OPPO A94 5G review: it aims high, but it costs less than 400 €

oppo a94 5g

Since the smartphone market has embraced the category of medium range there has been a real boom in these products. By now, therefore, almost every brand has launched at least one device belonging to this price range, with the aim of conquering a small slice of the market. Obviously, however, it is not easy to make your way due to the presence of many different phones that often have similar characteristics to each other. So how can you distinguish yourself from the crowd? It is not easy to find an answer to this question, but that's exactly what OPPO wanted to do with the new one OPPO A94 5G, presented a few weeks ago here in Italy. With this series, the Chinese brand really aims high, trying to offer the public devices with a good quality-price ratio. We immediately had high expectations for this new device, characterized by the presence of a MediaTek 5G SoC, a rear quad-camera and, of course, the ColorOS. Let's find out better together, within this one Full review.

OPPO A94 5G review

Unboxing

As often happens, the company with the A series always indulges in packaging. Here, therefore, we find a pastel blue color on the front, where only the company name and the model of the smartphone contained inside the box are reported. There is no image that portrays the phone in its entirety. Inside the sales package, therefore, we find:

  • OPPO A94 5G;
  • USB / USB Type-C cable for charging and data transfer;
  • wall power supply, with 30W VOOC charging;
  • soft transparent TPU cover;
  • pre-applied plastic film on the front glass;
  • short instruction manual, also in Italian;
  • User Manual.

Design & Materials

I want to unbalance myself by officially announcing how this A94 5G is one of the most beautiful devices among the mid-range currently on the market. I must say, however, that this consideration arises from a series of different factors: on the one hand, in fact, we have a design rather classic and a color, in our case the Cosmo Blue, which is really wonderful, while on the other side we find a thin and manageable product, which shows a weight of only 173 grams. Taking a look at the technical specifications, then, we also notice a thickness of just 7,8 mm (160,1 x 73,4 x 7,8 mm) which, all in all, make it even more pleasant to use in everyday life. Beyond these aspects, however, the body is made of plastic as well as the side frame, although it almost seems to be aluminum. It should be noted, however, that the nuances on the back are also taken up on this surface, a detail that indicates the care that the company has placed in the creation of this device.

oppo a94 5g

Obviously, some of the main components of such a product cannot be missing, such as the on / off button on the right frame, as well as the volume rocker buttons on the left side. Here, moreover, the SIM slot is also located, capable of simultaneously holding well two nano SIM 5G and a microSD. Let's see, then, how at the bottom there is the audio jack 3,5mm, the main microphone, the entrance USB Type-C and system speaker. There is nothing else, if not the microphone for the suppression of environmental noise placed at the top and the thin ear capsule set between the front glass and the plastic frame.

We now come to the most important considerations on this product, namely those inherent to the maneuverability. I must admit, in fact, that this smartphone is quite slippery and the fact that it is also quite thin does not play in its favor. However, it remains an easily transportable product that does not clutter too much in daily use. I really appreciate the build quality used to create this device, in all its parts, even in the rear photographic module which protrudes a good millimeter from the profile of the device. We will see between poco, however, how it behaves in this latter respect.

Unlocking Systems

Going a little more specifically we find two main release systems, namely the biometric sensor placed under the display and facial recognition via the selfie camera.

With the release means footprint almost 100% accuracy is achieved, with good speed in almost any condition. I must say, in fact, that this method is quite effective and fast. So good as not to regret the lack of a sensor placed on the side, integrated directly into the on / off button, like those inserted on many other competing devices. It is not lightning, in short, but it is more than satisfactory. I also advise against using the face recognition in 2D, via the front camera, because it's not safe and really poco accurate. In fact, when there is little light, the sensor struggles to understand what our physiognomy actually is.

Display

This OPPO A94 5G has been equipped with a Super AMOLED display da 6,4 " with resolution Full HD + (2.400 x 1.080 pixels) equipped with a refresh rate of 60Hz, a form factor in 20: 9 and a screen-to-body-ratio of 90,8%. There is also a small hole positioned on the left, which has a diameter of only 3,7 mm.

oppo a94 5g

Taking a closer look at it I have to admit that I would not have expected to find a similar quality. This smartphone, however, managed to surprise me from this point of view, offering a display with vivid and not too saturated colors, which try to remain as faithful as possible to reality. Since this is a non-IPS panel, then, the whites do not tend towards blue or yellow and the blacks are absolute, without any smudging. It is a phone, therefore, that even on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video can give great satisfaction, also thanks to the certification Widevine of type L1.

