The OPPO A53 is another one of those nicely built 4G smartphones to emerge from the belly of B.B.K. Electronics, with plenty of premium features but a price that will not break the bank.
At $299, the device is hardly a strain on the pocket. Exactly how a phone with this many features is sold at this price remains a mystery to me – but then I’m not complaining.
About the only area where one can pick a bone with the A53 is when it comes to storage; the phone has 64GB storage. But there is always scope to expand that through the provided SD slot which will take a card up to 256GB. There are two nano SIM slots. One must add that Apple and Google also offer only 64GB on their entry-level devices which cost an arm and a leg.
A distance shot taken on a cloudy day.
One of the shortcomings that some readers of the vivo Y20s review cited as a reason for not expending their hard-earned on it was the lack of NFC. The A53 does not lack NFC and is the same price as the vivo device.
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The LCD screen has a resolution of 720 x 1600 and a screen area of 6.5 inches. The additional lure to buy this device is that it has a screen refresh rate of 90Hz, in addition to the bog standard 60Hz.
I’ve been using the device at the higher refresh rate for the last seven days and there is a perceptible difference when watching videos or playing games. Battery drain is not all that much either; I charged the A53 just twice during that testing period.
Bright colours even this was taken in poor light.
The device has a big battery at 5000mAh, among the bigger sizes on modern-day smartphones.
But the rate of charging will not break any records, seeing as the charger is 18W. One has to set by at least 75 minutes for a full charge. The connector is USB-C.
Even at this price level, OPPO has managed to put in a premium SoC, a Qualcomm SM4250 which, with the 4GB of memory, makes for smooth scrolling and no lag at all.
In this model, the fingerprint reader is at the back, similar to the way it is on the Google Pixel 4a. Facial recognition is also available.
And no, he was not asked to strike a pose.
The operating system is OPPO’s ColorOS which is layered over Android 10. As in some other models from the same company, there is no crapware of note and the phone comes with very little luggage on board.
The device has an AI triple camera with portrait mode (13MP + 2MP + 2MP) plus an 8MP front camera and comes in two colours: Electric Black and Mint Cream. Close-ups come out very clean and with no blur at all, no matter if they are taken outdoors or inside.
The camera system also provides very good pictures outdoors, even in cloudy conditions as can be seen from the pictures embedded in this article.
The flowers marry well with statues from the east.
The sound is excellent and the headphones that come with the phone are well made, with buds that stay inside the ears no matter how one contorts one’s jaws. As I have mentioned before, this is a tick in my book any day given that most buds refuse to stay inside my ears.
There is no vibration even when one turns up the volume to the maximum, no matter what music is being played. Some devices in the low-budget category often have this issue.
Having reviewed models from vivo, OPPO, realme, TCL and Huawei, one is sure that sooner or later the snobs among the reviewers will have to stop limiting themselves to considering that only Samsung, Apple and Google are smartphone brands worthy or attention, and start giving Chinese models some airtime.
No phone review is complete without a picture of some of our feathered friends. At bottom right, is a shot taken indoors at dusk.
Indeed, were it not for the volume sales and the cut-throat competition among the various Chinese vendors — and some are unheard of outside China because they have their hands full coping with the tsunami of local buyers — devices such as this, which provide the best of both worlds, would not be available at these prices.
The A53 is being sold at JB Hi-Fi, Woolworths, Mobileciti, Bing Lee and Amazon.
Colours Electric Black / Mint Cream
Chipset (make/ model) Qualcomm SM4250
Operating System/ColorOS Android 10 / ColorOS 7.2
Screen Size (inches)/Pixels 6.5″ HD+ A-Si LCD 720×1600
Screen Refresh Rate 90Hz
Max Brightness 480 nit
System Memory (RAM) 4GB
Internal Memory (ROM) 64GB
External Memory Up to 256 GB
Rear Camera Setup 13MP + 2MP +2MP
Rear Camera Sensor 13MP(OV13B10) + 2MP(GC02K0-YA) + 2MP(GC02M1B)
Rear Camera Sensor Size 13MP(1/3.06″) + 2MP(1/5″) + 2MP(1/5″)
Rear Camera Field of View 13MP(81.3°) + 2MP(88.8°) + 2MP(88.8°)
Rear Camera Zoom Type 10x Digital
Rear Camera Video Mode 1080P/ 720P @ 30fps
Rear Camera Additional Features “PDAF Macro Mode”
Front Camera Setup 8MP
Effects “Normal/ HDR/ Panorama/ Beautify/Time-lapse photo/Potrait”
SIM Lock “Telstra & Optus Yes Others No”
Dual SIM Yes (Open Channel)
Battery Size/ Type 5000mAh
GSM Talk Time 30hrs (Screen off）
GSM Standby Time 500hrs
UMTS Talk Time 30hrs (Screen off）
UMTS Standby Time 500hrs
The A53 black variant.
LTE Talk Time 30hrs (Screen off）
LTE Standby Time 500hrs
Charger details 9V2A, 18W
Packaging (in-box content)
Wall Charger Yes
Data Cable Yes
Screen Protector Yes
Warranty Card Yes
Mobile Muster Card Yes
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