Oppo R5 Review
A mediocre microphone and a sub-par earpiece
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.
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.
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.
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.