It seems like there is a lot more diversity in the smartphone market these days. I’ll admit, I haven’t been on the smartphone scene for very long (2015 will mark my second year in the industry), but it just seems like there are a lot more options now than when smartphones first came out. This is to be expected. As markets grow, so too will the diversity of products. But it never ceases to amaze me the wide variety of options smartphone users have, particularly for international phones. The Oppo R5 is one of those options. Made by a Chinese electronics manufacturer known for MP3 players and HDTVs, the company has recently turned its focus onto mobile phones. Is the Oppo R5 a phone that can compete on the current market? Or will lackluster specs and iffy software hold it back from being a major competitor?
OPPO R5 – DESIGN AND FEATURES
If the Oppo R5 is anything, it is beautiful. It has a full metal body that is sleek and elegant to look at. It is also incredibly thin. In fact, according to Phandroid, it is the thinnest smartphone in the world. This makes the Oppo R5 immediately comparable to the iPhone 6, and the resemblance is pretty clear. The biggest difference between the Oppo R5 and the iPhone 6 (besides the fact that the R5 is an Android device) is the screen size. While the iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch display, the Oppo R5 sports a nice 5.2 inch display. Despite being bigger, the resolution of the display isn’t that much different, and is actually comparable to the iPhone 6. All in all, it is a pretty impressive build from an aesthetic perspective. It is only missing one thing… the audio jack. The Oppo R5 doesn’t have an audio jack at all, which means the only headset that could be connected to it is a Bluetooth headset. That isn’t necessarily a huge deal, since most people use Bluetooth these days, but it does screw over those dedicated wired headphone users.
The Oppo R5 runs on Android 4.4. KitKat, which makes it yet another Android phone without Lollipop pre-installed. Not that it matters, because the Android OS is primarily overpowered by Oppo’s custom Color OS UI. I still prefer a pure Android experience, but the ColorOS does have some cool features, including a cool gesture panel. From this panel, users can activate certain features by drawing shapes such as a “V” for the flashlight or “O” for the camera. It is a nifty feature that somewhat justifies the adjusted software.
THE OPPO R5 SPEC SHEET
While the Oppo R5 looks very nice, it begins to lose points when looking into its internal works. After some standard benchmark tests, it runs at expected capacity. It is better than all budget phones, but falls short of premium phones. This is to be expected from a mid-range phone, but it is still disappointing. Despite being powered by an Octocore processor, it still lags and is often times unresponsive. It could be that the processor just isn’t enough to power the phone, but it is more than likely an error with the software.
The camera on the Oppo R5 is pretty decent, though. At 13 MP, it is comparable to high end phones, and even beats out some premium phones such as the iPhone 6. The quality of the images ranges based on lighting, and the various modes do little to affect the quality of the picture. However, these don’t stop it from being a decent camera. It is far better than some smartphone cameras out there.
The batter life on the Oppo R5 is typical, but it borders on the poor side. With average use, the phone will last seven to eight hours, which is a bit on the low side. But, given the cost of the phone, a heavy duty battery isn’t a total necessity. It is forgivable to have a less than premium battery in a less than premium phone, which is what the Oppo R5 is.
The Oppo R5 is an absolutely beautiful phone, and it is the thinnest smartphone in the world. However, that beauty is only skin deep on this device. Beneath the surface lies so-so specs, and a software that is buggy and unresponsive, despite having some cool features. In the end, people may enjoy it if they are looking for a good looking phone that is different from the major brands. But for those who desire functionality or fashion, they may do better seeking other options. There are lots of them out there.