OPPO A83 Unboxing and Review

The OPPO A83 is the Chinese smartphone maker's first outing in 2018, the very first device from its A Series to sport the latest 18:9 aspect ratio display trend, and is also the company's most affordable device with this kind of new display technology. And today, I am lucky enough to have one of the review units for me to try for a couple of weeks and share with you my experiences and observations with this another Selfie Expert priced at only Php9,990.

The Boxing

The packaging of the A83, as you can see in the image above, is pretty simple and straightforward. It comes in a white box with the photo of the unit itself upfront, the OPPO branding, as well as the name of the device which underneath it shows two descriptions that highlight the phone's main selling points. Smart Selfie which is referring to the A.I. Beauty Recognition Technology built-in on this phone and is the same smart selfie feature found on the more premium F5 Series, and Full Screen which the company calls its tall 18:9 display at 5.7 inches diagonally, the same display technology that is also featured on the F5 devices.

Inside the box are the usual suspect, from the user guide, warranty paperwork, headphones, cable and wall charger, down to the custom-made clear case for the A83 unit. While the device supports USB OTG functionality, it does not come with an OTG cable adapter, but any type of microUSB-USB OTG adapter out there will definitely work with this device. So moving files in and out of this phone from or to a USB flashdrive will never be a problem at all.

Take a quick look at these accessories that come with the package through the following images below.

The OPPO A83 smartphone comes with a standard non in-ear earphones in white color. Not everyone is a fan of in-ear earphones, so this type of pair will definitely make them happier upon taking the handset itself out of the box.

Of course there are the usual wall charger and its USB to MicroUSB cable wire. Unfortunately, and as expected for a phone of this price, it does not come with fast charging technology and USB Type-C port. Based on my observation, it takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge the A83 from 0% battery and that depends if you are using it while being charged or not.

And then there's the free clear case that is provided in every packaging of this unit. But unlike any other clear cases that are provided by manufacturers, not just OPPO, this one has a little twist to it that I really like. It is textured. You can see that in the image above, it looks nice and it adds more grip, character and a little bit of extra aesthetics to the phone.

The review unit I got comes with Matte Black Finnish, and the back panel is just super fingerprint and smudge hungry. It becomes so ugly overtime, and if you have a sweaty hand like myself or you touch something oily before using this phone, you are most likely not gonna like how it looks. That being said, this clear case will come in handy, that's in addition to keeping the back panel and camera lens from being scratched.

The OPPO A83

I must say that this A83 offering is a pretty solid phone, it feels very premium in the hands and its size is just enough to give users a much better grip with or without the free case. Operating this device single-handedly is just an easy task to achieve. Even though the back panel of the phone is made of plastic (nope, no aluminum this time around), how the components inside are arranged and how the back plate is designed including the chamfered and rounded edges, it does not feel cheap at all, in fact I even thought every thing outside was made of aluminum material because of how it was all put together. My only complaint so far, smudge hungry and it's very obvious for the black variant, at least, not sure if the same case for the other color.

The day I took it out of the box
The following day
Now let's have a tour of the OPPO A83

The front panel is dominated by the 5.7-inch Full View display sporting a 1440x720 resolution and a total of 282 pixels per inch across the display panel. 2.5D curves on the edges is still present here giving it a more premium look. There are no capacitive buttons on the lower bezel, so all three (multi task, home, back) buttons are on-screen. These buttons work so well all the time, they are not distracting as I expected, all of them go away almost immediately when I play games or watch videos in full screen mode. If I want them back on screen, I simply do a quick swipe down from the upper screen.

At the top of the display panel are the 8MP selfie camera, earpiece, and the sensor. And then the whole Full View display comes pre-installed with a screen protector. You can easily remove it and replace with a tempered glass protection if you'd like to. But since I am not a fan tempered glasses, I usually stick with the pre-installed one, which by the way, is perfectly placed on the screen with the camera, call speaker, and sensors not covered.

