Two months into the new year, we’ve already seen a series of smartphone releases across all categories. With many more releases to follow in the coming months, consumers will certainly be spoilt for choice. Last month, Oppo launched the A78 5G at the price of Rs 18,999. At this price point, the A78 faces stiff competition from the recently launched Redmi Note 12, among several other budget smartphones. So, how does Oppo’s latest offering fare against other smartphones in its category? We used the smartphone for a week and may have some answers for you. Here is our in-depth Oppo A78 5G review.
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Oppo A78 5G review: Design and Display
Unboxing the rectangular packaging you will find the A78 handset, a clear plastic case, a SIM ejector tool, a safety guide, a quick start guide, a 33W power adapter, and a USB Type-C charging cable. Currently, the A78 5G is available in a single variant of 8+128GB and two colour options – Glowing Black and Glowing Blue. We used the latter for this review.
Talking about the design, Oppo hasn’t tried anything extravagant with the A78, keeping things rather simple. The back panel gets a matte finish which works well to provide much-needed premium texture to the plastic back. The dual camera cutouts house a primary 50MP lens and a 2MP depth sensor and LED flash. It is surrounded by a glossy finish which covers two-thirds of the length of the phone. This camera cutout drives the personality of the smartphone and keeps it from being just another milquetoast device in this category.
While the back panel carries forward the signature Oppo design, the front display is bang-average. The waterdrop notch on the display seems dated and isn’t something you like to see on a smartphone that costs almost Rs 20,000. The 6.56-inch IPS LCD display has a refresh rate of 90Hz, which is below the 120Hz standard in this price range. Perhaps, the A78 could have benefited from an AMOLED display as well. The bezels surrounding the display grow in size around the chin, and the smartphone has a screen-to-body ratio of 84%.
The 720 x 1612p resolution is also something that works against the A78 in comparison to its rivals. A basic 1080p display resolution would have been ideal here. There’s a main speaker at the bottom and the call speaker at the top doubles as a stereo speaker. We played content across various OTT platforms like Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, and Sony LIV, and the smartphone pulled a satisfactory performance despite its 720p display. Peak brightness of 600 nits ensures that the display is legible even in direct sunlight.
The power button is housed on the right side of the frame and also doubles up as the fingerprint reader. The volume rocker keys and SIM tray are placed on the left side of the frame. At the bottom, you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, USB Type-C charging port, and speaker grille. The top frame has been left empty. The fingerprint sensor is pretty quick and the phone unlocks at a lightning-fast speed.
Oppo A78 5G review: Performance and Cameras
Powering the Oppo A78 is the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC along with Mali G57 GPU. The smartphone comes with Android 13 out of the box which is skinned with ColorOS 13. As mentioned earlier, the A78 is available in a single variant which offers 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The microSD slot on the hybrid SIM tray allows memory expansion up to 1TB. The OS comes with a lot of bloatware which is something you should expect from smartphones in this price category.
The software experience provided by ColorOS is decent, leaving not much to complain about. The interface doesn’t take much time to get used to. Features like 3-finger split screen mode, flexible windows, kid space, and smart sidebar make the smartphone very accessible. The haptic triggers seem a bit off and could have been a bit sharper.
In terms of performance, the Oppo A78 5G carries out a decent job. The fluid display provides a satisfying scrolling experience. Even with multiple apps running in the background, the processor does not compromise any speed. While new smartphones rarely ever disappoint in this regard, a better assessment of the lags and loading speeds is done over a large interval of time.
We played a bunch of different games on the Oppo A78 5G. While the smartphone easily handled lighter games like Garena Free Fire Max, we did experience some lags and frame drops while playing Apex Legends. The touch controls weren’t as smooth as we would have liked, and the smartphone would have benefited from a 120Hz refresh rate. That said, the phone did a good job at dissipating the heat, as we did not experience any uncomfortable overheating even after an hour of gaming.
One of the better features of the phone was the Game Toolbar which can be accessed by swiping from the left of the screen. You can view the internal temperature of the smartphone along with other essential information here. The toolbar is also integrated with Discord and other IMs and comes with helpful tools like screen recorder, voice changer, and more. We ran a CPU benchmark on the Oppo A78 using Geekbench 5, and the smartphone achieved a single-core score of 563 points and a multi-core score of 1694 points.
The Oppo A78 comes with a 33W fast charger and gets a 5,00mAh battery which easily lasts for a day, even after heavy usage. After a typical day that included constant WhatsApp usage, two to three hours of social media browsing, an hour of gaming, and another two hours of watching video content, we found ourselves ending the day with at least 20% charge left to spare. The smartphone can be fully charged in just over an hour while reaching a 50% charge takes just half an hour.
Moving on, the Oppo A78 features a dual-camera setup which includes a 50MP primary shooter and a 2MP depth sensor. The ultrawide lens is noticeably absent. We played around with the camera in different lighting situations and the results were quite satisfactory.
In optimum daylight, the Oppo A78 managed to capture a good amount of detail in the images. The colours weren’t as vibrant as we would have liked but the overall composition was pretty good. The colour tone of the images was on the cooler side. Low lighting conditions highlight the flaws of the colour profile as the photos seem a bit faded out. The images taken at night came out very grainy and the Night Mode came in pretty handy in fixing that. The Portrait Mode does a decent job of edge detecting and takes good pictures.
The 8MP selfie camera tends to overcorrect the images. In low light, your selfies may lack the sharpness you want out of them. In well-lit daylight conditions, the results were far better. Both front and rear cameras can record 1080p videos at a frame rate of 30fps. The camera app also offers other options like Pro mode, Extra HD mode, Panoramic shot, Slo-Mo shot, Timelapse, and more.
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At Rs 18,999 the Oppo A78 5G is a decent smartphone if you’re looking for a device with great battery life, good performance, and a nice design. However, the LCD display with thick bezels and a waterdrop notch for the front camera seems pretty dated in this category. While it is still a good phone to watch content on, we would have preferred a 1080p display.
Good looking back panel
Thick bezels and waterdrop notch on the display
Lacking 1080p resolution
No ultrawide lens
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