Ever since I received it I have always used this phone without any protective film and, still today, the fingerprints they don't stick on the screen that easily. This is a clear sign of the goodness of the oleophobic treatment which, at least for this time, has been applied in the right way. Therefore, everything becomes easier even outdoors in direct sunlight, where the rather precise automatic brightness sensor helps to make the user experience much more comfortable. Excellent, then, the performance of the touchscreen panel even in the most excited writing phases, as well as the vibration which for me is quite precise and punctual.

Hardware & Performance

On board this smartphone there is a SoC MediaTek Dimension 800U, therefore a 7 nm octa-core CPU that has a configuration like the following: 2 x 2,4 GHz Cortex-A75 + 6 x 2,0 GHz Cortex-A55. To accompany this component we find, then, one ARM Mali-G57 GPU MC3, 8 GB of RAM LPDDR4X e 128 GB memory UFS 2.1, which also provides support for expansion through microSD up to 256 GB.

It is not the first time that I happen to try a smartphone equipped with this SoC, but I must say that here the performances are perhaps better than those recorded on other devices. Every time you open an application you are sure to see a very short load, sometimes almost non-existent. I therefore believe that the RAM in this case does an exceptional job and keeps track of all our movements within the software, while also keeping the most recently used apps in memory. Although we free up this flash memory via the multitasking, I suppose the system actually keeps track of them for some time. Even if the battery is partially affected, this allows you to have a more responsive and always ready to use device in your hands. I have not encountered any problems, therefore, in browsing on Instagram, Facebook, Chrome, Whatsapp, Telegram, YouTube and much more.

I often say that the biggest differences are sometimes felt right in the phase of Gaming. Here I mainly exploited Call of Duty Mobile and I was able to play some ranked games with no problems. I didn't notice, therefore, any drop in frames, although the graphics quality is automatically set to a medium value. Let's say, in short, that currently this smartphone is perfect also in this respect, never heating up in a worrying way. After tens of minutes of heavy use, in fact, only a slight warmth is noticeable on the rear body.

Benchmark

Software

Among the most interesting interfaces of recent years, ColorOS is probably the one that intrigues me the most. Even if I don't appreciate some graphic choices, I must say that the level of customization is at the highest level. Here, then, lies the ColorOS 11.1, therefore based on Android 11 with security patches dating back to February 5, 2021.

As mentioned, on this customization of the green robot we find many possibilities of Customization different. In addition to being able to change the shape of the icons, the backgrounds and the font, here it is possible to activate different gestures with the screen on and screen off, introduce the Dark Mode, manage the phone with its special app and much more. In this respect it is absolutely not inferior to other well-known software such as, for example, Xiaomi's MIUI. As often happens, however, it is still a matter of tastes and I certainly do not want to unleash a war between the fans of one or the other faction. We just have to admit that graphically, ColorOS has nothing to envy to these other solutions, also offering all those system apps that every person needs.

Camera

From a software point of view, in recent years OPPO has shown that it knows how to do it also at a photographic level, often offering significant performances. If on the one hand, in fact, it is important to mount good optics on your smartphones, on the other hand it is essential to have to deal with a system capable of managing all the various factors that come into play when taking a photo. Going to analyze the hardware part, therefore, let's see how on A94 5G there is a main sensor da 48 MP, a OmniVision OV48B, with aperture f / 1.7, assisted by the presence of a wide-angle lens da 8 MP with 119 ° FOV and two smaller sensors, both from 2 MP, used for macro and for the calculation of depth of field.

Di day, even in difficult lighting conditions, the main sensor has always performed quite well. I must say, in fact, that the quality is absolutely not inferior to that found on other mid-range devices. Indeed, in some respects this smartphone can also show a greater number of details, in a sharper way. From a chromatic point of view, then, I didn't notice too many problems, although the phone tends to return charged colors, slightly tending towards warmer shades. In the event that some scene turns out to be a little too overexposed, don't worry, because with automatic HDR this criticality is almost always solved. In spite of everything, don't think you can pull off noteworthy shots with the wide-angle sensor, even if in good light the photos are not bad at all.

