Oppo Neo 5 review: $219 buys a whole lot of phone
The cheapest 4G smartphone in Australia reviewed
- Better than expected camera
- Low resolution screen
- 4GB of internal storage
- Outdated OS
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
Hype surrounded Kogan’s Agora 4G in August. Kogan touted it was the cheapest smartphone with 4G Internet money could buy in Australia.
One month later and the Agora 4G was knocked clean off its mantle by Australian newcomer Oppo. The Chinese smartphone company soft launched in early September by selling a variety of smartphones on its website.
Good Gear Guide reviewed the Oppo Find 7 immediately following the launch. Now we’ve gone hard to the other end of the spectrum with the Oppo Neo 5, which at $219, remains the cheapest 4G smartphone in Australia.
Who makes the better “cheapest 4G smartphone”?
Every now and then we cross paths with a budget smartphone built well enough to replace the flagships from Apple and Samsung. Motorola’s Moto G and Nokia’s Lumia 635 comes to mind first. The Oppo Neo 5 doesn’t make this list.
Whereas those smartphone feel like great value, the constraints of the Neo 5’s low price tag grossly stand out. Glittered plastic accounts for most of its body and the screen does little to elevate the experience. Its 4.5in screen just isn’t sharp enough with a 480x854 resolution and a low 218 pixels-per-inch.
Poor screens can either make or break a deal. Kogan’s Agora 4G, which sells for $229, uses a high definition BenQ panel and has a density of 293 pixels-per-inch. The Agora 4G’s display makes it worthwhile to spend an extra $10.
Internal hardware tells a similar story. The Neo 5, like the Agora 4G, has a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, but it has less internal storage at 4GB. Lovers of music looking for an mp3 counterpart will have to fork out money for a microSD card.
The same goes for people interested in taking photos and recording videos. The Neo 5’s rear camera, although held back by some bleeding and image noise, is a noteworthy inclusion for such an inexpensive smartphone. (It easily outperforms Kogan’s Agora 4G and HTC’s $312 Desire 610.) The camera is a credible reason that could sway people to give the little Oppo.
The Neo 5 runs the superseded Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, although it’s dressed in Oppo’s Color OS overlay. The software is well styled, feature rich and easy to use, but the comprehensive software will likely suffer from a lack of updates.
Overnight Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop, and that’s the kind of update that would make your old phone feel new. Odds are the Neo 5 won’t be the beneficiary of such an update, while Motorola’s Moto G could on account of being near-stock.
Cheaper smartphones than the Neo 5 are available, but none of them are compatible with 4G Internet speeds. Armed with a Telstra SIM and from the comfort of our North Sydney offices, the Neo 5 reached download speeds of 8.68Mbps and upload speeds of 9.52Mbps.
Working in the Neo 5’s favour is its battery life. During our testing it lasted a full 24 hours before needing a charge, and that was without enabling the battery saving mode.
The Neo 5 is replete with features in spite of costing a low $219. The camera is a solid performer, it has commendable battery life and fast 4G Internet.
People not interested in taking photos and still want to spend bottom dollar should consider Kogan’s Agora 4G. The screen has a higher resolution and using its near stock version of Android elevates the experience.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Dell U3223QE review: A winning debut for an IPS Black monitor
- 2 Netgear Nighthawk M5 mobile router review: Probably too expensive, but nice
- 3 Dell P2723QE review: A solid 4K USB-C hub monitor for home offices
- 4 MSI Katana GF76 review: Decent gaming performance for a reasonable price
- 5 Asus ROG Flow Z13 review: A full-fledged gaming PC disguised as a tablet
Latest News Articles
- Bizarre iOS bug swaps out Spotify for Apple Music in the iPhone dock
- Fortnite returns to the iPhone (sort of) courtesy Xbox Cloud Gaming
- Want to go watch the WWDC keynote at Apple Park? Here’s how to apply
- iPad buying guide 2022
- Apple to support ‘passwordless’ iPhone logins on Android phones and PCs
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- What laptop should I get? Top 12 things to consider
- Best Optus iPhone SE (3rd gen) plans
- eSIMs: The advantages and disadvantages for smartphone users
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?