OPPO A55 Review - Incredible battery and nice selfies

More than two weeks after its official arrival in the Philippines, we're now ready to share with you our thoughts about the new OPPO A55. 
OPPO A55 Review - Incredible battery and nice selfies
Meet OPPO A55 4G

To recap, the handset highlights a beautifully curved back design with a gradient finish in Rainbow Blue (in our case). It is also available in the Starry Night variant. It has a rectangular hump for its triple-camera configuration. 

In front, it uses a large 6.51-inch LCD display with HD+ resolution, 180Hz touch sampling rate, NEG T2X-1, 550 nits brightness, and a top-left punch-hole for the 16MP f/2.0 selfie camera.

Meanwhile, under the hood, it is packed with the 2.3GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G35 octa-core processor with PowerVR GE8320 (680MHz), 4GB LPDDR4X, 64GB expandable storage, and a 5,000mAh battery capacity with USB-C 18W fast charging support.

But, how well does the OPPO A55 fare in real life? Let's find out!

Unboxing/Accessories

What's inside?
What's inside?

The unit arrives in the usual OPPO box with the following inside: the A55, the SIM ejector tool, USB-A to C charging cable, power brick, silicone case, and paper documents. 

It could've been nicer if OPPO put a 3.5mm earphones, too. 

Build Quality/Design

OPPO A55 in Rainbow Blue
OPPO A55 in Rainbow Blue

The first thing anyone will notice about the OPPO A55 is its chic design. We are loaned with the 4GB/64GB Rainbow Blue variant which we find very nice. The design has a striking rainbow color that can easily catch anyone's attention. Note that the OPPO A55 is also available in the simpler Starry Night variant if you're not a fan of fancy design.

Striking design, pleasing to the eyes!

Upon closer inspection, we see that the OPPO A55 is made of glass at the front and plastic at the back. The glossy finish is prone to fingerprint smudges which happen to be my pet peeve, so gratefully, OPPO has included a silicone case.
Triple-slot SIM tray!
Triple-slot SIM tray!

The handset weighs 193 g and has a nice grip despite its curvy sides. Notably, OPPO A55 is IPX4 rated making it splash resistant.

It sports a 6.51-inch 2.5D curved NEG T2X-1 protected LCD (A-Si) screen with a punch-hole design on the top leftmost housing the selfie camera. 

It has slim bezels with a fairly large chin bezel. OPPO managed to securely place the earpiece on top of the thin bezel, and for us, that's clever.
Top and bottom
Top and bottom

Cleverly placed earpiece on a thin bezel!

According to OPPO, the screen is NEG T2X-1 protected.

And we know you're wondering about this, the handset has a triple-slot tray which means there's a dedicated microSD slot for storage expansion of up to 256GB.

Unlike the sides, the top and the bottom of the handset have a flat surface. There's nothing on the top while the 3.5mm headphone jack slot, microphone, USB-C slot, and bottom-firing grille speaker are at the bottom.
Left and right
Left and right

Meanwhile, the triple-slot tray and volume rockers are placed on the left with the power button doubling as the side fingerprint scanner is on the right.

Overall, the design easily stands out from other OPPO A-series phones. It has a comfortable grip although I personally wish it's not a fingerprint smudge magnet.

Multimedia Experience

6.51-inch screen
6.51-inch screen

As mentioned, this beauty features a 6.51-inch 2.5D curved NEG T2X-1 protected LCD (A-Si) screen. It has a 120Hz touch sampling rate, HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 270 ppi. 

On paper, others might be quick to conclude about the capabilities of its LCD panel. BUT, in real life, it surprisingly gave us satisfactory viewing angles and dynamic colors. It gave us an immersive viewing experience binge-watching our favorite series and other content.

Vibrant display despite the LCD panel!

However, we would have liked it better if it is using a 1080p panel instead of an HD reso screen. 1080p resolution is the standard for phones in the over PHP 8K range in 2021.

