OPPO A78 5G review: a well-built contender with solid battery life

The OPPO A78 5G is powered by the Dimensity 700 SoC and has up to 8GB of RAM. Here's our full review.

The OPPO A78, announced today at a price of Rs 18,999, is an affordable offering that competes with options from the likes of Xiaomi, POCO, and Realme. You get a 50MP dual-camera setup, MediaTek’s Dimensity 700 SoC, and a 5,000mAh battery with a 33W charging setup. While the device’s specs on paper are nothing out of the ordinary, it still merits a deeper inspection. Here’s a full review of the OPPO A78 to see if it can stand up against the current segment leaders.

Verdict

As an affordable phone, the OPPO A78 doesn’t really leave its mark as much as its competitors. However, its experience overall should be conducive for a user looking at this price segment. This includes a good build quality, performance to handle much of your daily workload and a decent battery backup.

The lowdown

With a rectangular, boxy construction and a polycarbonate build, the OPPO A78 isn’t too different from a sea of similar-looking handsets present in this segment. The phone has a dual-speaker setup for audio and a USB Type-C port at the bottom. Additionally, the fingerprint sensor is located on the right and acts as the power button. Finally, two circular rings jut from the blue matte-finish exterior for the dual-camera setup. For its part, the OPPO A78 is light and sturdily built but there’s nothing about it that makes me go in awe.

There’s a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate on the OPPO A78. The panel is surrounded by a set of chunky bezels, especially on the bottom and the selfie shooter is housed in a dated waterdrop notch. Affordable phones have gotten incredibly good with their viewing experience so it’s a bit of a bummer to see a lower-resolution screen employed on the A78. To its credit, the display does get plenty bright and has decent viewing angles. Also, the 90Hz refresh rate doesn’t stutter while browsing through the phone. However, there are better phones under Rs 20,000 that can give the OPPO A78 a run for its money as far as viewing content is concerned. 

The cameras on the phone include a 50MP primary shooter and a 2MP depth shooter. Overall, it is clear that the phone doesn’t pack in the most versatile image-capturing apparatus. Photos clicked in plenty of daylight are reasonably detailed and get in focus quickly. There’s also a decent amount of dynamic range and exposure is metered. However, the subject highlights are not the greatest and I feel that the colour profile of the final shot is quite dull. Low-light images are not great as well with detail levels coming across as soft in most conditions. The dedicated night mode is of little help in this regard. The 16MP selfie camera uses the standard facial overprocessing chops that a lot of devices in the segment are guilty of.

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For the processing requirements, OPPO has equipped the A78 with MediaTek’s Dimensity 700 SoC. The silicone is quite old now and most phones in the segment actually pack in more compelling hardware. Nevertheless, your normal processing needs can be easily fulfilled without a hassle. Tasks like switching between the Chrome browser and your social media apps or just casually surfing through YouTube will not stress the CPU out. However, as far as gaming is concerned you will have more joy in offerings from other OEMs. Apart from that the A78 also has up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

As for other features, the dual-speaker setup provided on the device is decent sounding and actually has some depth to the audio. I also liked the snappy fingerprint sensor on the side for its effortless authentication. 5G is present on the device with at least six bands supported including the popular n78. My tests were carried out on Jio’s 4G network which didn’t cause any problems. In terms of software experience, the OPPO A78 has the Android 13-based ColorOS 13 UI which I find to be quite refined as compared to other Chinese OEM skins. However, the familiar issue of bloatware is still omnipresent with the device.

The battery capacity on the A78 is a 5,000mAh cell that is supported by a 33W charging solution. For everyday usage, the OPPO A78 can last for more than a day and even two with some light usage. The device takes about 90 minutes or so to completely juice up from 0 to 100 percent. 

Final verdict

A cursory glance at its specs versus its price isn’t doing the OPPO A78 too many favours. Improvements are definitely needed with the phone’s overall display and camera capabilities, but looking past those, the device can be considered a reasonable buy. It does get a few of the basics right as far as the standard budget experience goes. This includes solid build quality, decent performance, and lasting battery life. 

Editor’s rating: 3 / 5

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Decent performance
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Cameras could be better
  • Waterdrop notch feels dated
  • Bloatware