches
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Rear camera: 48MP x 8MP x 2MP x 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Video: 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30/120fps
  • Battery: 5000mAh 18W fast-charging
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dimensions: 162 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm 
  • Weight: 192g

Camera

The Oppo A72 features a quad-camera set-up with a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP B/W camera. The device allows you to toggle between a 48MP and 12MP snapper and I found that the 12MP pictures offered smoother and more defined images. 

The 48MP camera doesn’t feature a zoom function which is a bummer, but the 12MP camera does capture some great close-up photos to make up for this. Below are a mixture of pics I took with the main camera: 

For everyday photography, the camera performs very capably and the ultra-wide lens offers a good amount of additional scope on images.

Unfortunately, though, the portrait and night modes do not add anything of real substance to the device, but for the price the overall camera capabilities are impressive. Videos can be shot in 4K which is a nice feature to add to a budget phone.

Performance

In terms of performance, there weren’t any major glitches or lag and the phone ran very smoothly.

Its 4GB of RAM coupled with the Snapdragon 665 chipset offers decent gaming performance for the price range but if gaming is the primary function of your smartphone, there may be some better alternatives on the market for a slight bump in price. 

The 5000mAh battery is the standard size for budget devices these days and the smartphone offers around two whole days of battery life on a single charge with casual use. I found that with around two hours of gaming and some use on social media apps, the phone would capably last just over 30 hours which remains very impressive. 

The 18W fast-charging is by no means in the same class as the likes of Realme but still charges the smartphone quicker than other more expensive handsets from Apple. It charges almost three times faster than my iPhone XR which still retails for over double the price. 

Another thing to note is the smartphone offers 128GB of internal storage which can be boosted to 256GB which is incredible at this price range. 

At a glance

  • Speed – 3.5/5
  • Camera – 3/5
  • Battery – 4.5/5
  • Design – 4.5/5
  • Value – 4/5
  • Price – £219

Verdict

While it may look pricier than it seems, the Oppo A72 is still a solid budget smartphone that excels in a few areas. The great price and strong battery life coupled with a striking design make this a valuable addition to a crowded market.

While it may be worth considering the specs of other budget devices before making a final decision, the Oppo A72 offers decent all-round performance for those looking for a solid smartphone. 

The Oppo A72 retails for £219.99 from Amazon

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