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A surprisingly successful middle-class. Oppo A72 - review

Usually, when we recommend smartphones up to PLN 1000-1200, Xiaomi, former Huawei, maybe Motorola dominate the lists. Now this wildly popular segment has a new contender to the throne. What is the Oppo A72?

After two weeks with Oppo A72, I can say that it has definitely more advantages than disadvantages. If so, let's start with the latter to put the complaints aside and move on to the positives.

Oppo A72 - what went wrong?

The element that failed the most in Oppo A72 is the display. On paper, the IPS panel with a diagonal of 6.5 "and a resolution of 2400 x 1080 px seems perfectly fine, but in real life it is significantly different from what Xiaomi or Motorola offers at a similar price. The colors are a bit washed out, the viewing angles are below average, and the smartphone is either completely devoid of the oleophobic layer, or it is extremely thin, as the screen immediately starts to smear and collect fingerprints. As a consolation - the screen is very bright, so it will not be a problem to operate in direct sunlight.

Another unsuccessful element is the optimization of the software for operation with a weaker processor. While Color OS 7.1 does not have the slightest liquidity problem on the more expensive Oppo Reno 3 and 3 Pro, it happens to catch hiccups on the Oppo A72. The specification of the phone is quite solid: Snapdragon 665, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB of data space are standard on this price shelf. However, the original Oppo overlay is too heavy to guarantee the perfect smoothness of operation with this configuration. There are some clipping, and the slide-out shortcuts bar has a tendency to hang in the middle of the screen when we hold the phone horizontally.

The third minus is the vibration motor. For someone who has the phone permanently muted or uses haptics while typing, using the Oppo A72 can be a very unpleasant experience. The vibrations are just awful.

But that's the end of complaining. Everything else Oppo A72 does surprisingly well.

Let's start with what the phone looks like and how it lies in the hand. And it lies and looks great. The case is plastic, which is to be expected from a phone in this class, but I can't take that as a disadvantage - at least you don't have to worry about a grain of sand in your pocket scratching your backs like you do with many other phones. Oppo A72 is also very solid and feels much more expensive to the touch than it really is. With a weight of 192 g, you can feel it in your hand, but both the weight and the large dimensions (162 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm) you can get used to.

It also looks beautiful, and the casing has been made in such a way as to refract the light that comes out. Blue, as in the tested specimen, would not be my first choice, but the black and purple variants look - I don't hesitate to say that - spectacular for this price range.

I am very pleased that the manufacturer did not try to force the fingerprint reader under the display, but placed it on the edge, on the screen lock button. It is a very convenient place that makes it easy to unlock the phone both when we hold it in our hand and when it is lying on the counter. The reader works quickly and without any problems, as well as face recognition, which, however, due to lower security, I do not recommend it.

Although the software has the hiccups mentioned at the beginning occasionally, it doesn't bother you as much on a daily basis as you might expect. Delicate "jerks" on this price shelf are acceptable, and apart from them, the Oppo A72 is really great for everyday use. There are no problems with coverage, the quality of connections is exemplary, and the screen - although not the best - is enough for normal Internet and social media browsing.

While the mentioned screen is so-so, the speakers flanking it are already a class higher. Oppo A72 as one of the few models in this segment offers stereo speakers and although they may not sound the most beautiful, they sound loud, clear and better than any smartphone from this shelf, equipped with only one speaker. There is also a headphone jack here, although its sound is at best average.

The working time on a single charge is above average. Although Color OS is not the best optimized overlay in the sun, I was able to regularly squeeze two days of normal use from the Oppo A72, and with a lot of reserve. 5000 mAh really does the job. I think that people who use a smartphone more sparingly will be able to squeeze even 2.5-3 days from it without charging.

Let's talk about cameras.

Or maybe rather about the "camera" because, to be honest, only the main sensor is worth talking about at all. The rest - as in most "middle-class" people - exist only to charm in marketing materials.

In practice, only the main sensor with a resolution of 48 Mpix takes good photos for this segment, of course. This quality is sufficient for the vast majority of users who view their photos only on a smartphone and share them only on Facebook or Instagram.

#Wegepropaganda - it's not meat at all 😉

An 8 Mpix camera with an ultrawide lens also defends itself in perfect lighting conditions, but it must be noted that it records very little detail. The software tries to compensate for this by sharpening and unfortunately the final effect is not the best.

We also have a digital zoom here, hidden in the camera application under the 2X and 5X modes. While the 2X mode works fine, because at 48 Mpix you can really zoom in twice, so zooming five times results in a picture that looks more like a screenshot from Minecraft than a photo.

I was also very surprised by the night mode, which ... is there, but as if it wasn't there.

Take a look at these two photos and try to guess which one was taken with the night mode.

Now for these. I did one in normal mode, the other in night mode.

Amazingly, I captured the brighter frames in the normal mode, and the darker ones are the night mode, which uses a longer exposure time. In the night mode, you can also observe a fairly significant crop of the image, probably used to ensure that digital stabilization could stabilize the shot during a long exposure time. The only thing that can be said good about the night mode is the fact that the photo is much less noisy. However, instead of extracting details from shadows and x-rays, the night mode in Oppo A72 seems to soften them, making its presence completely meaningless.

Is it worth buying Oppo A72?

Despite a few disadvantages and a camera only suitable for photos in perfect lighting conditions, I think it's worth it. Stereo speakers, two days of work without charging, NFC for contactless payments and an elegant housing are sufficient arguments to reach for this smartphone.

Oppo A72 is also very interestingly priced. PLN 200 more than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 equipped with a very average processor and Motorola Moto G8 Power devoid of NFC, but PLN 200 less than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro, which could chase his cat if it cost the same money. We can buy Redmi Note 9S for PLN 1099, but it also does not have NFC, and for many consumers it is one of the key functions in the phone.

Oppo apparently drew conclusions from the sale of previous generations of medium-sized vehicles and understood that in this segment even the smallest savings can tip the scales in favor of a cheaper device. Oppo A72 fits perfectly into the mid-shelf landscape on our market and at the same time is a very interesting alternative to the most popular models. It's definitely worth giving him a chance.

A surprisingly successful middle-class. Oppo A72 - review


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