The brand new midrange has also arrived here OPPO A96, a product that makes balance its killer feature. He excels in nothing, but he is good in everything. There are some negative notes: absolutely yes. It is very balanced and is super good for classic and standard use, even if we have to point out some small problems.
In the review of theHonor X8 I have read several comments in which you have stressed several times that, at that figure, there is better, there are better solutions and so on. And sure, that's true, but that's not the point. I realize that by now the market is so saturated and full of alternatives that it is practically impossible to draw conclusions that everyone can agree on, but (as we have always done and as always we will), each of our reviews is an end in itself, and aims to tell you - in the most objective way possible - how we think a certain device goes: it is not a comparison, it is not a comparison. Falling into the “trap” of the data sheet is simple, and I assure you that in our opinion that particular device is valid, and it will be even more so when the street price drops.
Basically, we are at a point where (almost) everything depends on the user experience that each of us looks for in a smartphone, a factor that (as it should be) is deeply personal. For this reason, from today on in each of our reviews, you will find an entire chapter dedicated to the best alternatives (in the same price range) for the product we are talking about, in order to give you an even more complete and useful picture. objective.
That said, let's get started, because there are a few tough things about this OPPO A96.
OPPO A96 review: password? Balance, but without too many pretensions
Design and materials
Someone might say: “Sorry Manuel, but haven't you already reviewed it? I think I have already seen it in a review! " and, probably, he would not be wrong. OPPO A96 has a strong appeal with the Find x5 lite, a midrange that I tried around Lecce a few weeks ago and that I really liked. He is very similar and has a back cover that recalls that of his big brother, despite being part of another line-up within the company, the Serie A. No, not the football one.
Compared to the Find counterpart, the back is made of well-made plastic, pleasant to the touch and sight and which leaves no fingerprints in daily use. The photographic module has two sensors with LED flash, all supported by artificial intelligence. On the other hand, we have a generous panel with pronounced frames and an even more aggressive chin.
Compartment for SIM and microSD and volume rocker on the left frame, button for switching on and offon the right side with integrated fingerprint. Microphone above and below and speaker on the bottom. USB Type C e 3,5mm audio jack. Finally, there is a sensor for unlocking with the 2D face (which I don't particularly like); the physical reader on the right side is always better, much more comfortable when holding the device.
Technicalities aside, I must say that it is a nice frying pan that tends to slip, especially if you have small hands. On the other hand, it is nice but I would have preferred a glass back, even if it is not easy to find in this market segment.
Nothing to say for the screen: we are faced with a unity IPS LCD with FullHD + resolution, very good if you love to watch videos on the web and more, with the refresh rate at 90 Hz. Pleasant and balanced, nothing more.
In everyday use I liked it, but being an LCD we have to be well aware of what the limitations are: saturation, viewing angles and readability in the sun.
In the game it's nice responsive, but even here, what kind of gaming are you going to do with it? Because, honestly, I doubt anyone who buys such a product is interested in high play. For the "hit and run" okay, even on COD Mobile you will have fun, but do not exaggerate with the requests to the device.
Hardware and Performance
As always, I use gaming to get to the heart of the phone and thus talk about the performance of the OPPO A96. Let's start with the examination of the data sheet: processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 with graphics card Adreno 610, 128 or 256 GB UFS 2.2 memories and 8 GB RAM. There is virtual RAM of up to 5GB.
Again, I repeat the question: what do you need the smartphone for? Because by understanding the use you are going to make of it, we will understand if it can be right for you. The game, as mentioned, is fairly good, I would say normal. Obviously with a POCO F4GT we're on another level, but for subway titles or a PUBG Mobile game in bed before bed, that's fine. I managed to continue my career on PUBG but also on COD Mobile I have not encountered any difficulties or problems.
