Oppo R5: More than just slim

By: | Published: January 15, 2015 12:50 AM

An average user will like this super-thin phone more for its performance than design

A lot of smartphone makers have been on the quest for the thinnest devices for many years. Of late, there have been at least two big claimants for the thinnest smartphone title, the Oppo R5 and the Vivo X5 Max. The former is 4.8 mm, while the latter is 4.75 mm thick, hardly a thread differentiating the two. We recently laid our hands on the super slim Oppo R5. But is there more to this phone than its credit card like build?
Oppo’s phones have always been a bit pricier than its rivals across price ranges, because the company offers some premium features and looks right from the box. I liked both the N1 and the Find 7, because they were both good phones with genuine effort to do something different. Design seems to be one of the strong points of this company.

Is this phone all about super thin? At first sight, and subsequent ones, this phone will impress you with its build quality. Of course, it is a super slim phone that you will forget about once you slip it into your pocket. But it also has a metal frame that will give you the kind of confidence very few large screen smartphones can offer. The matte aluminum rear is classy, so are the silver capacitive buttons under the screen.

Still, an average user is likely to like this phone more for its performance than its design. Despite not having a top-of-the line processor, the performance is very smooth especially when you are switching through apps or browsing.

The phone also has a very good camera. In fact, it has arguably the best low light performance in a smartphone camera I have reviewed recently. The phone offers you options to add many apps like GIF, slow shutter and a very rare macro option.

The Oppo R5 is different in many ways. It does not run stock Android. The Color OS 2.0 is not very confusing, but long time Android users will be fighting with a lot of muscle memory and struggling to find the icons that are embedded in your mind. This phone is a cool customer. The phase-shifting material inside the phone tries to keep the device cool whatever you do. During the few days that I used the device it did not heat up much even once. I could, however, feel a bit of warmth at the end of the benchmarking. For the record, the benchmarking is near the HTC One, so close to a two-year-old flagship.

The mini rapid charging system is one of the best features of the phone as it solves a critical problem for smartphone users. Yes, the phone can charge from 0 to 75% in 30 minutes flat. And when you feel the power is critically low, you can just plug it in for five minutes and be safe for at least an hour. However, ensure that you are using the power adapter that comes in the box to achieve these results.

Is super thin all good? No. Super thin means you have to be super careful while handling the phone. It won’t bend, but it could sure slip out of your hand. And, while the phone is 4.8 mm thin, the camera lens protrudes out of this frame. At the thickest point the phone must be around 5 mm. But the issue here is that you might need to protect that bump.

Plus, you cannot use a earphone without the micro USB-to-3.5 mm converter that comes in the box. You will need to guard this small piece of wire with your life. Also, there is no space for extra storage. So the 16 GB—of which only 10.5 GB is free—is all that you get. This is the price you pay for trying to be suave.

While a lot of people would want to buy the phone for its slim design, I would suggest you give more importance to the camera and the super fast battery charging ability. While the slim frame will have some head turning ability, the camera and battery are features you will use every day.

* Display: 5.2-inch Full HD AMOLED display
* Processor: 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core processor
* Operating system: Color OS 2.0, based on Android 4.4
* Memory & storage: 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage
* Camera: 13 MP (rear); 5 MP front camera
* Connectivity: BT 4, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi
* Battery: 2000 mAh Li-Po battery
* Estimated street price: Rs 29,990

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