Now as for the physical buttons, the volume rocker is situated on the left side while the power key, which also works as a lock and wake up button is on the right edge. On this right side is where we can also see the triple card slot. Yes three slots, which means you can use two SIM cards and a microSD card all at once. And speaking of microSD card, you can add up to 128GB extra storage on top of the device's 32GB internals storage.

Down at the bottom are the six-hole speaker grille, microUSB port, mic, and the 3.5mm audio jack.

Powering the OPPO A83 is a 2.5GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P23 processor. This is the same chipset housed in the F5 series, paired with 3GB of RAM. With these two major specs powering this device with the latest ColorOS 3.2 UI based on Android 7.1 Nougat operating system and a Mali-G71 MP2 GPU, performance is definitely not going to be a problem on this phone.

To put that to the test, I installed two of the most task and graphics-heavy Android mobile games called the Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 5. After initially installing the games, I immediately played these for a couple of hours with switching to social media sites in between, and I am happy to report that I never experienced any increase in temperature on the A83. If you are worried that this handset gets easily warmed up or gets hot while playing your favorite games, I guess that will be the last thing to bother you with this OPPO A83.

Also, if you care about this phone's Antutu score. Here it is, 80,827.

Facial Unlock Technology

The OPPO A83 does not have a fingerprint scanner, but a Facial Unlock feature which you will need to rely on most of the time unlocking the phone. And I am kind of mixed on this one. To be honest, this is the first device I have ever tried with a facial unlock technology, and I wear glasses as well, so that being said, I am really not that excited in trying this particular feature. Below are some of the hesitations or questions I had before trying this facial unlock thing by the OPPO A83.
  1.  Will this be able to recognize me even without the glasses on (I only registered my face wearing the glasses)?
  2.  Is this fast enough?
  3. Do I have to raise the phone up my face to unlock it? 
  4. What about in low light situations or night time, will everything work just fine? 
  5. Does it have to be near my face to recognize me?
Below are the answers I found out.
  1. Yes it was able to recognize me both with or without the glasses on. That's very nice to know actually. I don't know if it's the same case if you wear a hat/cap or make-up during face registration. 
  2. Happy to say, yes it is very fast. Almost instantaneous, but not as fast and convenient as using a fingerprint scanner. This is simply because, the phone does not unlock using facial recognition without waking the screen first which has to be done by pressing the power key on the right. 
  3. Thankfully no, I can just wake up the phone even right below my face like using it normally and the Facial Unlock feature will work really well and fast. 
  4. Yes it will. Even if I have tiny amount of light hitting my face, the phone still unlocks. I guess it has to be very very dark, like in cinemas, or no light at all for the facial unlock to fail. 
  5. Not really. I tried unlocking it with my arm stretched away from me (with the phone of course facing me), and yes it still works perfectly.  
  6. BONUS. I used some of my self portrait photos on my other phone to see it they can unlock the A83, thankfully no. Though there were instances that the phone appeared to recognize that it was a face in front of it, it didn't unlock the phone at all, instead I was given face not recognized error or something like that. 
If you don't like using the Facial Recognition Technology on this one for unlocking the phone, you can always stick to the now-vintage 4-digit passcode authentication. For me, I really prefer Fingerprint Scanner over Facial Unlock, but since I don't have that option with the OPPO A83 and its Facial Unlock works most of the time, I still use it.

Rear/Front Camera and A.I. Beauty Recognition

One of the highlights of this OPPO A83 is the inclusion of the Chinese company's latest innovation called the A.I. Beauty Recognition tech, which according to OPPO is "based on a global image database of human faces, the A83's smart camera can recognize your gender, age, skin tone, and skin type, then precisely refine 200+ facial feature spots, so as to capture the real you."

On the A83's back is a 13MP rear camera with f2.2 aperture and LED flash. While on the front is the 8MP selfie camera with the same f/2.2 aperture. Both shooters are equipped with the standard in-app Beautification feature, but only the front camera has the A.I. Beautification technology right out of the box.
Front / Rear camera interface
See below some of the photos I took using the OPPO A83's rear and front cameras.

