Oppo R5 Review

Call Quality

A mediocre microphone and a sub-par earpiece

In-call, we had a bit of a hard time understanding what the other side is saying – the volume was lower than desired, the voices sounded digitized, and the lack of depth and mid-range hump was, again, present in the sound. The audio was not unbearable, though, if one tends to spend a lot of time in phone calls, they would most likely not be pleased with this handset.

The other side had a better time than us, as the R5's microphone tends to send a loud audio signal; even though it is still muffled and inarticulate – it's more easily understandable than what's coming in from the earpiece.

Battery Life

The thin profile takes its toll

Having a thin phone is great and all, but a lot of users would agree that the compromise in battery size makes for a bad trade-off. In this case, we are on the fence, as the R5's 2,000 mAh juicer managed to last 5 hours and 8 minutes in our battery life test – quite an impressive feat, since the juicebox has to power a 5.2”, 1080p display, but still – lacking way behind other premium Android handsets.

There is also Oppo's VOOC tech – a technology, which uses a 4.5 A charger, and a circuitry inside the smartphone, which protects the battery from damage. So, the Oppo R5 charges up from 0% to 75% in about 30 minutes, while going to the full 100% will take around 73 minutes, as the last 10% of battery take quite a while to fill up. Super-fast charging is great, though, it doesn't really make up for a mediocre battery life – we doubt purchasing the thinnest smartphone in the world, only to have to lug around its bulky charger, is what users have in mind.

Our real-life experience with the device shows that, with casual use, it can last one through the day. It manages to hold its charge very well in standby mode, and if it's used for the sporadic phonecall / e-mail check / chat / picture share, it will not leave its owner high and dry. Additionally, Oppo has included two tiers of power saving to help users out when in a tight spot and low on power.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
OPPO R5 5h 8 min (Poor)
HTC Desire 820 6h 49 min (Average)
Xiaomi Mi 4 8h 32 min (Good)
Apple iPhone 6 5h 22 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
OPPO R5 73
HTC Desire 820 179
Xiaomi Mi 4 126
Apple iPhone 6 147

Conclusion


A very elegant handset with a sizable display to boot – the R5 seems to be for casual users, who prefer their smartphone to be a modestly used tech accessory, rather than a tool for long surfing and gaming sessions. Physically, the device provides a very pleasing experience when used, while the user interface could do with just a few minor tweaks – snappier menu scrolling being at the top of the list. A good camera, paired with an adequate and comfortable to use shooting app, and a well-performing SoC under the hood round off the package.

If a super-thin phone is what you are looking for, then the R5 is a good option, but be wary of the tradeoffs – sub-par audio quality, a battery that doesn't agree with heavy usage, low internal storage with no option to expand. If you wish to check out other svelte choices – take a look at the Gionee Elife S5.5 (rebranded as BLU Vivo IV in the US), though, we believe that the R5 is a few steps ahead.

If you are willing to go up a notch in thickness, you could take a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A5, which also promises a premium design in a 0.26” profile, a 13 / 5 MP camera combo, and the new Samsung Themes customization options.

We also can't help but think of the R5 as a competitor to the iPhone 6, aiming to beat Apple at its own game of “going thinner”. Well, if that's the case, Oppo may have just hit the nail on the head – the device is indeed thinner than the iPhone and has an equally poor battery life, but for its going price – we can't say that it's a better choice than the iOS-bearing flagship.


Pros

  • Super-slim
  • Elegant design and sturdy body

Cons

  • Battery life is below the norm
  • Loudspeaker lacks volume and depth
  • Call quality could be better
  • Lack of a 3.5mm audio jack makes replacing the headset an inconvenience
  • An overly inaccurate, bluish display

PhoneArena Rating:

6.5

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