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Is OPPO a good brand? We compared the best rated OPPO phones to competitors to find out

Avleen M.
Avleen M.Jun 17, 2020

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you might be daydreaming about splashing out on the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy model. However, the sad reality is that these phones can break the budget. Cue OPPO, a budget smartphone brand that offers handsets with a surprisingly sleek appearance and low price tag. But does this quiet contender in the smartphone game deliver happy customers after sales are made? To find out, we compared OPPO's best handsets under $800 with the competitors.

How much are OPPO phones?

While the Chinese tech company has traditionally been known for its budget models since its inception in 2012, OPPO phones span a wide range of price points. For example, OPPO’s cheapest phone is the AX5S, which retails as low as $199 and is part of OPPO’s entry level ‘A Series.’

There are also plenty of mid-range models available in OPPO’s Reno range, which is the company’s offering of innovative technology at an affordable price point. The OPPO Reno Z (the cheapest Reno model) retails for $499, while the higher-end Reno2 Z is around $549.

On the opposite end of the dollar spectrum you'll find OPPO's flagship smartphone, the Find X2 Pro. This phone will set you back $1,599, making it even more expensive than the iPhone11, which costs $1099.

How does OPPO fare against its smartphone competitors?

We've selected four OPPO smartphone models that have been highly rated either on ProductReview.com.au, or been popular picks of tech commentators and everyday phone users alike. By comparing them side by side with equivalent models* of better-known brands, we hope this can give you a better idea of the overall performance and quality of OPPO phones.

*Equivalent models have been chosen based on their similarity to OPPO models in terms of price and technical specifications.

Entry level - OPPO AX5 v Samsung A20

OPPO AX5Samsung A20
Review ComparisonOPPO AX5 Smartphone - $299Samsung A20 Smartphone - $279
Value for money
4.2
4.2
Ease of use
4.4
4.3
Battery life
4.6
4.3
Camera quality
3.9
4.1
Hardware
4.1
4.0
Software
3.8
4.1
ProductReview.com.au AwardsNoneAward Winner 2020
Tech Spec Comparison
FeatureOppo AX5Samsung A20
Operating SystemColorOS 5.1, based on Android v8.1 OreoAndroid v9 Pie
Screen size6.2"6. 4"
Screen resolution720 x 1520 pixels720 x 1560 pixels
Display technologyIPS LCDAMOLED
Rear Camera(s)Dual: 13MP and 2MP StandardDual: 13MP Wide, 5MP Ultrawide
Front Camera(s)8MP Standard8MP Standard
Internal Storage64 GB and expandable via microSD card32 GB and expandable via microSD card
Battery size4,230 mAh4,000 mAh
Memory (RAM)4 GB3 GB
Colour/FinishDiamond Blue, Diamond PinkBlack, Deep Blue, Red, Coral Orange, Gold
Weight168g169g

Summary

Overall, OPPO's AX5 scored more stars in reviews than the Galaxy A20 in every criteria except Camera Quality and Software, while tying on Value for Money at 4.2 Stars.

Plus points

  • Many users praised the phone's cheap price, at $299
  • The style of the phone was a favourite, including shape and design
  • Many reviewers enjoyed the simplicity of use
  • The outstanding battery life was worthy of note, and with due cause - the AX5's 4,230 mAh size battery lasts for up 17 hours, compared to the A20's 4,000 mAh, which lasts around 14 hours.

Minus points

  • Some users of the AX5 complained about their phones being unresponsive or 'laggy,' and that software updates were infrequent
  • The AX5's dual rear cameras are less advanced than Samsung's, as they're 13MP Standard and 2MP Standard compared to the A20'S 13MP Wide and 5MP Ultrawide rear cams. Since the rear cameras are those you'll use to take most 'serious' photos (front-facing cameras are mainly for selfies and video calls) this could be a little disppointing.
  • The OPPO model is only available in two colours, Diamond Blue and Diaamond Pink, compared to Samsung's selection of five finishes.

Mid-range smartphones - OPPO Reno Z v Huawei Nova 3i

OPPO Reno Z imgHuawei Nova 3i img
Review ComparisonOPPO Reno Z - $499Huawei Nova 3i - $399
Value for money
4.6
4.3
Ease of use
4.2
4.4
Battery life
4.5
4.5
Camera quality
4.6
4.1
Hardware
4.5
4.2
Software
4.0
3.9
Tech Spec Comparison
FeatureOPPO Reno ZHuawei Nova 3i
Operating SystemColorOS, based on Android v9EMUI 8.2, based on Android v8.1
Screen size6.4"6.3"
Screen resolution1080 x 2340 pixels1080 x 2340 pixels
Display technologyAMOLEDIPS LCD
Rear Camera(s)Dual: 48MP Wide, 5MP Depth SensorDual: 16 MP Standard, 2MP Standard
Front Camera(s)32MP Standard24MP Standard
Internal Storage128GB, not expandable128GB and expandable via microSD card
Battery size4,035 mAh3, 340 mAh
Memory (RAM)8 GB4 GB
Colour/FinishAurora Purple or Jet BlackIris Purple or Black
Weight186 g169 g

Summary

Overall, Oppo’s Reno Z scored higher than the Huawei Nova 3i on value for money, camera quality, hardware and software. It ranked equal with Huawei for its quality battery life, at 4.5 stars.

