OPPO A52 Review: the low cost smartphone for those who focus on autonomy

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.

OPPO A52 is an interesting low cost smartphone that focuses particularly on autonomy (and not only on this aspect).

OPPO A52 review Review: the low cost smartphone for those who focus on autonomy

 

The world of low cost smartphones, devices sold at a price of less than 200 euros, has changed a lot over the past few years. Until not too long ago the products belonging to the low end were seen as intended only for a target that was satisfied with few features. Today, however, the possibility of choice is quite wide (so much so that someone talks about “market saturation”) and under 200 euros you can find very good devices, able to perform all things well what have now become the classic activities daily, such as checking e-mails, using social networks and viewing some videos. In short, in the current common vision a low cost product is an all-round smartphone, able to meet the needs of the average user and to go much further than in the past. However, everyone has their preferences: for example, there are those who want to focus everything on performance and those who seek a good compromise between the latter and autonomy.

If you belong to the second category of people, the smartphone that we have tested in recent weeks may interest you. OPPO A52, sold at a price of 179 euros on Amazon Italy, has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor and a 5000 mAh battery. Have expectations been met?

Design and unboxing

The sales package contains, in addition to the smartphone, a USB Type-C cable, a comfortable transparent cover, good headphones with jack cable and an 18W charger. In short, the budget is certainly not bad, considering the price range. Another aspect that will make a good slice of users happy is the presence of the 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones, which is located at the bottom of the device next to the speaker, microphone and USB Type-C port ( no video output, but there is the OTG function, which must be enabled from the Additional Settings). On the right side we find the power button, while the buttons to raise / lower the volume peep out on the left, accompanied by the trolley for the SIM (triple slot, Dual nanoSIM + microSD).

Previously we find a panel with hole for the camera placed at the top left, which comes with a pre-applied film (we always remove it after a few days, in order to test the display to the maximum of its possibilities). Turning OPPO A52, at the top left you can see the camera module, consisting of four lenses and LED flash. You may like it or not, but in this range it certainly stands out, given that many models have sensors arranged “traffic light”. By removing the smartphone from the cover, the protrusion of the cameras is present and makes the device “dance” a little when it is placed on a flat surface. However, we are really talking about minutiae and probably someone will not even notice this aspect. The dimensions are normal: 162 x 75.5 x 8.9, for a weight of 192 grams. It is not the most compact smartphone on the market, but we have become accustomed to this trend, especially in the medium / low range, and the OPPO A52 lets itself be well held in the hand, thanks to the excellent grip.

The smartphone surprises in terms of build quality, despite the plastic material. OPPO A52 is definitely a well-built smartphone, able to stand out in this price range. Among other things, the colouring that we got to try, that is Stream White, guarantees that extra touch to the device, offering excellent light effects. For those with slightly more “classic” tastes, the Twilight Black colour is also available on the market.

If you are wondering what are the unlocking methods supported, you must know that the power button also acts as a fingerprint sensor (among other things, very fast) and there is also the classic Face Unlock. Summing up, OPPO A52 has convinced us a lot in terms of design and we do not exaggerate in saying that it is probably one of the most beautiful devices to see under 200 euros, thanks to the display with a hole for the camera and the excellent backcover.

Technical features

As for the technical data sheet, OPPO has decided to go in search of the best compromise, keeping autonomy in mind. In this context, the choice of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor operating at the maximum frequency of 2.0 GHz (4 x 2.0 GHz + 4 x 1.8 GHz), flanked by an Adreno 610 GPU and 4GB of RAM. There is also 64GB of internal memory (expandable via microSD up to 256GB). We are certainly not facing the most performing configuration on the market (to understand each other, it is a hardware sector similar to that of Realme 5 and Redmi Note 8T), but we are talking about a valid solution.

The screen is a 6.5-inch LCD with Full HD + resolution (2400 x 1080 pixels), 90.5% screen-to-body ratio and standard refresh rate (60 Hz). The colours are well-calibrated and it is possible to adjust the temperature through the settings. The maximum brightness turned out to be good during our tests, marking results better than other smartphones in this price range. It’s probably not the best panel available and you can’t shout at the miracle, but we’re on pretty good levels and the display will certainly convince the average user.

Playing videos doesn’t always go to cover the side next to the hole, but that’s a problem that app developers should fix. In any case, on YouTube and Netflix everything is solved thanks to the classic “zoom” functionality, so there are no particular problems. Speaking of streaming services, there are Widevine L1 DRMs, so you can watch HD content on platforms such as Amazon Prime Video.

Pulling the strings of the speech, the display of OPPO A52 has convinced us, considering also that in this price range it is difficult to find a panel with a hole for the camera, an aspect that makes the design in step with the times. The only thing to report, for the more “traditionalists”, is the absence of the notification LED.

As for the photographic sector, the rear lenses are 12MP (f / 1.7) + 8MP (f / 2.2, wide angle, 119 degrees) + 2MP (f / 2.4, for depth of field) + 2MP (f / 2.4) . The front sensor is 16MP (f / 2.0). THE four rear sensors they can record videos in 4K / 30fps, while the front one stops at 1080p / 30fps. We know the Camera app: it is the one found on OPPO / Realme devices and the functions are the same, from Portrait mode to Slow motion.

