OPPO A92 Review; Great Features All Around, But Not Without Issues

The OPPO A92 is the latest entry to OPPO’s A series lineup. It’s targeted towards younger users with the aim of providing a smartphone that provides everything they need. In Malaysia, the OPPO 92 retails for a reasonable RM1,199 and is priced slightly higher than the OPPO A91, which was a decent lightweight smartphone that checked most boxes. You can read up my review for that smartphone here.

Of course, the A92 isn’t like the A91, but does the price tag justify its position in OPPO’s A series lineup? Read on to find out!

Design

While it has some similarities to other smartphones in the market, the back does have a design unique to itself. Calling it a ‘constellation’ design, it’s inspired by the changing colour of a polar sky, and well, it looks as advertised.

The rays all come from the camera bump, and you’ll get to see the shimmers of light every time you glance at the back of the phone. In some angles, it’ll look like any generic glossy finish, but it mostly maintains that look.

I was given the ‘Twilight Black’ variant and though I generally favour blacks, I think their ‘Shining White’ variant looks better. Having to choose between the two variants is like choosing between a scenery during the day or night. I guess for me, I prefer looking at scenery during the day.

Despite my praise for its design, having a glossy back does mean it’s a huge fingerprint magnet. Again, since I’m using Twilight Black, my fingerprints are very noticeable. I bet it won’t look as bad with Shining White, though.

They also have a third variant, called Aurora Purple. Unfortunately, though, I don’t think that one is available in Malaysia yet.

The smartphone sports a pretty large display, coming in at 6.5 inches. Coupled with a 1080p Neo-Display (2400×1080 pixels resolution), the smartphone provides a clear display with great vibrant colours. It also comes with a 90.5% screen to body ratio, which definitely suits the aesthetic of this phone.

The display’s brightness can go up to 480 nits, and I didn’t need to push it up to its maximum to know it can achieve that without issue. It’s that bright.

However, I find the side buttons are placed lower than it should be. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but every time I grip the phone my thumb always ends up higher than where the button actually is. I’m still not used to its position during this writeup.

It’s the same with the volume buttons. Instead of placing the Dual Sim and micro SD tray at the top, it might have worked better if it was placed under the volume buttons instead.

The side button also comes with a fingerprint scanner, coupled with facial recognition on the front camera. The fingerprint scanner is slightly faster, unlocking at a near split second. Honestly, though, the difference in speeds between the two is so insignificant that it doesn’t really matter.

Photography

Photography on the A92 is not so bad, but it does have a couple of issues.

The smartphone comes with a 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP AI QuadCamera setup. Photos taken with its main camera should be good enough for most users, though sometimes they can look a little soft.

On the other hand, the ultra-wide lens takes a harder fall, unfortunately, since it sports an 8MP sensor. Details are more muddled and don’t look good in general.

Similarly, it’s night-mode provides decent photos taken during the night, brightening up as much as it needs to. I find it odd that it sort of zooms in a little when I select Night mode, but I guess that isn’t such a big deal.

Every time a picture is taken in Night mode, there’s a buffer of up to 7 seconds in which the user is required to remain in position. Understandably, this is to allow the lens to absorb more light and reflect it on the photo. It does make taking photos with Night mode less appealing, though.

The 16MP front-facing camera is pretty good, though, so those who love to take selfies will definitely appreciate it. Of course, it comes with all that AI beautification stuff too. It still scares me seeing what the AI is capable of doing to my face.

Its portrait mode is quite good since its edge detection does a decent job. Not only that, but the bokeh can also be adjusted. Set at 60% by default, one can choose to adjust the level of bokeh if they want.

As for videos, the smartphone is capable of shooting up to 4K, but of course, you can’t tell on the smartphone itself since it’s a 1080p display.

After transferring both 1080p and 4K videos to my laptop, I can safely say that the quality difference is definitely noticeable. Colours are more saturated in 4K, while it appears a little washed out in 1080p. The Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) feature is noticeable while recording, though I find that it makes camera movements look a little unnatural.

The Soloop feature included with ColorOS 7.1 is a nice touch, too. It adds ways for users to get creative with their videos. There’s a wide selection of video filters as well for more personalisation.