And with social media? I use Instagram, Facebook, Telegram but also LinkedIn, Gmail, Twitter daily basis. I don't spend hours on these sites, but I've never seen any lag. Perhaps, every now and then, it happens that some app that has been in the background, we employ some guards to restart at the top and reload the content, but it happens a few times. The criticality is not so much in the hardware, as in the absence of 5G which, for me personally, is not a problem. For some it can be. It is true that there are 5G devices at a lower price, but there are compromises, especially on a device that makes balance its winning weapon.
For numbers lovers I ran my usual benchmarking triptych: Geekbench, AnTuTu and AnTuTu under stress. The first reported a score of 382 in the single-core e 1671 in multi-core. Under tight, the battery performed excellently and the phone never exceeded the temperature of 38,2 °. AnTuTu scored me a 275735. Precisely we find:
- CPU: 82724;
- GPU: 50145;
- MEM: 72604;
- UX: 70262.
Sparkling the main room: 50 Mpx with aperture f / 1.8 which gives excellent shots in full light conditions. Not bad at all and the software is pleasantly rich, as per tradition. Nothing to say or object to. I come now to the true cons of this A96, the reason that will make you comment: “there is no ultrawide and a tele”. Yes, right. The second camera is used for "blurry" photos which, in reality, how many will you ever take?
I really like the ultra-wide angle and here it weighs but it is always better not to have it than to have it "side-by-side" with low resolution and unacceptable performance. In any case, let's think about the target for which this smartphone is designed: it is certainly not for photographers or amateurs, but we get to this point immediately. The videos are decent for basic use but are limited to 1080p. And no, it's clearly not a smartphone with an optically stabilized camera.
The selfiecam, however, has an excellent 16 Mpx lens, good during the day, but not as good as a 32 Mpx one. At night the absence of a high resolution is perceived. Let's face it: the photographic sector is good only for the tip and shoot.
A world opens up here, if only because it is a phone that has just been introduced but which still has Android 11. Unfortunately, we also noticed this feature in the Find X5 Lite. Not good for a device that comes out in 2022. ColorOS 11.1 with many nice settings but we know by heart.
We hope the ColorOS 12 will arrive soon, but the system is always pleasant with typical OPPO features that help the user in daily tasks. Rejected - for me - the notification menu and drop-down settings. I find it chaotic at the highest levels but - stop everyone - it's my opinion.
I will not tire of saying it: balanced is the watchword and the battery ensures hours of autonomy on a single charge even if we make intensive use of the device. How does it last that long? First and foremost there is a well-run processor that is poco energy eater and manages operations well. Secondly, the system is well optimized and there are many options to clean the software of useless files and make everything always snappy. I did a day and a half with one charge, with a classic office-gym-walk-shopping use.
I appreciated the fast charge which is 33W, not as fast as that of the different twin Find x5 lite (which is 65W).
We know: at € 299 is it better? Probably yes, but I don't feel like criticizing too much OPPO A96. There are one-size-fits-all solutions in this price range, such as Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G (Best Buy), the Find x3 lite of 2021 which today dropped to a competitive price, the Galaxy A52s, one of Samsung's most successful midrange and the Real GT Master Edition.
There is no real "winner" among these. There are products that are perfect for personal needs, but never in an absolute sense. Those who hate Samsung's One UI will never buy the A52s, for example, or those who love Samsung will never buy a "Chinese" device. Anyone who wants a batteryphone will look at theA96 from OPPO and those who aim for design and the best compromise with performance will find a precious ally in the Realme.
Honestly, it is balanced and, net of the numbers and benchmarks that you like so much but then in average use, you can use it pleasantly. Too bad for these absences:
- 5G modem;
- Ultrawide lens and Tele;
- 1080p video.
Then, in the classic use, if you have to give it to a relative who does not make extreme use of the smartphone, that's fine, but it has some absences that we technology enthusiasts notice and point out. I think of any of my relatives who are not too tech-savvy, that he wants to spend poco, who is looking for a phone that is good for social media, WhatsApp, with which to take quick point and shoot photos, for video calls, with a battery that can last even more than a day and a half, is excellent.
As always, it is the target audience that makes the difference. I think the street price could make it a Best Buy.
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