It's worthy of mention that over half of reviewers using the OPPO Reno Z awarded the smartphone 5 stars (17 out of 28 total reviews). Amongst the ranks of positive reviewers were phone users previously loyal to Samsung, who had switched over to OPPO with no regrets.

Plus Points

  • Excellent value for money was cited by many reviewers. More than one customer noted their ‘surprise’ at the phone’s overall performance – albeit a pleasant surprise, as they praised the phone’s functionality for its affordable price.
  • The Reno Z’s camera was an outstanding feature for many reviewers (especially when compared to reviews complaining of the relatively poor image quality of photos and videos taken by the Huawei Nova 3i).
  • Long battery life was appreciated, as the Reno Z's 4230 mAh battery life lasts about two days on a single charge, with moderate use.
  • Fast speed/processing times, thanks to an 8GB RAM (compared to 4GB RAM in the Huawei, despite both phones being $499)
  • Fast charge technology was appreciated by reviewers
  • 128 GB storage (also offered by the Huawei) was considered a good offering for the Reno Z’s price point

Minus Points

  • The low number of 1 and 2 star reviews of the Reno Z mentioned problems encountered when saving contacts, and an unfriendly user interface that was tricky to navigate.
  • Some comments referred to the absence of certain features but also acknowledged that these features are usually the domain of more expensive phones, e.g. wireless charging and waterproofing.
  • The Reno Z has no expandable storage despite it being a dual SIM phone, which means that you’re capped at 128 GB of storage. This is a downside when compared to the 256 GB of extra storage space offered by the Huawei Nova 3i and other phones in a similar price range, which have a micro SD card slot.

OPPO R17 v Google Pixel 3a

OPPO R17 imgGoogle Pixel 3a img
Review ComparisonOPPO R17 - $599Google Pixel 3a - $649
Value for money
3.9
4.6
Ease of use
4.0
4.6
Battery life
4.6
4.4
Camera quality
4.0
4.8
Hardware
4.1
4.1
Software
3.8
4.7
Tech Spec Comparison
FeatureOPPO R17Google Pixel 3a
Operating SystemColorOS 5.2.1, based on Android v8.1Android v9.0 Pie
Screen size6.4"5.6"
Screen resolution1080 x 2340 pixels1080 x 2220 pixels
Display technologyAMOLEDOLED
Rear Camera(s)Dual: 16MP Wide, 5MP StandardSingle: 12.2MP Wide
Front Camera(s)25MP Standard8MP Wide
Internal Storage128 GB, no expandable storage option64 GB, no expandable storage option
Battery size3,500 mAh3,000 mAh
Memory (RAM)6 GB4 GB
Colour/FinishRadiant Mist, Ambient Blue or Neon PurpleClearly White or Just Black
Weight182 g147 g

Summary

Despite the more dominant market presence of the Google Pixel 3a compared to OPPO’s R17 model, the two smartphones were competitive in their overall scores. The R17 received 4 stars out of 23 reviews, while the Google Pixel 3a achieved 4.1 stars from 17 reviews.

The Google Pixel 3a scored slightly higher than the OPPO R17 on all aspects of phone performance except battery life, for which OPPO received 4.6 stars. It’s worth remembering that the Google Pixel 3a is slightly pricier than the R17, however both models enjoyed a high overall score and many rave reviews.

Plus points:

  • Many OPPO R17 reviewers cited good quality photos they were happy with
  • There's more internal storage (128GB) in the R17 wen compared to the Google Pixel 3a (64GB), despite the 3a being more expensive. This is particularly important as neither phone features an expandable storage option via SD card.
  • Fast charging times and long-lasting battery life were applauded
  • The R17’s build quality was praised by its users, who called it a robust phone
  • A number of reviewers concluded that the OPPO R17 was much better than their old Samsung model

Minus points:

  • While most R17 phone users were satisfied with their camera, many Google Pixel 3a reviewers raved about theirs. While the R17’s dual rear cameras are technically better than the Pixel’s single 12.2MP wide camera, Google’s camera software (in particular, its auto-focus with dual-pixel phase detection) delivers high quality, crisp photos.
  • Some R17 users experienced a few problems after software updates were installed, such as the inclusion of unwanted functions and having their previous phone preferences erased.
  • Software updates were made available less frequently than other smartphones. The R17 uses the ColorOS 5.2.1 Operating System, based on Android 8.1, whereas the Google Pixel 3a currently uses the Android 9.0 Pie OS.

