With its sleek design and its iOS-inspired interface, the Android-powered Oppo A57 offers an iPhone-like experience for folks on a budget.
Like other Oppo handsets, the A57 retools its Android operating system with Oppo's proprietary ColorOS, an interface that more closely resembles iOS than traditional Android. It's not quite a 1:1 iPhone experience, but thanks to the A57's budget price, it allows an entirely new audience of phone users to enjoy the core tenets of Apple's design without going broke in the process.
Essentially an Android-powered doppelganger of the iPhone 7
Support for 3.5mm headphones and microSD cards gives it a leg up on Apple's handsets
Oppo doesn't shy away from its iPhone aspirations with the A57. Not only does the rounded aluminium body bear a striking resemblance to the iPhone 7, it also comes in the same rose-gold hue that Apple popularised. The A57 even follows Apple's lead by integrating its fingerprint sensor into the Home button rather than shifting it to the back of the phone as per most other Android handsets.
Rather than mimic the two-model approach of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, the Oppo A57 comes in a single variant with a 5.2-inch screen. For reference, that's roughly halfway between the screen size of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. However, screen resolution is a noticeable step down from Apple's vaunted Retina HD display, clocking in at 1280 x 720 compared to the 1334 x 750 of the iPhone 7 and the 1920 x 1080 of the 7 Plus.
In a nice touch, the Oppo A57's screen uses Gorilla Glass 4, which provides additional protection against scratches, bumps and other types of impact damage.
Where the Oppo A57 really doubles down on its Apple stylings is in its custom ColorOS 3.0 operating system. Built atop Android 6.0 "Marshmallow", ColorOS gets rid of the standard Android app drawer in favour of laying out installed apps on the home screen a la iOS. It also follows a very similar visual language to iOS, with icons, system menus and other core functionality being immediately familiar to anyone who has used an iPhone recently.
For as many cues as the Oppo A57 takes from the iPhone, it also retains the more flexible features of its Android brethren. These include the all-important 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the capacity to upgrade the 32GB of internal storage by purchasing a microSD card. The Oppo A57 supports microSD cards up to 256GB, twice the amount of internal storage of the largest iPhone 7.
16MP front-facing camera is a big plus for selfie-snappers
Versatile enough for the camera needs of most phone users
Typically, smartphone cameras are more powerful at the back than the front. This allows for higher-quality landscape photography and environmental shots while accepting a small fidelity hit on selfies where it's less noticeable. Not so with the Oppo A57. While its rear-facing camera packs a capable 13MP sensor, its front-facing selfie camera clocks in at a hefty 16MP. Aperture sizing favours the selfie, too, with the front camera featuring an f/2.0 aperture compared to the rear camera's f/2.2.
Oppo's love for the selfie extends to the A57's camera software as well. The custom camera app includes a "Beautify" mode that automatically tweaks your shots to bring out your best side – that's Oppo's claim, at any rate. Selfie shots can also take advantage of a bokeh depth-of-field effect and can be triggered with a hand gesture instead of having to press the shutter button.
Rounding out the camera package is support for autofocus, HDR photos and 1080p video capture.
Standard performance for a budget handset
Should be adequate for most general tasks
For a phone at its price point, the Oppo A57 packs a decent amount of power. Oppo has gone for the eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor along with 3GB of RAM, a pairing also seen in LG's Q6 smartphone. In the Q6, it produced adequate, if rather middling, results both in benchmark testing and real-world experience, and it's likely to do the same in the Oppo A57.
This isn't necessarily unexpected: a budget smartphone is never going to deliver blistering performance. Nevertheless, it's worth tempering your expectations if you're hoping for performance in the same ballpark as the iPhone 7.
Capable of up to 11 hours of video playback according to Oppo
Should get the average person through a full day with little trouble
The Oppo A57 comes equipped with a 2,900mAh battery, putting it a little on the low side when compared to many other budget smartphones. That said, Oppo claims the A57 is capable of delivering 11 hours of continuous video playback or 23 hours of talk time, both of which are solid figures for a smartphone packing a 5.2-inch screen.
These claims line up with our testing of the similarly equipped LG Q6 and its slightly larger 3,000mAh battery. The LG Q6 delivered average battery life suitable for a full day of use on a single charge, which should be sufficient for most people. It's a fair assumption that the Oppo A57 will offer comparable battery life.
Pricing and availability
An Android-powered take on the iPhone for folks on a budget
If you prefer the feel of iOS but can't justify the cost of a new iPhone, you'll find a lot to like in Oppo's Android/iPhone hybrid, the Oppo A57.
Matt Sayer is a writer for Finder, covering all things technology and telecommunications. Along with reporting on events like CES and Mobile World Congress, he has produced comprehensive guides for popular products like smart speakers and graphics cards. He has a Bachelor of Computer Science from RMIT University and is passionate about helping Aussies leverage technology to better their lives.
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