The quadruple rear camera takes good photos: the colours are all in all well balanced and during the day the quality is able to satisfy the average user. In darker contexts, digital noise is noticeable, but in some cases, Night mode is able to fix the situation (even if it cannot work miracles and requires waiting for a certain time).

The maximum digital zoom is 5x, but on the social side, it is better to stop at 2x. Selfies didn’t really convince us. In fact, the latter struggle in contexts with good light. Wide-angle photos, on the other hand, come out well. Videos have good stabilization at 1080p / 30fps. If you want to better understand what you are talking about, find uncompressed photos in our Drive folder dedicated to OPPO A52. In general, the photographic sector is not bad, from a low-end device you cannot expect who knows what results.

OPPO A52, an all-round smartphone peculiar characteristic of OPPO A52 is certainly its 5000 mAh battery. However, autonomy is not its only strong point, since we can define it as a well-rounded smartphone. In fact, the device has a Snapdragon processor, a bright screen, the USB Type-C port and the NFC chip. To give you a more precise context, there are several smartphones on the market that focus on autonomy, such as Redmi Note 9 and Realme 5. However, the former has a MediaTek SoC and a not very bright display, while the latter still has a door standard micro USB and lacks NFC. In short, the OPPO solution is very complete. For more details on the two “rivals” mentioned, you can consult the review of Redmi Note 9 and that of Realme 5.

The smartphone mounts a 5000 mAh battery. Here we really have to applaud OPPO. His choices in terms of the hardware sector proved to be excellent in the autonomy field: we managed to bring home the fateful two days several times and even on the most stressful days we always arrived in the evening with a large margin of residual power (30/35 %). Not bad is the 18W charger, which allows you to charge your smartphone faster than other devices in this price range.

For the rest, don’t expect IP68 certification and wireless charging from a low-cost device, but there is 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, so the connectivity department is complete. The audio sector is also interesting, which is stereo and has a good maximum volume (our tests showed 78.9 dBA).

Software

The operating system is Android 10 with ColorOS 7.1 customization and March 2020 security patches as of this writing. We know the features at once, from the dark mode (with the possibility of implementing the Dark Mode in Beta also on third-party apps) up to the quick bar (accessible with a swipe from right to left), passing through the cloning of the apps and for split-screen mode (multitasking). There is very little to add: the fluidity of the system is good and you can get further information on the subject through our insights on ColorOS 7.1 and the main differences with the Realme UI.

Performance and benchmarks

We have already dealt with the hardware issue previously, but it is always better to go into a little more detail, in order to provide you with the right context also through objective data, such as those deriving from the benchmarks.

Specifically, OPPO A52 reached a total of 177526 points on AnTuTu Benchmark. On Geekbench, however, it reached 308 points in single-core and 1268 points in multi-core. Numbers in the average price range, which do not make a miracle cry but defend themselves well.

To give you concrete examples, Realme 5 stopped at 173978 points on AnTutu during our tests, while Redmi Note 8T reached 174156 points. Taking into consideration a more recent smartphone of the same price range, Redmi Note 9 reached 189112 points. In short, we can talk about normal results, although there are important exceptions, such as Realme 6 which reaches 290582 points.

Using the smartphone in everyday life, some lag here and there is noticeable, but we are at the levels of the aforementioned smartphones, from Realme 5 to Redmi Note 9. In short, interesting performances, although there are devices that can overcome them. In this case, we feel like turning a blind eye, given the presence of an SoC Snapdragon and not MediaTek (which is present on Redmi Note 9), an aspect that perhaps during daily use does not make itself felt much, but what gaming side is a godsend, as we will see shortly.

Gaming

To test OPPO A52 we have chosen to use the usual Call of Duty Mobile, ARK: Survival Evolved and Dead by Daylight Mobile, titles that we have been using for a while in the smartphone field.

We have tested Realme / OPPO devices galore on these pages, so we will not be here to repeat what can be done with the excellent Space Game mode, but we will focus on the results. Call of Duty Mobile runs well with details on “Medio” and FPS on “Alto” (much better than Redmi Note 9, which stopped at “Basso” and “Medio”), while ARK: Survival Evolved is discreetly playable only at “Basso”, but we are talking about a particularly “heavy” title.

Dead by Daylight Mobile, on the other hand, works as it should with “Low” and 30 FPS presets. Going up with the settings, the title remains playable discreetly, but there are lags in the most exciting situations. Obviously, all the tests were done with the Game Space Competition mode. Ultimately, the use of a Snapdragon processor does its part and the smartphone is able to give good satisfaction also in terms of gaming, at least for casual users.

 

OPPO A52
OPPO A52 is a very good smartphone. Its main strength is certainly the exceptional autonomy, which almost always guarantees two full days (the battery is 5000 mAh). However, contrary to what happens with other devices, in this case, it is the whole package that convinces. We find a good screen, a photographic sector that can satisfy the average user, a complete connectivity department (there are triple slots, NFC and USB Type-C), a good design and an excellent audio sector. The only flaws are selfies, night photos and if we really want to be picky, the performances that do not exactly reach the top, but otherwise everything is in its place. We are facing a truly valid smartphone for the 179 euros requested. OPPO A52 is definitely one of the best devices sold under 200 euros. If you are not a photo fanatic, you should consider it.