Oppo R5 Review
Interface and Functionality
Oppo's ColorOS is a good-looking and functional take on Android
The Oppo R5 comes loaded with Android 4.4.4, heavily skinned to become what the company calls "ColorOS" – a simplified interface that does away with the app drawer, adds customizable gesture controls, themes, and a few other small, but useful functions. Users of the Find 7, Find 7a, N1, or N3 who have used ColorOS v2.0.1i will instantly feel at home, while others will have to traverse only a minor learning curve. On the R5, the software does not stutter or exhibit huge hangups, but there is an ever-present and very minor delay when scrolling through home screens – it doesn't feel as if the hardware is having a hard time drawing, though, so we wonder whether Oppo went a bit over the top with trying to make the animations feel buttery smooth, and accidentally overdone them to feel sluggish. That being said, users will enjoy scrolling around, though, those coming from snappier interfaces will need a little time to adapt and not feel constantly annoyed.
The gesture controls include the well-familiar double-tap to wake, but barely end there. When the screen is off, the user has a choice to draw a circle, which will open the camera app, or draw a V-shape, which starts up the flashlight. Swiping downwards with two fingers will play / pause music playback, and drawing a > or < shapes will skip to the next or previous song, respectively.
Once the display is on, the user can control volume, by swiping up or down with two fingers. Swiping with three fingers will snap a screenshot. If these are not enough, one can call up a gesture board by pulling up from the bottom of the screen. Here, the user can draw the "O" or "V" gestures for camera / flashlight, or enter the Settings and create their own gesture commands for a select group of predetermined functions or apps.
In our experience, gesture app-launching was generally slower and more unreliable than just scrolling to the needed app and tapping its icon, but we did enjoy using the touch-controlled music playback, volume set, and screenshot features.
Processor and Memory
One of the first smartphones to come with a 64-bit Snapdragon
Not only is the Oppo R5 one of the thinnest smartphones in the world, it's also one of the first to come with an octa-core, 64-bit, Qualcomm-made SoC on board, ready to enter the Android Lollipop era with full force (and we are assuming that Oppo will update its newest devices to the new OS, sooner or later). Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 615 in February, 2014, and this is our second taste of the new SoC (the first one being HTC's Desire 820).
The 600 series is usually where the upper mid-range class of Qualcomm-made processors resides, and for what it is – we are more than pleased with the SD 615's performance. Web browsing is a breeze and 3D games run smoothly, even on the highest setting. The SoC is paired with 2 gigabytes of RAM, which is now the norm for a phone that takes itself seriously, and we had a hard time making the device exhibit a hiccup.
The R5 does tend to get hot, though, this is expectable with its slim body. Oppo has said that it's used materials that dissipate heat faster and “radically improve thermal efficiency”. Still, we'd keep a watchful eye on any signs of overheating and avoid over-stressing the device (using it while charging, for instance).
Unfortunately, the phone's size shows to be a hindrance yet again, as Oppo only fitted it with 16 GB of internal storage, 4.5 of which are taken by the OS, and there is no slot for an external memory card.
Internet and Connectivity
A buttery-smooth performance and a crisp screen make browsing a pleasure
As previously mentioned, the screen wields a very dense pixel-per-inch ratio, which makes even the finest of details crisp and clear. This is, of course, great for web browsing, and is aided by a smooth performance with minor stutters, which appear on heavy web pages. There is no proprietary browser – Oppo offers Google's Chrome out of the box, knowing that this would be enough for most users.
The R5 is LTE-capable, for your fast data-downloading needs, has Bluetooth 4.0,aGPS , and 802.11 b/g/n/a Wi-Fi; somewhat regrettably – no NFC.