I’d say that’s the end of it, and that anyone who wants to record in either format is assured consistent quality throughout.

Unfortunately, another important aspect of video recording is sound, and on this smartphone, it’s terrible. Not only is the mic too soft, but it also sounds somewhere between 32 kbit/s to 96 kbit/s. It’s just not great.

Performance

The smartphone comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 655 processor and, despite its age, should be able to hold its own pretty well. At least, that’s what I thought.

It suffers from occasional lag, and not all games will perform well on this smartphone. It’s not game-breaking or anything, but it should’ve been better.

OPPO has an integrated system called HyperBoost that’s meant to boost performance, especially for games. It’s hard to tell what difference it made since it’s automatically turned on, but from my experience, some games don’t perform that much better, anyway.

On top of the chipset, it also comes with an 8GB+128GB setup. Not much to complain here, except for the fact that the RAM doesn’t really help boost performance all that much.

Apart from that subpar performance, the smartphone comes packed with a huge 5,000 mAh battery capacity.

Depending on usage, the smartphone can either last for a day or possibly more. Under heavy usage, the battery can drop by about half (or more) within a day, so one can opt to charge it then. Under light usage, however, it can definitely last for far longer.

From my usage, I was able to comfortably use the smartphone for nearly two days before deciding to plug in the charger.

OPPO claims that the A92 has a standby time of up to 500 hours. I didn’t actually leave it untouched for that long, but even it can only reach a quarter of that, that’s more than enough for an average user.

My A92’s battery performance may also be because of some settings enabled by ColorOS 7.1, like ‘Intelligent Power Saver’ and ‘Sleep Standby Optimisation’.

However, a slight drawback is the adapter it comes with. An 18W power adapter sounds like something that should charge things up pretty quickly, but that wasn’t really the case from my experience.

To provide a little context, it took around 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge from 50% to full. When it was completely dead, it took 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach 100%.

(OPPO recommends to never charge your smartphone when it reaches below 10%, so please don’t do what I did. It’s only for testing purposes.)

That’s only if one intends to charge the battery up to 100%. It’ll only take an hour (from half capacity) and 2 hours (from 0%) to reach about 80%, which is fast enough.

I suppose the charge times are a small price to pay, given its huge capabilities. It does make me wonder why OPPO didn’t just include one of their VOOC chargers in the box, though.

Experience

The smartphone comes with Android’s ColorOS 7.1. I personally like the feel of the software, as it has quite a clean look to it. It feels smooth, for the most part, but because of its internal hardware, some things don’t run as fluid as it should.

Apart from that though, the software is optimised enough. It provides a wide array of customisation for users on how they’d like their smartphone to be like.

One notable feature is its multi-user mode, which, as its name implies, allow for multiple users. This mode is effective for those who want to separate their work and home lifestyles. One can download and use work-related apps on one side, and have plenty of entertainment apps on the other.

Of course, for those with children, you can have a user specially created for your child. Only calls and text messages require the admin’s authorisation for multiple users.

Another great feature of this smartphone is its speakers. Sporting a dual stereo speaker system, the A92 excels in providing one of the best sounding speakers, for a mid-range smartphone.

It picks up a lot of sounds, even subtle ones, which I never thought was possible. At max volume, it sounds really loud but still manages to sound good with little to no noticeable distortion.

That, coupled with its great display, is a superb combination for those who love to watch videos on YouTube. I dare say, one could even use this smartphone to binge-watch an entire series on Netflix if they want to.

It sounds great with games, too, but unfortunately, its performance dulls the experience.

Final Thoughts

The OPPO A92 is a good mid-range smartphone, albeit with some flaws. Its display, speakers and battery alone already make this a solid offer for most users. Its cameras, although not without issues, are good enough for anyone looking to add more to their social media feed.

For gamers, though, you might want to look elsewhere instead, because performance isn’t this smartphone’s strong suit.

The RM1,199 price tag is quite reasonable for what it’s offering and it’s a worthy competitor amongst other smartphones within the mid-range market.

One Response

  1. What did you mean that oppo does not recommend to charge if below 10%? so meaning i have to use till 0% then only charge it up? so if i want to charge it best is above 10%?

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