Oppo R5 review: Among the most innovative of smartphones
The underdog from China has beaten the big brands to many 'world firsts'.
- Thin 5mm profile
- Fantastic 5.2-inch AMOLED display
- Second generation VOOC fast charger
- High resolution front camera
- Tiny 2000 milliamp-hour battery
Price$ 629.00 (AUD)
Oppo has one-upped the established heavy weights in the smartphone industry with its R5. The 4.85mm smartphone has earned many 'world first' titles, but an important concession has been made along the way.
Place an R5 on an office desk and resting pens will tower over it. The company called it “the world’s thinnest smartphone” when it was launched. At 4.85mm, it certainly was, though between showcasing it for the first time and putting it up for sale, boutique Chinese company Vivo has undercut it by a fraction of a millimetre.
Creating a smartphone 4.85mm thin is wrought with obstacles. An example involves the manufacturing of the R5. Machines would scratch the aluminium chassis during the polishing stage. The scratches were microscopic, but selling smartphones with imperfections is not how a leading brand does business.
The technology needed to polish such a fine smartphone was not yet available. It is for this reason every R5 is finished by the hands of skilled craftsman.
Taking such pride is commendable. No doubt we’re impressed by the company’s conviction. The truth is when we hold the R5 in our hand, that one millimetre thickness separating it from an iPhone 6 is imperceptible.
Whether the R5 is a great smartphone boils down to the concessions Oppo has made – if any. There’s no point in being a thin phone if it has come at the cost of features or performance.
Up front is a large, articulate and vibrant screen. It spans 5.2-inches, has a 1920x1080 resolution and makes use of a superior AMOLED panel. Colours of all shades mesmerise on this screen, with both dim and prominent backlighting – depending on the occasion—and a resolution high enough to hide pixels from naked eyes. This display can hold its own with the best from Samsung, and that is as high as praise comes when we’re talking screens.Read more:Samsung NX500 compact system camera: first impressions
All the right processing guts work behind the scenes. A 1.5GHz octa-core CPU from Qualcomm is joined by an Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. A memory card slot is absent and is one feature multimedia hoarders will miss.
Packing this potent hardware into such tight confines pushed Oppo to innovate the cooling methodology used. Phase changing material has been introduced to better dissipate heat and keep the smartphone cool. Executives from the company say this method of cooling will prolong the smartphone’s lifespan.
In a few words: it works. Our R5 ran cool during our review period.
And the hardware has a lot to do. One of the heaviest overlays buries the Android KitKat operating system. Oppo has added some function and plenty of animations. The overlay, called Colour OS, doesn’t deface or enrich stock Android.
Things for the R5 go sour from hereon. Powering the smartphone is a small 2000 milliamp-hour battery. When the screen is as large, as vibrant and as high in resolution as the R5’s, a bigger battery is needed. The capacity of the R5’s battery is the same as that found in flagship smartphones 24 months old. Limp battery life is the price paid for the thin waistline, and we consider it a high price to pay for a size difference that is too small to notice.
Our testing returned varied results. Good Gear Guide found the average battery life of the R5 was approximately 15 hours before needing to be charged. Redeeming this poor result is the second generation VOOC charger; a proprietary Oppo charger that can replenish the battery from flat to full in 50 minutes.Read more:Samsung Gear VR goes on sale in Australia
Oppo turned to connoisseurs Sony for the R5’s cameras. The front 5 megapixel camera will blow selfie-lovers away, with a wide enough colour gamut and a high resolution. Photos and UHD videos recorded with the rear camera will impress most of the times. Only high-contrast situations fluster the 13 megapixel camera, with detail being flushed out of the foreground or the background. This is a camera that will capture the majority of moments well, and capture a few well enough.Read more:Next-gen Samsung TVs, monitors and AV gear distinguished by one clear trend
Oppo’s R5 is not without its problems. The battery life is below par and the camera struggles in high contrast situations. These small gripes don’t mean the R5 isn’t worth your time.
This is a special smartphone, the kind that proves what was previously impossible can be done. A smartphone can be thinner than 5mm, still have powerful components and be hand finished. Photos will still be great, the screen shall dazzle and charge — although lost quickly — can be replenished even quicker.
A lot of phones regurgitate the same tired design and features. They look and work like any other on the market. Oppo’s R5 has too much imagination to be one of those phones.
Join the newsletter!
A printer that is efficient, reliable and can work seamlessly with your systems and software.Read this solicitor's review to find out more!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 2 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 3 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 4 Zolo Liberty+ review: The true wireless earbuds you've been waiting for
- 5 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
Latest News Articles
- How to Watch Huawei P20 Launch Live Stream & Live Blog
- Alcatel To Pre-Load Family Zone Service On All Their Australian Devices
- Telstra Sets New Smartphone Speed Record on Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
- Boost Mobile Connects With World Surf League
- Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Awarded Telstra Blue Tick Certification
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Interview - Netgear CEO Patrick Lo talks eSports, the NBN and why mesh is the smartphone of home Wi-Fi
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCICT Procurement SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior Network EngineerACT
- FTArchitect - ServiceNowOther
- TPSQL SSAS BI DeveloperQLD
- FTDevelops EngineerOther
- TPSecurity and Risk ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Development DBA - OracleNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - RFTVIC
- FTLevel 2 Support EngineerVIC
- FTUX Design Manager (Urgent!!)Other
- CCUDS DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCMid - Level Dynamics CRM Functional ConsultantQLD
- TPChange ManagerVIC
- FTNetwork Infrastructure Development EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Front-End DeveloperOther
- CCField Technician - Windows/ Office 365 EnvironmentVIC
- CCApplication Support Developer - .Net & SQLWA
- FTDesktop Engineer Level 1 - 2Other
- TPBusiness Process Improvement AnalystQLD
- CCiOS DeveloperQLD
- CCSENIOR PROJECT MANAGER - INFRASTRUCTURENSW
- FTHR Coordinator - $28phOther