OPPO Find X2 Lite v Apple iPhone SE 2020

OPPO's new offering, the Find X2 Lite, is the entry level model in OPPO's premium range, the Find X2 Series. The company's aim is to make a version of its flagship model, the Find X2 Pro, that's more affordable. The iPhone SE 2020 is similarly marketed as Apple's budget smartphone, although $749 is its cheapest variant (models with more internal memory will be more expensive).

Currently reviews on the Find X2 Lite and iPhone SE are limited, due to the recent release of both models. However, by comparing specs, we can get an idea of how the pair compare on paper. Spoiler alert: The OPPO Find X2 Lite has much to offer, even compared to an iPhone.

Tech Spec Comparison
FeatureFind X2 Lite ($749)iPhone SE ($749)
Operating SystemColorOS 7, based on Android v10iOS 13
Screen size6.4"4.7"
Screen resolution2400 x 1080 pixels1334 x 750 pixels
Display technologyAMOLEDIPS LCD
Rear Camera(s)Quad: 48MP, 8MP, 2MP, 2MPSingle: 12.2MP Wide
Front Camera(s)32MP Standard7MP Standard
Internal Storage128 GB, no expandable storage option64 GB, no expandable storage option
Battery size4,025 mAh1,821 mAh
Memory (RAM)8 GB3 GB
Colour/FinishMoonlight Black or Pearl WhiteBlack, White or Red
Weight180 g148 g

Plus points

  • Internal storage: While neither phone has an expandable storage option, the OPPO Find X2 Lite offers more value for money in this aspect. Its single 128GB model sells for $749, whereas the iPhone SE model selling for $749 only offers 64 GB storage. If you want more internal storage, you’ll have to move up a price point to the iPhone SE with 128 GB, which costs roughly $829.
  • Battery life: The OPPO Find X2 Pro undecidely takes the medal for better battery life with its 4,035 mAh battery, compared to Apple's 1, 821 mAh battery. After charging, the OPPO Find X2 Lite should last a minimum of one day with heavy usage, or a day and a half with moderate usage. Both phones have fast charging capabilities, going from 0% to 100% battery in one hour.
  • Cameras: Technically the OPPO’s cameras appear better than the iPhone SE's. Both smartphones have single front cameras (or ‘selfie cameras’). OPPO’s front camera is 32MP, whereas Apple’s is 7MP. OPPO also has four rear or ‘main cameras’ (48MP, 8MP, and 2x 2MP), whereas the iPhone SE has a single rear 12MP camera. The Find X2's pixel density is also higher, with 408 pixels per inch, compared to the iPhone SE's 326 ppi - leading to more detailed images. Both smartphones make use of camera software such as Portrait Mode, Night Mode, and lighting effects.
  • Memory (RAM): OPPO's 8 GB of RAM is a much more generous offering than Apple's 3 GB of RAM. Affecting the short-term memory of a smartphone, more RAM lets you open and run apps faster and more smoothly. Most mid-range smartphones available at a cheaper price point have at least 3 GB of RAM.
  • 5G Connectivity: The Find X2 Lite is currently the cheapest smartphone on the market with 5G connectivity. By comparison, the iPhone SE 2020, like all iPhones, doesn't have 5G capability.

Minus points

  • It's worth noting that while the OPPO Find X2 Lite's amount of RAM is higher, Apple relies heavily on its effective A13 Bionic Chip as its CPU (Core Processing Unit). This is the same chip used in the Apple's flagship smartphone, the iPhone 11 Pro, and is marketed as Apple's 'most powerful chip.' As a smartphone's processor are its brains and will work together with its RAM, this improves the iPhone's smooth running considerably, despite its low 3 GB of RAM.
  • Depending on your preferences, you may find the Find X2 Lite's larger screen size and weight too big and bulky compared to the iPhone SE. To be fair though, OPPO's unit houses a much larger battery, which helps account for its 180g weight compared to Apple's 148g.

Conclusion

While OPPO is a budget phone company, according to its phone specs and OPPO phone reviews, it certainly doesn’t compromise on quality. New OPPO phone users are pleasantly surprised at the overall performance and endurance of their smartphones, especially considering how affordable they are compared to more popular phone brands. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone and would rather not have your wallet drastically slimmed down, a new OPPO phone could be the perfect choice for you.

Ratings, review data and technical specifications in this article are accurate as at June 17th 2020.