OPPO A54 review: leaves one wanting for more
Chinese smartphone giant OPPO unveiled its new budget-focused smartphone called the OPPO A54 in India recently. The phone is priced starting at Rs 13,990 and competes in a heavily crowded mobile segment dominated by the likes of Realme and Xiaomi. Let’s take a look in this detailed review how the A54 fares as a daily driver.
The OPPO A54 just doesn’t pack in the kind of specs that would make it a strong competitor to the likes of the Redmi Note 10 (review) or the Realme 8 (review).
- OPPO has used a plastic unibody construction for the A54, which is standard for a sub-Rs 15,000 smartphone. The light blue-ish gradient colour scheme merging with a silver hue has a nice look to it. However, it does gather quite a few fingerprints which obfuscates much of its looks.
- The buttons are tactile with the power button doubling up as the fingerprint sensor. There is a USB-C port at the bottom along with a speaker grille and a 3.5mm headphone jack. A triple camera setup is present on the back in a rectangular housing.
- The display is of the LCD variety and has a standard 60Hz refresh rate, along with FHD+ resolution. The viewing experience is average at best, and the brightness levels can feel slightly inadequate at times. The punch hole at the top is quite big as are the bezels which surround the device. Lack of a higher screen refresh rate does feel like a missed opportunity here.
- As far as cameras go, the A54 packs in a 13MP primary sensor which is supported by a 2MP macro shooter and a 2MP monochrome lens. The shots are quite dull with a lack of focus evident across the frame and very spotty detailing. Oversharpening occurs in even the brightest lighting conditions and the dynamic range is just about decent. The colours are punchy but the exposure is faulty most of the times. At night, the photos turn out quite grainy and are filled with noise, while details are washed out along with the colours. The dedicated Night mode does not seem to remedy many of the issues and takes an unnaturally high time to process the images. Macro and monochrome capabilities on the phone are passable but not great. Lastly, the front-facing 16MP shooter takes acceptable selfies with slight oversharpening.
- The performance is handled by the MediaTek Helio P35 chipset which seems definitely underpowered than what the competition is offering. I got a score of 114,894 on Antutu V9 while the competing Redmi Note 10 running the Snapdragon 678 has more than double the score at 238,519. The UI feels sluggish and quite a few times I had to deal with a ‘system is unresponsive error’ after I opened too many applications in the background. Games were set by default to a lower graphic quality setting than I’m used to on recent budget phones and I did experience several frame drops. The bottom line is: don’t buy this device for its processing power.
- On the software front, the device runs the dated ColorOS 7.2, which is based on Android 10. There is a lot of bloatware, and few customisation options. There’s no news of an Android 12 update either.
- Battery-wise the phone has a 5,000mAh unit inside it, which lasts for more than a day partly due to the frugal processing requirements of the chipsets. There is 18W fast charging support which will juice up the device in about 2 hours.
It is clear from the review that OPPO has not armed its budget device with enough to make it a worthwhile recommendation. With high-end Snapdragon 700 series chipsets on offer in competing devices along with 120Hz refresh rate displays, Super AMOLED panels, 50W charging, and most running a higher generation of Android, the A54 gets left behind. Buy this phone if you are an OPPO loyalist.
Editor’s rating: 3 / 5
- Decent battery life
- Eye-catching colour scheme
- Camera performance could be better
- Running on Android 10
- Priced on the higher side
- Performance is lacking
Photos by Raj Rout