The new OPPO A96 is the latest entry level mid range smartphone and actually offers a significant upgrade that will benefit users for a long time. The phone has already launched in Malaysia (by the time the article uploaded). If you’re planning to get the OPPO A96 in Malaysia for yourself or someone else, then check out this review article first.
Design – Feels like the predecessor and other range
For the design on the OPPO A96, the device maintains the generic OPPO phone design element. So, you will get a slim and compact body, a punch hole camera on the top left of the display, volume rocker and sim card tray slot on the left, power button/ fingerprint scanner on the right, and for bottom, a 3.5mm headphone jack along with USB Type-C charging port and a speaker grill. I do hope OPPO would try to change their smartphone design to give a character for each of their device.
Gripping the phone is not a problem as the phone thickness is 8.4 mm. The phone also weight at 190.9 g, allowing users to use and hold the phone for a long period without any problem. The back cover of the OPPO A96 is using OPPO Glow Design which offers eye-catching and dazzling, smooth to the touch, and anti-fingerprint, scratch, and dirt resistant. OPPO also provided a clear TPU case with the device so you can use to protect the phone. The A96 is offered with 2 colours in Malaysia; Starry Black and Pearl Pink. The camera bump is also looking sleek thanks to less protruding bump.
Overall, the design element on the OPPO A96 is just basically good for those who are looking for minimalistic approach.
Performance – One of the best entry level smartphone setup
For the performance, OPPO A96 is powered by the Snapdragon 680 chipset and paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. There is a RAM Expansion feature on the device which allows an additional up to 5GB RAM. You can expand your memory storage via microSD card up to 1TB as well.
If you need to do your daily task on the device, it will definitely have the power to handle most of them. For gaming, heavy game title like Genshin Impact is best to play at Lowest settings to maintain a smooth gameplay at around 26-30 fps. I only recommend casual gamers to use the phone for gaming.
For the software, it uses ColorOS 11.1 with Android 11. If you’re familiar with OPPO software, you will definitely find most of the gestures and features to be very helpful. For me, I felt the software experience is just ok but hopefully, OPPO can quickly update the device to ColorOS 12 with Android 12.
The performance department on the OPPO A96 is sufficient enough for the casual and day-to day user as you really hard to find any fault on the device. Just remember that this device is an entry level mid range smartphone.
Display and Audio – Better upgrades for better immersive entertainment experience
The OPPO A96 spots a 6.59-inch screen IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate, hence you can expect the device to provide a smooth scrolling experience. The display has 1080×2412 FHD resolution which means you can binge watch with FHD format. The display brightness is good for indoor but you might struggle a bit on bright sunny outdoor conditions. Also, the display has a screen protector pre-applied out of the box.
For the audio, a stereo speaker setup ensures a louder volume experience on the OPPO A96. The only setback for the stereo speakers are the lack of bass. You can overcome it by using a wired or wireless earbuds/headphones as the phone supports a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth.
Camera – Good for photography, just average for videography
On the camera department, the OPPO A96 has a dual rear camera setup featuring a 50MP main camera and 2MP depth camera while a 16MP front camera will handle your selfie.
For photography, the OPPO A96 50MP main camera is pretty good thanks to a solid software and hardware combination. Photos output from the main camera is looking good most of the time. The main camera only start to suffer when lighting conditions are low where noise are apparent. Also, I don’t really recommend to go way beyond 2x zoom shots as the photo is not really looking good with the digital zoom shots.
The 16MP selfie camera also takes nice photos in bright conditions but, similar to the main camera, starts to falter at low light conditions. You can use Night mode to on the main and selfie camera to compensate with low light conditions.
Portrait shots is so-so and you need to adjust the bokeh strength to adjust the edge detection.
For videos, the front and rear main camera can only shoot up to 1080 30 fps. For casual video recording, they are acceptable but definitely not for content creation.
Battery – Enough to power you for at least a day
The OPPO A96 uses 5,000mAh battery that supports 33W SUPERVOOC charging (charging adapter is included in the box). Together with an energy efficient mid range chipset, the battery performance is enough to offer at least a day of usage for casual users. But if you’re planning to use the device for heavy usage, you may need to charge up the device earlier.
Final verdict – Consider it if you need an entry level mid range smartphone offers a longevity usage
Right now, the OPPO A96 will go for RM1299 in Malaysia. I recommend this device if you need an entry level mid range smartphone offers a longevity usage. The OPPO A96 offers users a large storage and memory space, large screen with 90Hz refresh rate, stereo speakers, adequate entry level mid range specs, fantastic battery life and a good main camera. While there maybe some hiccup, the device still perform quite well for day to day usage.
You’ll hardly find any fault with the device if you’re a casual smartphone user.
Special thanks to OPPO Malaysia for loaning the device for review purposes. However, this is not a paid content hence there is no creative input nor final approval by OPPO. OPPO and readers will be reading the article at the same time when it goes live. Also, the review is based on 2 weeks of usage hence there might be some difference of experience for future updates.