With Vivo and Meizu stocking up on budget-friendly offerings while ASUS remains quiet until the launch of its much-anticipated next-generation ZenFone series, it’s up to OPPO to step up its entry-level game.

The OPPO F1s and its upgraded version have been available for sometime now, and even though the F3 released just recently, the successor isn’t exactly kind to wallets.

That’s why we have the A series — the A57, to be precise. Valued at INR 14,990 in India and PhP 11,990 in the Philippines for the 32GB storage variant, this is positioned as the affordable choice without much compromise.

I’ll show you why:

A 5.2-inch HD screen covers the front

Not too sharp, but the brightness is adequate

There’s a fingerprint scanner on the capacitive home button

Sadly, the recent apps and back buttons don’t have backlighting

The back is made of hard plastic

You’d think it’s metal at first, though

An audio port, micro-USB port, and speaker cover the bottom

I just wish the newer USB-C standard was used here

Best part: It has a triple-card slot!

You can have two nano-SIM cards and a microSD at the same time

But how well does it perform?

While not exactly a powerhouse, the A57’s Snapdragon 435 processor is good enough for everyday tasks like going through your Gmail, browsing several tabs on Chrome, and operating the pre-installed camera app.

It’s only when I drop in heavy games like NBA 2K17 and Asphalt Xtreme when there’s slowdown. You’d think the 3GB of memory would be sufficient, but then I realized the graphics chip of the Snapdragon chipset isn’t much of a graphics pusher in the first place.

You also have to remember that OPPO’s customary ColorOS is around once again, layered on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Yes, that’s Google’s now two-year-old operating system. Because of that, you don’t get the latest memory optimization and app switching tricks from the newer Android versions.

Does it take nice photos?

Despite being marketed as the “Unstoppable Selfie,” the A57 doesn’t have any special front-camera features, like a front-firing LED flash or additional lens for wider photos. Still, the 16-megapixel selfies I got out of the A57 were impressive in most situations and angles.

The products of the 13-megapixel rear camera are decent, but not as impressive as the front’s. Although the images are clear and crisp, colors don’t pop even when HDR is turned on. But to its credit, locking on to subjects is quick and rarely failed me.

Can it last more than a day?

As mentioned earlier, a prominent disadvantage of the A57 is its use of an outdated version of Android. Not only does it make the phone more vulnerable to security breaches, but it can also drain the battery faster than on newer Android flavors because of the lack of battery-saving features.

And yet, the A57 managed to cast away my doubts. As long as I don’t play too many games and taper my mobile data usage, I can squeeze out more than a day of use with over four hours of screen-on time on a single charge. I just wish it had fast charging for its 2900mAh; I’ve gotten spoiled by the speedy charges of higher-end phones already.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

You wouldn’t consider the OPPO A57 an easy buy when you first see its price, considering how there are more affordable options out there with possibly better specifications. But what the A57 focuses on is bringing together an all-around package without skimping on features.

Another point of consideration is the increasing prices for OPPO’s upper-tier phones. The F3 costs significantly more than the F1s, and the R11 also raised its value in accordance with its more premium image.

So even though the A57 doesn’t fall below the 10,000 line for both India and the Philippines, every other OPPO handset is well above the 15,000 border. Those numbers improve the A57’s main selling point, which is maintaining that sweet spot for budget-conscious consumers.


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