Both front and back cameras are able to produce good photos especially when the lighting is excellent. Even in low light scenes, you can still get decent quality of photos with minimal noise.

Software and Interface

When it comes to the software, users get a ColorOS 3.2 interface based on the Android 7.1 Nougat OS by Google. If you have used an OPPO device before, especially one from the F series, I think the looks and feel do not change that much. It's still much faster and more responsive, and appears closer to iOS than to Android's design. And yes it does not have app drawer, every app is there in the home screen, you simply need to swipe to the left to see more. Also, maybe it's just me, but I don't see much unwanted pre-installed apps in this one which is very good.

If there is one major change I noticed in this version of ColorOS, that would be on how you pull up the notification and quick settings panel. At first, I though only the notifications' panel is retained and the quick settings one is gone since I don't see them anymore whenever I swipe down from the top on the home screen. That remained my impression until I tried swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

Battery life and charging 

The OPPO A83 is powered by a not so bad 3180mAh battery. I already mentioned above that this does not come with a fast charging tech (VOOC Flash Charge), and it depends on how you charge your phone, it is much faster when you are not using it at the same time. More than two hours is the fastest I can recall.

In terms of longevity, of course that will also vary on your actual usage. But for me, it always lasts me more than a day of life. The usage includes all-day 4G connected, checking social media accounts almost every 15 minutes, taking photos from time to time and watching one or two movies and series episodes on Netflix.

Thanks to the OPPO A83's 5.7-inch display with HD+ resolution, this adds more life to the battery as it does consume less compared to other much bigger 18:9 display and higher resolution smartphones. Plus, if you always carry a powerbank with you all the time, then it will last you even longer without needing to connect to a powerwall again.

Final Thoughts

If you have read my previous reviews and unboxing posts, I usually say I am not a fan of taking selfie photos. When I look for a new smartphone, it is always the rear camera performance I am most concerned about as I need them more than the front camera for blogging purposes and posting on social media accounts. The OPPO A83, is definitely not targeted at users like me since OPPO is putting more power and emphasize on its selfie camera just like the previous selfie-centric device they have offered. But if you are someone who love taking selfies of yourself or with your squad and quite on a budget but don't want to ruin the quality of those photos, then the OPPO A83 should be on top of your list to consider. I think the A.I. Beauty Recognition is capable of delivering its promise, a more real you and natural selfies with enhancements based on the phone's A.I. Beauty capabilities. While beauty is subjective, OPPO's A.I. Beauty feature is there to help us take it a notch higher, and I believe there is nothing wrong with that.

Design wise, the OPPO A83 does not disappoint, even the free clear case it one to flaunt with the device itself. Performance is superb as well. And while Full HD+ is much better than HD+ in terms of resolution quality and viewing experience, you can hardly see the difference with the A83. I watched half of Altered Carbon series from Netflix using this phone, and I enjoyed everything as much as with my Huawei Nova 2i smartphone which has bigger display and higher pixel count. For consuming online and digital content, I can absolutely recommend OPPO A83.

A fingerprint scanner included would be more awesome.

OPPO A83 specs:
  • 5.7-inch HD+ Display
  • 1440 x 720 resolution, 282 ppi
  • 2.5GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P23 processor
  • Mali G71 MP2
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card up to 128GB 
  • 13MP rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash
  • 8MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture and A.I. Beauty Recognition Technology
  • Android 7.1 Nougat with ColorOS 3.2 UI
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual-SIM (non-Hybrid)
  • FM Radio
  • Face Recognition
  • Black , Gold
  • 3180mAh battery
  • Php9,990
The OPPO A83 is now available in the Philippines for only Php9,990. It can also be had via Home Credit through installment plan at 0% interest even without a credit card.

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DUGOMPINOY: OPPO A83 Unboxing and Review
OPPO A83 Unboxing and Review
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