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!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Sport AT
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Internet Security
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Tivoli PAL BT
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- PCWorld's January Digital Magazine: Snapdragon rising
- Microsoft separates Cortana from search in new Windows 10 preview build
- Jabra amplify enterprise offering with new Evolve 65t earbuds
- Fnatic and OnePlus announce global esports partnership
- Intel kills Optane 'Core+' desktop processor bundles as 3D XPoint venture dissolves
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
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.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- 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