Its been almost a year since OPPO started selling in Pakistan. They’ve launched a few up to the snuff smartphones but they still have a long way to go. In order to compete with the likes of Samsung, Microsoft Mobile and etc., they’re trying to introduce devices that are spread across all the price ranges.
In the start of June, OPPO Pakistan launched the new OPPO Neo 5s. It is an affordable mid-range Dual-SIM 4G LTE smartphone which is being sold for 19,990/- PKR (~200 USD). It is available in two colors: Blue and white. We received our blue OPPO Neo 5s review unit two weeks ago, which we already unboxed. Now, in this in-depth review, we’ll have a more detailed look at all the aspects of the OPPO Neo 5s.
OPPO Neo 5s comes in a box which is not much different from the other OPPO devices. You can checkout the complete OPPO Neo 5s unboxing, in our previous blog post. In this review, we will only be briefly discussing the contents of the packaging which are:
- OPPO Neo 5s device
- OPPO stereo headsets
- Wall charger w/ a micro-USB cable
- Front & back protectors (already applied)
- Quick guide booklet
Design & Build Quality
For an affordable smartphone, OPPO Neo 5s sure does have a solid and compact build. At the core of the Neo 5s is a double layer metallic structure which strengthens the device. It also extends out from all of the four sides, giving the Neo 5s a rigid grip and a firm feel.
Back cover of the Neo 5s has a beautiful mirror-like appearance. It is aesthetically pleasing and quite similar to the Sony Xperia Z series. The 8MP camera and a LED flash are placed near the top, with the loudspeaker grille at the bottom and OPPO logo in between.
On the front, OPPO Neo 5s is just like any other OPPO smartphone. Sensors and the speaker grille with a 2MP camera is at the top, below which is the 4.5″ IPS display and the touch panel (with menu, home and back keys) is on the bottom. Sad to say, the touch panel has no backlights. This makes using the OPPO Neo 5s hectic in dark environments until you get used to it.
Hardware key placement on the OPPO Neo 5s is different, I’d rather say odd. Volume rocker keys are present on the right side of the device while the left side hosts the power key. So, unless you’re left-handed, reaching the power key to turn the display on or off can be quite troublesome. Moreover, the power button is too soft and is easily pressed while taking out or putting the phone back into the pocket.
Top and bottom of the phone have the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro-USB port, respectively. The micro-USB port on the OPPO Neo 5s is also positioned unusually.
Performance & Battery
During the time we spent with the OPPO Neo 5s, I found it’s operations to be comparatively smoother than the Mirror 3. It would halt by and by, but that’s to be expected when there is only 1GB RAM on-board. In addition, OPPO Neo 5s has a Quad-core 1.2 GHz (64-bit) Snapdragon 410 CPU and the Andreno 306 GPU.
Gaming experience on the Neo 5s is not bad at all. Games such as Subway Surfer or Agent Dash do take a while to load. But once loaded, these games run flawlessly most of the time.
OPPO Neo 5s is juiced by a 2000 mAh battery which is good enough for a device with mid-range specs. On average, the device would last 2-3 days with a suitable amount of texting, gaming and minimal internet usage. But if you use WiFi and 3G/4G more frequently, your battery would only last a little more than a day.
One interesting bit about the Neo 5s design is it’s backcover. Although the backcover is removable, the battery is not. You can only access the two SIM slots (Micro + Nano) and the micro-SD slot underneath it.
Like all the other OPPO smartphones, OPPO Neo 5s also has the OPPO ColorOS pre-installed. ColorOS is OPPO’s custom skin for the Android OS. It is somewhat different from what others e.g. HTC Sense or MIUI offer. Since Neo 5s and Mirror 3 both have ColorOS v2.0, you can read more about it in our OPPO Mirror 3 review. In the mean time, here are some images of the ColorOS v2.0 running on the OPPO Neo 5s.
OPPO Neo 5s has a 8MP primary cam which is complemented with the OPPO’s Pure Image 2.0+ technology. There also is a secondary 2MP camera present on the device.
UI of the camera is quite simple and easy to operate. On the right side, you’ll find buttons to capture images, start/stop video recording and open the gallery. On the left side are the options to switch between cameras, turn the LED flash on/off and open extended camera settings.
Sliding away from the capture button, opens up a panel which has a grid of camera apps. These small camera applications allow you to switch between different modes e.g. expert mode, slow shutter, double exposure, HDR and more. You can add or remove camera apps from the panel for quicker access.
Talking about the OPPO’s camera quality, I would say that I’m impressed. OPPO Neo 5s, quite frankly, delivered more than what I was expecting from a mid-range device. You would see in the samples below that images taken during outdoors in good lighting are vibrant, with almost no noise and a good amount of detail.
Low-light and indoor photography using the OPPO Neo 5s isn’t bad either. Images might not always be sharp but they’re good enough to make a sense of them.
Just to make things more interesting, there are a few images in the samples above which have been taken at 4x zoom or less. Can you try guessing which ones?
OPPO Neo 5s Review Wrap-up
OPPO Neo 5s is a mid-range device which actually gives you the bang for your bucks. It’s a Dual-SIM 4G LTE smartphone with sublime build quality. It’s mirrored form back is beautiful and something that you don’t find on many devices. Technical specs of the Neo 5s are similar to what you’ll find in most devices of this price range. All of the hardware is fine except the 1GB RAM which I think is a bummer for the power users. Camera quality of the Neo 5s is applaudable and better than some of it’s competition. The good number of different camera modes add to making your photography experience more exciting.
So, OPPO Neo 5s would be the device for you if you’re looking for something attractive with a strong build, good feel and applaudable camera quality. But if you’re looking forward to running a lot of resource hungry apps, I would suggest that you look somewhere else because the OPPO Neo 5s just might not be for you.