Taking a look at night photos you immediately notice a detail: the photographic noise is much more pronounced. However, I would not have expected anything better in this respect, even considering the main photographic sensor mounted on this smartphone. In spite of everything, however, I must say that the artificial lights are not managed too badly and that, in any case, even without the Night Mode, most of the shots are sufficient. Things totally change with the night mode, since in this case there is a better management of the lights, a greater sharpness and a better contrast. Much of the photographic noise is eliminated, even if this assumes the presence of colors less faithful to reality. I repeat, however, once again: we are perfectly in line with what has been proposed up to now in the mid-range of the market. The only problem is represented by the fact that the Night Mode is not always activated with the wide-angle camera, probably only for a software problem or, more simply, for some small bug.

On board this device there is also a 16 MP selfie camera, with an f / 2.4 aperture. Here, therefore, the quality is absolutely good both day and night, managing to frame the subjects well on the screen with a good level of detail. Nothing that has not already been seen on other competing smartphones, also because the selfies of this A94 5G do not particularly stand out in its category. Despite this, I appreciated the algorithm that manages the bokeh effect, which once again proves to be one of the best. However, we are talking about photos that can easily be posted on social networks.

Video

We have been lucky enough to already try many products of this brand, all characterized by a rather good stabilization. Here the company does not contradict itself, offering truly excellent video quality for the price at which the smartphone is offered, not only for the quality of the images itself, but also for all the other features. We therefore have excellent stabilization, good colors, good autofocus and some software gems that make it earn a few more points. Now other brands also offer similar solutions, so here we find the Dual-View Video, or the possibility of shooting a video at the same time with the selfie camera and with the main camera on the back. Let's say that maybe you will not use this feature often but for all those who like to create particular content it will certainly be useful.

I haven't told you yet, but here unfortunately we only have the option to choose to shoot in 1080p to 30fps e 4K is 30fps. I would have expected to be able to set at least 60fps in 1080p, but unfortunately this possibility is denied us.

Audio & Connectivity

Taking a look at the technical data, we notice how the company focuses a lot on one aspect in particular, namely the system defined as 360 ° Antenna 3.0. What is it about? Very simply, on board the OPPO A94 5G there are 8 antennas that allow you to maintain an internet connection that is always stable and without any disturbance. For example, therefore, even when we play or hold our smartphone to watch a video we do not affect the quality of the network, thanks to this system. Here, then, we have support for the dual SIM 5G (NSA and SA), Wi-Fi ac Dual Band, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou / Galileo / QZSS, USB Type-C and entrance mini-jack. I was able to personally test each component and found no critical issues, being able to enjoy practically perfect satellite navigation in the city.

What convinced me less is the audio part, since on this model we have a unique one speaker placed at the bottom. As on many other competing products, therefore, here we find almost completely absent bass but, on the other hand, a good balance of medium and high frequencies. Even at maximum volume, therefore, there is no distortion and the audio is quite clean and clear. With the ear capsule, then, you can entertain yourself in call without problems, being able to hear the voice on the other side of the handset well.

Autonomy

Under the body there is a battery from 4.310 mAh that are enough to get through a stressful day at work. I must say, in fact, that even with several minutes of navigation with Maps, several cell changes, the use of various apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Gmail and much more, I never got dry in the evening. This smartphone, therefore, has always allowed me to end the day with still remaining charge, easily totaling more than 7 hours on screen turned on on a more than one day use basis. Excellent consumption, therefore, on this phone.

In case you are forced to recharge your smartphone, don't worry, because with the VOOC a 30W you will have the possibility to go from 10 to 100% in about 40 minutes.

Price & Conclusions

Currently OPPO A94 5G is sold in Italy on Amazon at the price of 369,99 €.

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I can only praise the work done by OPPO, because the company has managed to propose a balanced and powerful smartphone, which does not like to give up anything. If you want to spend time in the company of your favorite video game you can do it, if you want to see an episode of your TV series you have a large AMOLED display to enjoy. Probably many will consider the initial price high for a device of this caliber, but I assure you that at the moment there is no device on the market that exploits the potential of the Dimensity 800U so well, really exploiting every drop. Difficult, then, not to praise the effort made on the photographic side, since even in difficult conditions you can get good shots. There are also some rather nice features that wink especially at the youngest. Buy now this version, the Cosmo Blue, and you will not regret it.

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Lydsto