With its all-encompassing 6-inch screen, 16MP selfie camera and iOS-inspired interface, the Oppo A73 is a capable and affordable Android alternative to Apple's iPhone X.
Taking more than a few cues from the look and feel of the iPhone X, the Oppo A73 gives budget-conscious phone buyers a way of enjoying an iPhone-like experience at a fraction of the price Apple charges for the real thing.
Follows a very similar visual design to the iPhone X, minus the notch
ColorOS is about as close as you're going to get to iOS on Android
Despite releasing just months after the iPhone X, the Oppo A73 shares a lot in common with Apple's flagship handset. It, too, has ditched physical face buttons in favour of a screen that almost fully encompasses the front of the handset. Said screen clocks in at a massive 6 inches and sports an 18:9 aspect ratio with a resolution of 2160 x 1080. That's a little ways behind the "Super Retina HD" display of the iPhone X, but it's still sharper and more expansive than many other phones at its price point. Better yet, the screen is made using Gorilla Glass 5, certifying it for protection against drops, scratches and other forms of contact damage.
As part of Apple's move to a full-face screen with the iPhone X, it decided to ditch the fingerprint sensor entirely. Oppo, on the other hand, has simply shifted the sensor to the back for the A73. This is good news for anyone concerned with keeping their phone secure.
At the same time, the Oppo A73 also offers a facial unlocking feature similar to the iPhone X. Unfortunately, it's not quite as advanced as Apple's technology, and Oppo itself warns that the feature is less secure than both the fingerprint sensor and a regular PIN.
The Apple aesthetics extend beyond the hardware. While the Oppo A73 is built upon Android 7.1, it uses Oppo's proprietary ColorOS to give Android a look and feel far more in line with iOS. This includes tweaks like the removal of an app drawer such that all apps appear on the phone's home screen, a quick settings toolbar accessed by swiping up instead of down (a la the iOS control centre) and a more rigid security policy that favours Oppo's built-in apps over ones downloaded from Google Play. This might seem antithetical to the spirit of the Android operating system, but it's likely to appeal to fans of the simplified nature of iOS.
For as streamlined as ColorOS is, the Oppo A73 still benefits from many Android-centric features unavailable on Apple's smartphones. You've still got a 3.5mm headphone jack for one, giving you the freedom to listen to music on a regular pair of wired headphones as well as through wireless headsets connected over Bluetooth 4.2. You've also got the advantage of expanding the Oppo A73's 32GB of internal storage by purchasing a microSD card, with support for cards as large as 256GB.
A power-packed front camera enables higher-resolution selfies
Beauty mode promises to leverage the power of AI to accentuate your best features
If ever you needed proof of how popular selfies have become, the Oppo A73 is it. Where most smartphones feature a primary rear-facing camera for traditional photography and a less-powerful front-facing camera for selfies, the A73 flips the script by packing the most capable hardware into its selfie cam. This includes an impressive 16MP sensor and an f/2.0 aperture lens that promises better performance in low-light situations. In contrast, the rear camera measures in at 13MP and sports a smaller f/2.2 aperture lens. That's still a decent pairing, mind you, but it's clear that Oppo has its sights set firmly on the selfie crowd.
This is only more apparent from the features Oppo has built into the A73's camera app. At the centre of these is the Oppo A73's Beauty mode which applies various processing techniques to, in Oppo's words, "heighten your natural beauty". Beauty mode uses data obtained from artificial intelligence algorithms designed to recognise the key elements of beauty, airbrushing and sharpening different aspects of your selfies in order to accentuate the elements it determines are most important.
Outside of Beauty mode, the Oppo A73 also features a bokeh depth-of-field effect that applies a blur to the background of photos to help the subject (ie you) stand out. The standard array of additional camera modes are all here, too, from panorama and time-lapse modes to support for HDR photography.
Capable hardware for a mid-range smartphone
It's not the iPhone X, but should still be powerful enough for most people
While the Oppo A73 offers a comparable experience to the iPhone X in many areas, performance is not one of them. That's to be expected: we're talking about a phone that costs less than a third of the price here, after all. But even though the A73 isn't quite up to snuff with Apple's best, it's no slouch either. Its eight-core MediaTek MT6763T processor and 3GB of RAM place it roughly in the same ballpark as phones powered by the more-common Snapdragon 625 platform. That includes handsets like Motorola's Moto G5 Plus and Oppo's own R9s.
Both the G5 Plus and the R9s delivered solid mid-range performance when we tested them for our reviews, though it's worth noting that they pack 4GB of RAM compared to the A73's 3GB. Nevertheless, the A73 should be capable of similarly snappy performance under general use, and it's unlikely to falter when faced with most standard apps and activities. It might struggle a little with more graphically demanding games or heavy multi-tasking, but it should be more than adequate for typical day-to-day operations.
Pairing a mid-range processor with a 3,200mAh battery should ensure all-day battery under typical use
The bigger the phone, the bigger the battery needs to be. That's the simple yet inescapable truth of modern electronics. With its 6-inch display, the Oppo A73 is definitely a big phone, and it packs a correspondingly large 3,200mAh battery to keep it trucking. This, in tandem with the relatively modest processor, should be perfectly capable of surviving a full day of typical use on a single charge.
Pricing and availability
An Android phone for Apple fans
If you love the look of the iPhone X but can't stomach the price, the Oppo A73 could be the smartphone for you.
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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