Oppo A76 review: An average phone unless you froth over portrait photos
- Battery Score
- Camera Score
- Design Score
- Performance Score
- Battery Score
- 90Hz display
- Depth sensor can be okay for portrait photos
- 2 colour choices
- Mediocre processor performance
- Older Android version
- Lacks 5G
- Dual lens... but not really
|Launch price (RRP)||$349|
Oppo's affordable A series phones have long been good buys for those looking for affordable devices with nice camera inclusions. Like any affordable phone, there have always been compromises. But typically, there have been so many Oppo handsets to pick from that there's been one for just about every taste. However, who the Oppo A76 is really for is genuinely puzzling to me.
Its unique selling point is the inclusion of a depth sensor for portrait photos, which is quite specific. If you do take a lot of photos just of people's heads and not much beyond that, it might have appeal, but the rest of the package is average at best. And for its moderate asking price, you don't have to look too far to do better.
Oppo A76 review: Plain design is fine, but sparkles don't excite
The Oppo A76 features a 6.56-inch 90Hz capable LCD display, which puts it directly in line with every other maker in this price space right now.
I had to dig a little into Oppo's ColorOS launcher to work out where to change up the refresh rate, but you can at least pick between automatically managed, or fixed 90Hz or 60Hz modes.
Oppo is usually good for accessories, and it's pleasing to note that the Oppo A76 ships with a screen protector pre-applied and a simple protective case in the box.
Like so many other mid-range budget phones right now, Oppo's opted for a side mounted fingerprint sensor on the Oppo A76. I can only assume that they were going cheap in a components factory in Shenzhen in the last year or so, because they're in so many cheap phones right now.
Like every other model of this style, the fingerprint sensor is also the power button. Oddly, the Oppo A76 throws its volume controls over to the left hand side away from the power button. It did take me a while to remember not to go reaching for them above the power button, where most other phones would place them.
Oppo only sells the Oppo A76 in 2 colour variants, either "Glowing Blue" or the "Glowing Black" model I tested. Glowing, in this case, refers to light speckles in the rear of the phone casing.
It's a subtle effect, but not a particularly pleasing one. If you've got the supplied case on the phone – and you should, as I did – then it's notably muted on the black model. At that point, it's just another black plastic phone.
Oppo A76 review: Do you like portrait photos a LOT?
Oppo has a very strong reputation in the camera space for affordable phones. Flip the Oppo A76 over and you're greeted with 2 imposing lens circles that suggest that the Oppo A76 will continue this tradition.
However, where other phones might opt for a mix of wide/ultra-wide, or even wide/macro lens splits, Oppo's done something different here.
The primary lens features a 13MP f/2.2 sensor, while the lower secondary lens is run with a 2MP depth sensor only. It's effectively a single lens camera phone with a focus – pun not intended – on portrait photography.
If you want landscape shots, you'll need to opt for a panorama that you trim down, and if you want zoom, you're stuck with lousy digital zoom at a maximum of 6x.
It's certainly a choice, but it's one that didn't endear the Oppo A76 to me in any particular way. Everyday good light shots were fine, but the depth sensor didn't add much in the way of bokeh that I haven't seen from phones that just manage this computationally. With just the single basic shooting lens, I didn't have to push it particularly hard to hit issues with noise, which kicks in in less-than-optimal light, or focus if my subject was moving at all.
You can't expect the world out of a budget phone camera for sure, but I just hit too many instances where the A76's limited range left me wanting.
Oppo A76 sample photos:
Oppo A76 review: Mediocre performance and older Android fails to excite
The Oppo A76 is built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 680 platform, supplemented with just 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. It does offer microSD storage expansion if you need to boost up its storage capabilities.
The Snapdragon 680 is an interesting choice in this price bracket, with many competing phones – including a number of Oppo handsets – typically opting for a MediaTek chipset instead.
Still, Snapdragon processors are usually held to be good performers, so my hopes were high that the Oppo A76 could impress me within the spectrum of low-priced phones.
Sadly, that just wasn't the case. Looking at it comparatively, you can get a better performing phone for this kind of money without too much difficulty. Looking from a benchmark point of view, here's how the Oppo A76 compares using Geekbench 5's CPU test:
Here's how it stacks up against similarly priced handsets for graphics performance, using 3DMark's graphics tests:
Like every other Oppo phone, what you get with the Oppo A76 is an Android phone with Oppo's own ColorOS launcher on top.
Disappointingly for a 2022 handset, the Oppo A76 is still running Android 11, not Android 12. Oppo's track record with upgrades isn't spectacular, and starting a version behind doesn't fill me with hope as to its upgrade future.
In day-to-day use, the Oppo A76 isn't particularly quick, but that's a truism for most phones in this price bracket right now.
If your needs are modest then it would be a perfectly acceptable everyday phone, but it didn't take too much web browsing or game playing to see lag kick in during my review period. The use of just 4GB of actual onboard RAM didn't help here for sure.
A genuinely curious omission from the Oppo A76's toolset, given its asking price, is any semblance of 5G capability.
No, 5G still isn't a reason to buy a phone, but you can pretty easily get a 5G capable handset at the A76's asking price. It's stuck cleanly in 4G territory, which again doesn't do much to endear me to it against other more capable options.
Network tests on the Telstra 4G network tended to hit between 150–250Mbps during the review period. That's down from what I'd typically see from a budget 5G phone, as you'd expect.
Oppo A76 review: Big battery doesn't always equal long battery life
The Oppo A76 runs on a 5,000mAh battery, which is fast becoming the standard in this category. I had high hopes for its battery performance, because dropping to just 4G does neatly dodge the power sapping capabilities of 5G networks entirely.
The overall battery performance of the Oppo A76 mirrored the rest of the phone uncomfortably closely. It doesn't have bad battery life, but it is deeply average, even without 5G on board. To give a comparative picture, here's how the Oppo A76 compares against the same range of phones using Finder's standard battery test:
Phones that can hit above 90% in that test can typically last an average work day, and that's not an issue for the Oppo A76 in more day-to-day usage. However, once again, it's outclassed by other similarly priced phones, including those that have 5G onboard. Most users won't notice it being poor, but it does highlight how it's always worth shopping around and comparing what you can get for your money.
You do get the advantage of Oppo's rapid SuperVOOC charging for very fast top-ups, as long as you're using the supplied charger. On any other charger, it'll bounce up its battery via USB-C at a more sedate pace.
Should you buy the Oppo A76?
- Buy it if you only take headshots and hate 5G.
- Don't buy it if you want a good value all-round budget phone.
In one sense, Oppo should be applauded for offering a genuinely different phone in the budget space. More choice is always good, and if you can put up with slower performance and you only ever take photos of faces, you could get decent value out of the Oppo A76.
Even if you're an Oppo fanatic, the Oppo A54 5G would also be a better bet. Those are all phones with their own compromises, because they're still firmly in the budget space, but they're all more capable than the Oppo A76.
Pricing and availability
The Oppo A76 retails in Australia for $349 outright.
Power, storage and battery
How we tested
I tested the Oppo A76 over a 1-week period, using it across common smartphone apps and games, as well as synthetic benchmarks to gauge its overall performance. Benchmarks and battery tests were run multiple times to obtain an average score to weigh against similar phones at this price point at the time of writing the review. The Oppo A76 used in this review was loaned by Oppo for review purposes.
The reviewer has more than 2 decades of tech product reviewing under his belt and is a multi-time Australian IT Journo award winner, including awards for best reviewer and best technical journalist.
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