When you’re shopping for a new smartphone in the mid-range segment, you have a lot of options. If you choose to shop online, you’ll find some attractive options that publications such as BGR India praise. Our current favorite smartphone in the sub Rs 15,000 space is the Xiaomi Mi A1, which is available online and offline in select locations. But maybe those select locations are far away, or you just don’t like shopping online. Maybe you’d like to see and feel the phone before you buy it, or you need some real-world advice.
In the latter case, you’re most likely to buy from your neighborhood mobile phone store, and indeed practically every neighborhood in every small or large city in the country has one of those. You also want the reassurance that if something goes wrong, you know who to go back to. There are a handful of brands that have captured the offline market, and Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is one of them.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Oppo A83. Priced at Rs 13,990, the Oppo A83 promises a feature-rich experience at a not-so-high price. And above all, you’ll be able to buy it online or offline, through your neighborhood mobile store. We take a look at the new Oppo A83.
It’s kind of compact
The Oppo A83 isn’t a large phone. It’s got a 5.7-inch HD+ (720×1440 pixels) IPS LCD screen, with an 18:9 aspect ratio and slim non-screen space at the front. The screen resolution is disappointing, but is unlikely to bother most users in this bracket. It feels about the same size as a typical 16:9 smartphone with a 5.2-inch screen, and this compact size will appeal to a lot of buyers.
While the look and finish of the phone might make you think its metal, the Oppo A83 is plastic. It feels great nonetheless, and looks fairly good for an affordable smartphone. The back of the phone is rather well designed, with a beautiful finish that screams ‘premium’, along with a reflective logo and single-camera system.
Something I found awkward about the design of the phone is that the screen is raised on a ridge-like front panel, and doesn’t sit flush with the sides. I’ve never understood the need for this type of design; it would be better if the curved sides were thicker to blend in with the front. This seems to be an attempt by Oppo to give you the impression that the phone is slimmer than it really is, but it isn’t a very good attempt at that.
Specifications that work
The Oppo A83 may not quite have the impressive specifications and features that some other products in the price segment boast, but it’s important to remember that the dynamics of selling online and offline are vastly different. Considering that Oppo is an offline-first smartphone brand and you can buy one of these phones easily and quickly, it’s a decent set of specifications under the hood.
The A83 is powered by the Mediatek MT6763T Helio P23 SoC, which can be considered on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 and HiSilicon Kirin 659 SoCs. You also get 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a dedicated slot for a micro-SD card. There is, of course, dual-SIM connectivity with 4G support on one SIM at a time. The Oppo A83 comes with the Android Nougat 7.1-based Color OS 3.2. Oppo has used its Color OS custom overlay for a while now, and has it designed as a single-layered UI. Notifications and quick toggles are designed to be accessed the way it is on iOS, which might be a bit confusing for users that are used to typical Android interfaces.
Unfortunately, there’s no fingerprint sensor on the Oppo A83. However, the company is offering face unlocking on the device. It’s quick and easy to set up, and works well in proper lighting conditions. I haven’t had a chance to try it out in low light yet, and will do so in my review. In case, face unlocking doesn’t work on some occasions or you aren’t comfortable using it, the only other way to unlock your phone is by using a passcode.
The phone has a 13-megapixel primary camera and 8-megapixel front camera. There’s no dual-camera setup here, but the front camera does come with AI-based tweaks for beautification and an intelligent bokeh effect. We tried this out and results were interesting considering it’s a single camera setup on an affordable device, but we’ll reserve further judgment for our review.
The Oppo A83 didn’t get too much attention on the internet at launch, and indeed is overshadowed by many online-first smartphones in the same price range when it comes to specifications. However, online sales still account for a minority of total sales in India, and offline continues to rule the industry. The Oppo A83 has that advantage on its side; it’s an affordable, good-looking, compact smartphone that you can buy and start using in the next hour, if you’re so inclined.
While there isn’t anything fancy here, it does have the advantage of a compact form factor, large 18:9 screen, dedicated dual-SIM and micro-SD slots and AI-tweaks for its front camera. We’ll be reviewing the Oppo A83 soon – stay tuned.