Thanks to what I do for a living, I use a lot of smartphones. While I’ve certainly formed my personal preferences in recent times, the early days of smartphone growth in India didn’t offer much of a choice. Those were the days when Amazon and Flipkart primarily sold books. Back then, if you wanted to buy a new smartphone, you had to step into a physical store. And something I’m particularly proud of today is having used an Oppo N1 smartphone as my primary device long before the logo was plastered on practically every local mobile dealer’s storefront.
It was one of the first smartphones to officially support Cyanogen OS. It laid the roots for what is today OnePlus, thanks to its radical approach to making smartphones. Apart from the ability to load Cyanogen OS (which I promptly did), you also got a single camera module that rotated to function at both the front and the rear. This also meant you got flash for selfies long before it became a thing. The phone was many steps ahead of the competition, but faced criticism because there weren’t enough stores where you could actually buy the phone.
Today, we’re reviewing the Oppo A83. Priced at Rs 13,990. It sits in one of the most popular price segments among smartphones in India, the sub-Rs 15,000 space. Although we could compare it directly to the online-first Xiaomi Mi A1 and Moto G5S Plus, that would be futile. We elaborate in our review.
The Oppo A83 looks good, you can’t deny it. Usually what makes a phone look good is the use of elements other than plastic – glass and metal not only make the phones look great, but also good to hold. The Oppo A83 is plastic, which is what makes its good looks surprising. The finish is metallic, and you’re almost fooled into thinking the phone is made of metal. The fact that it is plastic also keeps it light and handy.
While the construction is unibody-style and the sides and edges have gentle curves for better grip, the front of the phone is raised and has sharp edges as a result. It’s an attempt by Oppo to make the phone seem slimmer than it really is, and it isn’t a very good one at that. You’ll feel the sharp edges a lot, particularly when you’re tapping somewhere near the edges of the screen, and even when you pick it up off a flat surface. It’s awkward, to say the least. Find out more in our video review of the Rs 13,990 Oppo A83.