Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
This cheap Android smartphone is a mid-range winner.
- Decent at everything
- Instantaneous fingerprint reader
- Low-res screen
- Audio on video
This is a great mid-range phone and yet it's one of the cheapest we've ever tested.
Price$ 328.00 (AUD)
Last year Moto’s G4 Plus and Oppo’s F1s battled it out for the best value phone crown. Both were great-value phones but they had their weaknesses. We recently reviewed Moto’s subsequent G5 Plus and found it to have no weaknesses at all – a sign that 2017’s budget phones had reached a point where the question had to be posed, “Why pay more?” Now here’s Oppo’s successor to the F1s, strangely called the A57. Once again, it offers features that we’d expect in a much more expensive phone and yet it’s one of the cheapest modern smartphones we’ve ever reviewed. Does it make the G5 Plus look expensive? Let’s find out.
5.2in, 720 x 1280 LCD screen, 3GB/32GB RAM, 1.4GHz Octa-core Snapdragon 435 CPU, Adreno 505 GPU, 13MP rear and 16MP front cameras, microSD or single SIM, Micro USB, Android 6, 2900mAh battery, 149 x 73 x 8mm, 147g. Full specs here.
Design and handling
While it’s not as thin as Oppo’s svelte R9s flagship phone, the 5.2-inch A57 isn’t chunky at 8mm and its similar livery of matte black with a silvered logo belies the fact that this is a very cheap phone (in this market). As usual, Oppo supplies a clear, silicon case which offers decent protection and makes it easier to grip.
[Related: Oppo A57 Unboxing, Detail Shots and Gallery]
Also as usual, the fingerprint reader at the bottom of the screen is almost-magically instantaneous. It will unlock the phone no matter what angle you rest your finger on it and, in this respect, is noticeable more convenient than all of the biometric options provided by the recent Samsung Galaxy S8. The reader also doubles as a responsive home button and in this respect offers a better use of space than Motorola’s competitors.
Oppo is raving about the inclusion of an octa-core processor with the A57 along with 3GB RAM. It’s not the fastest octa-core (1.4GHz in a market where most top phones are around 2GHz) but we still found that most general-usage apps started up and functioned without any delay. Playing games didn’t faze it either with the likes of Angry Birds and Pokemon Go happily ticking along without dropping frames.
The screen is adequately bright but has comparatively low resolution for a smartphone at just 1280 x 720. This doesn’t make it hard to operate and frankly, casual users probably wouldn’t notice unless you told them. Pictures and videos can look a bit pixelated (but mainly when zoomed in). Don't expect VR apps to look any good on it. It doesn’t make the phone unusable by any stretch. Colours aren’t the most vibrant either but at least the screen gets bright.
Oppo’s Colour OS software sits on top of Android version 6. We’re actually fans of this. It’s not as intrusive as it used to be and the power-saving features (and SMS message backup) can make a difference. There’s little else there (beyond various gesture-based shortcuts) that can’t be mimicked by Android itself or third-party apps, but again, for casual users, it’s harmless and adds more than it takes away.
All in all, it’s comfortable to use and fast enough for most tasks we threw at it.
In terms of audio, there’s one speaker at the base (as with many phones). There’s very little bass response (there rarely is) but treble at least remains distinct. The speaker doesn’t get very loud for multimedia or voice calls though.
Next: Camera, Battery Life and Conclusion
Join the newsletter!
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- PCWorld's August Digital Magazine: Intel Kaby Lake G review
- Intel rolls out NUC mini-PCs with 10nm 'Cannon Lake' CPUs and AMD Radeon graphics
- Microsoft's Core i5 Surface Laptop is $699 at Amazon, a $300 discount
- Steam may get tools to play Windows games on Linux and Mac, code deep-dive finds
- Newegg's selling a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti with MSI's potent custom cooler for $70 off
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies