OPPO‘s newest smartphone is not about selfies. That’s not a typo; this new budget phone is not concerned about vanity, but rather, design and performance. It’s also one of the cheapest OPPO phones in the market, so will it make the cut?

In this review, we’ll be going through the OPPO A71. Before we dive into the phone, let’s take a look at its physique.

The A71 has a generic front with a 5.2-inch HD display

It has three capacitive buttons for navigation

The back is pretty sleek, though!

Unibody design with a nice matte finish

There’s a 3.5mm jack on top…

You gotta have this or else…

And a micro-USB port at the bottom

Even your old charger is still compatible

Most importantly… triple-card slot!

Two nano-SIM and a microSD card

Cheapest OPPO phone to come out recently, but there’s a catch…

For the past few months, OPPO phones have always been about selfies. The company claims each phone to be a “selfie expert,” which combines a high-resolution front sensor and software beautification; however, the A71 isn’t advertised as a selfie phone. The phone is focused on speed and power, according to OPPO. Don’t expect it to be the most powerful though, because it sits in the budget segment of devices.

To get the specs out of the way, it’s powered by the popular MediaTek 6750 processor (same processor found on the more expensive F3 model) paired with 3GB of memory and 16GB of storage. This combination is already more than enough to run most apps on the Play Store and give a hiccup-free user experience. The storage is on the low-side; good thing you get a dedicated microSD card slot.

When put to the test, the phone didn’t have a hard time. A quick stress test of opening and switching apps is nothing for the A71. When it comes to gaming, it’s a mixed bag. With an aging processor and graphics unit, the phone can smoothly handle quality titles like NBA 2K17 in low to medium settings only.

Android Nougat with an iOS-like interface

OPPO is known for pre-loading their phones with outdated Android versions, which is why having Nougat onboard out of the box is a relief. As to when it’ll have the major update to Oreo? We don’t know.

Although, you don’t necessarily need the latest Android version on an OPPO, because the interface is far from stock and more iOS-like, from the set of icons and gestures to overall design. If that’s a good or a bad thing will depend on your preference.

Lower-resolution selfies, but not as bad as others

There’s nothing special about the cameras of the OPPO A71. The rear has a standard 13-megapixel shooter accompanied by an LED flash, while the front only has a 5-megapixel selfie camera. It’s quite unusual to have a lower megapixel count on the front of an OPPO phone, but that’s part of the budget cut of the A71.

The rear camera captures good images in bright environments. As always, the sun is the best light source for better mobile photography. Same thing goes for the front camera; even at just 5 megapixels, our selfies turned out better than we expected. We’re already spoiled with all the selfie phones, but this is not bad at all. The front has a somewhat wide lens, making group selfies possible.

Longevity is a nice feature

Complementing the speedy processor (for its price) is a 3000mAh battery. Considering the size of the phone, it’s a sizable capacity. Too bad it’s not removable. though.

As a daily driver, the A71 can last you the whole day. Despite not having a power-efficient chipset, we’re surprised it was able to give an average of about 8 hours of moderate usage.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a phone from OPPO and on a tight budget, the A71 might attract you; however, it’s not the “selfie expert” phone you may be expecting. To be fair, it’s promoted as a budget phone with great speed. Our fondness of the A71 is not about its performance, but with the design. We prefer its sleek matte back over the more expensive F3 and F3 Plus.

With a retail price of PhP 8,990 in the Philippines, it’s one of the cheapest OPPO phones currently in the market. As for the catch, it’s missing a high-resolution selfie camera and fingerprint scanner.

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