People frequently ask me what affordable Android phone I would recommend for efficient and comfortable work, expecting me to respond immediately and without hesitation. But the truth is that there are lots of devices that are worth investing in. Many users are uncertain about their options. In this review, I’ll tell you about a cutting-edge, extremely fashionable phone with lots of practical features. Let’s discuss the Oppo A96.

As you can see, the company places a premium on unique appearance and color variety. The buyer can select between two colors: Starry Black and Sunset Blue.

OPPO makes sure the smartphone is “usable” right after you take it out of the box. All the necessary elements are in place: a SIM eject tool, a manual, and a protective case, which, although not of the highest quality, will protect the smartphone to a certain degree.

Of course, there is a cable and a charger, for a budget device this is still the norm, but users of flagship models have already forgotten about such a luxury. On the one hand, it’s great – just take it out and start using it. And yet, who doesn’t have a similar charger or two by this point? Maybe they are redundant by this point.

A protective film is pasted on the screen of the device. It’s flimsy, but thanks, I guess?

OPPO A96 design

OPPO A96 is striking. Just take a look at the back panel. That is just nice.

It’s sometimes difficult to tell what color the device is because it shimmers in the sun with all the colors of the rainbow; or rather, from red-pink to turquoise-blue; it’s not for nothing that the color is officially known as “sunset.” It is a crime to conceal this beauty in a case.

OPPO’s back is made of plastic. In the smartphone’s defense, this nuance has no significant impact on the build quality and causes no additional inconvenience. You should also keep in mind that we are not discussing a flagship, but rather a segment in which a glass back panel is uncommon. However, a glass version would be nice because it adds a touch of class.

I’ll add that the panel in the photo appears rough (similar to the OPPO Reno 6), but in reality, it’s more than smooth, and the phone tries to slip out of your grip. So, if it is important to you, I recommend that you use a case.

The screen bezels are minimal, except that the notch stands out noticeably. The A96 is what you might call a long smartphone. Frankly, I’m used to such devices, so I did not have to get used to its size. Yes, and it is much more convenient to have a large screen that fits a lot of elements.

The weight of the OPPO is 191 g. As you can see, it’s not the lightest, but I never get tired when using it, even with a case.

The layout is standard here. In the upper left corner, we see the front-facing camera, below the volume button. On the right side is the power button with a built-in fingerprint reader, which is very convenient, but the button itself could be placed a little lower.

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There is a slot for two SIM cards + memory card, at the bottom, there is a speaker, an additional microphone, a Type-C port, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. On the back, there’s the block with two cameras, as well as a flashlight.

The build quality of the smartphone is excellent. The OPPO A96 is IP54 certified, which means it’s not afraid of splashes and drops. And also, according to the manufacturer, it should withstand a fall from a height of 1 meter without consequences, but I did not check.

Screen

The 6.43-inch Full HD+ display performs admirably, providing a high-quality, clear, and crisp image. There are no overly saturated colors here. The matrix is IPS, but it’s nearly identical to AMOLED. Just a fantastic screen.

There is an Eye Comfort feature (calmer warmer shades in the evening), it has become almost a standard in modern gadgets. In the settings, there is an adjustment of the color temperature according to the schedule and time.

Another feature that also directly affects our perception of content is the refresh rate, which here is 90Hz. The image is really smooth, the scrolling is not twitchy. In the settings, you can choose either the standard 60 Hz or 90 Hz. But in the second case, the frequency will still be adaptive to save battery. The choice is yours.

Performance

The heart of the OPPO A96 is the time-tested Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor with the Adreno 610 video chip. The smartphone will work great in everyday tasks and even in heavy games (any will run, but not all with maximum graphics settings, I tried PUBG and COD Mobile). I think that the smartphone is powerful enough, there are no lags or freezes. Feels like a more expensive model.

I will add that OPPO has the ability to increase the RAM by adding 2-5 GB of virtual to the physical RAM.

For lovers of numbers, the results of benchmark tests. Geekbench – 382 points in single-core mode and 1671 points in multi-core mode. AnTuTu – 275735 points. Even in stress tests, the smartphone does not overheat.

OPPO A96 cameras

As for the cameras, everything is fine here, nothing unusual. The photos are of good quality, sometimes details are distorted when zoomed in, but first things first.

The OPPO A96 received the following camera modules:

  • 50 MP, f/1.
  • 2 MP depth sensor
  • front-facing 16 MP camera

The set, so to speak, is basic, there is no wide-angle lens, so you won’t be able to fit more into the picture than the main module sees.

Selfies

If you want to take pictures for Instagram, the 16 MP front camera is definitely be enough.

Unfortunately, when recording video, this smartphone lacks optical stabilization. The quality is adequate but not exceptional. The resolution is only 1080p@30fps.

Unlocking

I already mentioned the fingerprint scanner, which is built into the power button. In my opinion, this is the best option, as it is fast, the finger rests comfortably on the button and the phone is immediately unlocked.

They are other ways to unlock, such as face recognition or PIN code, are also convenient. Everyone can choose the way that suits them. Sad thing is, the face unlocking feature is only 2D. It’s not the most reliable and fast and does not work well in the dark.

Battery life

The battery in this model is good even on paper. During the two weeks of the test, I actively trained, checked social networks, took pictures, played games, listened to music, and each time I did not have to charge the phone until late in the evening. The declared capacity of the battery, let me remind you, is 5000 mAh.

There is a fast charging function, which is 33 watts. This is not the largest indicator, but it’s good that there is such an option. A full charge takes about 1 hour 20 minutes, 50% takes a little less than half an hour.

Software

Out of the box, the phone has an old version of Android 11. But as soon as you go into the settings, the system itself offers an update to Android 12 and the ColorOS 12.1 shell version. Of course, the update is worth installing, as the new system from OPPO is faster and smoother. But that’s not all, the improved version of the software provides the user with greater security and privacy.

It provides fast and convenient functions for online communication, including quick notifications, and replies to messages. Instead of all the usual gestures, there are others – one-handed operation, dynamic widgets, convenient data search, and easy hotspot settings.

I liked these improvements, some may prefer pure Android without shells, but I don’t agree. I say let everybody have a go!

CONCLUSION

I think that the OPPO A96 is interesting primarily because of its unusual design. The iridescent panel is truly mesmerizing. Another advantage is an impressive screen, a big battery and fast charging (33 W), good quality cameras, and a convenient fingerprint scanner inside the power button. The smartphone is fast thanks to decent hardware and the new ColorOS 12.1 shell based on Android 12.

There are also cons because nothing is perfect. The plastic back panel might irritate some. There’s no optical stabilization for better results when shooting photos and videos, as well as a wide-angle lens (I often need it). There is no 5G support as well.

In general, I recommend the OPPO A96, the model has more advantages than disadvantages. This is really a good model for daily work, chatting, and entertainment.