5G-enabled phones are making their presence felt in the affordable segment of the Indian smartphone market, with the number of options increasing day by day. The OPPO A53S 5G is another new entrant, and is priced starting Rs 14,990, making it a prime competitor to the Realme 8 5G (review). In this review, let’s find out how good the A53S actually is and if it makes sense to purchase it over some of the more established products in the price range.
The OPPO A53S is a budget phone with a plastic unibody design and is light in the hand. It does get scratched easily, though OPPO does provide a clear silicone case inside the box. There’s a triple-camera setup on the top-right sitting just about flush with the body on the rear. You get a power button integrated with a fingerprint sensor on the side, while the volume buttons are on the right. The USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and speaker grille are present on the bottom. Display-wise, there is an average 60Hz IPS LCD panel on the front with FHD+ resolution. Brightness levels are decent on the device but not good enough for easy outdoor viewing. The colours look saturated though there are options to remedy this in the settings menu.
The cameras on the phone include a 13MP primary shooter, a 2MP depth camera, and a 2MP macro lens. Photos taken from the device are decent enough in terms of detailing and contrast, but fail with respect to the dynamic range and exposure calibration. The low-light picture capturing capabilities of the sensor aren’t so good, with most shots turning out to be grainy and the dedicated Night mode not able to rectify the situation. The depth and macro shooters perform well enough, but only when there is sufficient lighting. On the front is an 8MP selfie shooter with the OPPO brand of face smoothening very apparent in the shots.
Processor-wise the A53S utilises the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset that is present on a couple of other devices as well. It is efficient with medium to low-intensity tasks and can also run a heavy-duty game like Battlegrounds India on medium graphics and frame rate settings. You get up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage with an external memory card support of up to 256GB.
The fingerprint sensor works fast enough, the speakers are slightly tinny and the advent of dual-SIM 5G support will be welcome once the proper telecom infrastructure is in place. Software-wise, the device runs ColorOS 11.1 based on Android 11. It has a 5,000mAh battery which charges rather slowly at 10W.
The OPPO A53S comes across as a bit of a mixed bag really. The camera experience is a bit underwhelming and the phone lacks useful features like a high refresh rate display and fast charging. On the other hand, the performance is decent, and the software experience is pretty good. There are better options in its price, but its 5G capabilities could be one of the reasons to consider the A53S, if that makes a difference to you.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Decent performance
- Easy to use software
- Long battery life
- Underwhelming cameras
- Slow charging speeds
- Lacks high screen refresh rate