When the Oppo A73 first arrived on my desk, I knew nothing about the phone and little about Oppo itself. It wasn’t until I looked it up, that I found this is, in fact, a “budget” phone.
That should be the biggest selling point of the Oppo A73 – you could use it for weeks and never feel like this is a phone you snagged for half the price of its competitors.
To start with, the A73 has a classy feel to its design; like an iPhone and a Galaxy made sweet, sweet love, and this was the result.
It feels good in the hand, it feels good in the pocket. Speaking as someone who likes a big screen, this is pretty much the perfect size.
But there are a few more important features that’ll quickly make you feel like you’ve paid top dollar for the phone you’ve got your hands on.
The camera is one of the big selling points from Oppo’s point of view – their promotional page even promises to produce selfies where “your face glistens like a lily in the field”.
I am by no means a selfie expert, but yes, I did notice just a little glistening. I found the Oppo A73 camera to take good photos with both front and rear cameras, and it would take a keen eye to discern a difference in quality between these and a more pricey product.
What probably impressed me most is the quality of the facial recognition and fingerprint options for accessing your phone.
A touch of the finger to the sensor wakes the phone up automatically and for me became the most common way to turn it on – quick and seamless.
Alternatively, if you press the power button on and give the screen your best Blue Steel look, then it will pick up your face without much fuss – the only problems I encountered here were when wearing my glasses.
I’ve used a few phones with fingerprint and facial recognition access before but I’ve never used one as quick and seamless as the Oppo A73. Of course, the more traditional methods of locking and unlocking your phone are available too.
Lastly, the battery life – this happens to be extremely good. After some heavy use where I spent several hours streaming video, and even more time tethering mobile data to my laptop – the Oppo was still ready for more at the end of the day.
In about a month of trialling it, I had just one day where the phone informed it was down to 20 per cent battery (and this was pretty late in the day). Other than that I was able to use it as much as liked all day long without needing a charge.
So what are the A73’s flaws? The one most likely to frustrate you is that Oppo has tweaked Android into their own version and there a few things that will trip you up.
Honestly, there’s nothing massive here, there’s just a number of things that it will take you time to get used to, and compared to what we’re familiar with, it feels like a case of fixing things that aren’t broke.
This is just growing pains though and really, you’ll go through it with just about any new phone – but once you get the hang of things, it’s little trouble.
I’d certainly recommend the Oppo A73. It might not have quite as much under the hood as the flagship models of other brands, but unless you’re a dedicated smartphone enthusiast you probably won’t really notice the difference.
Most importantly, the Oppo A73 is available for half or even a third of what you’d pay for a topline smartphone. It would have to be one of the very best value smartphones available.
I look forward to seeing what Oppo does next.