The device also has a system-wide dark mode as well as an eye comfort feature. Users can also opt to adjust the screen color temperature to cool, default, and warm. There's an "auto-switch" option too for effortless system-wide dark mode at sunset so long as the user's location is available for the OPPO A55 to read the sunrise and sunset times accurately.
Surprisingly vibrant display!
Surprisingly vibrant display!

The OPPO A55 didn't have any issue under direct sunlight viewing. It also has 10 points of multitouch. 

Moving on to its audio, the OPPO A55 has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker. The quality is price fitting with loudness enough to fill in a small to medium-sized room. Distortion is a little present when amped up to the highest volume. 

Surprisingly loud grille speakers!

For us, there's no need to set the volume to the loudest level since the sound is already loud even at past half level.

For a richer experience, we recommend plugging in your earphones to the provided 3.5mm jack slot.

Cameras

Triple rear camera setup
Triple rear camera setup

Every OPPO fan is excited about the company's new handset cameras. The OPPO A55 is packed with a triple rear camera system of a massive 50MP f/1.8 with PDAF focus, 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor, 2MP f/2.4 mono, and LED flash. 

It also has 4-in-1 pixel binning tech to produce highly detailed 12.5MP images. 

The OPPO stock camera app has the following modes: night, video, photo, portrait, macro, time-lapse, sticker, expert (pro), and panorama. It also has an AI retouching feature for beautification, HDR, dazzle color (for scene color optimization), and filters.

The zoom is up to 5x only and it has no wide lens.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
Indoor
Indoor
Indoor 2
Indoor 2
Portrait
Portrait
Night mode
Night mode
Low light auto w/ flash
Low light auto w/ flash
Macro
Macro

In daylight, the OPPO A55's main shooter produces decent photos with enough details. The colors are often accurate although we find them lacking in terms of sharpness. 
 
The indoor photos are satisfactory as well so long you have nice artificial lights. When faced with warm lights (e.g.: Christmas lights), the OPPO A55 tends to make the photo look warmer. 

The portrait mode is okay, but as we can see, the subject to background separation is so-so. Notably, we had to take the sample thrice to achieve that bokeh effect. 

The macro photo is expected of low-quality for indoors.

The bokeh effect needs improvement and the night mode is unusable.

Meanwhile, the low-light photos are just okay. The night mode seems unusable and we'll easily pick the photo mode + LED flash if we need to take photos at night. 

Overall, the OPPO A55 rear cameras produce decent and satisfactory photos.
Punch hole selfie camera
Punch hole selfie camera

Meanwhile, the single 16MP selfie camera is housed by the punch hole on the top leftmost of the screen. It has similar camera modes with the rear's except for the night, macro, and expert. 

We'd like to note that the bokeh effect on portrait mode is adjustable from 1 to 100 percent. It is set to 60 percent by default.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Daylight portrait selfie
Daylight portrait selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie 2
Indoor selfie 2
Indoor portrait selfie
Indoor portrait selfie
Low light selfie with fill light
Low light selfie with fill light

As expected, OPPO A55 takes nice selfies. Both for outdoor and indoor, the front camera photos came out with an ample amount of sharpness, and skin tone accuracy. 

However, we noticed that the portrait is struggling most of the time when used indoors. I tried many times to take a bokeh selfie with and without a face shield but the OPPO A55 wouldn't blur my background. Without the face mask and face shield, I was able to take an indoor portrait selfie at home, hence, the sample photo.

Great selfies!

Unlike its rear camera, the selfie camera's night selfies are usable. We were able to take a decent low light selfie with the help of the "fill light" feature.

Overall, the A55 selfie camera produces great selfies from which OPPO is well-known. 

In terms of videos, OPPO A55 can take up to 1080p at 30 fps. It has no image stabilization feature so expect shaky quality or use a tripod as a remedy.

Performance

OPPO A55 benchmarks
OPPO A55 benchmarks

The OPPO A55 is powered by a 2.3GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G35 octa-core processor with PowerVR GE8320 (680MHz), 4GB LPDDR4X, and 64GB expandable storage up to 256GB via dedicated microSD slot.

OPPO A55 benchmarks:

AnTuTu - 101,155
Geekbench single-core - 168
Geekbench multi-core - 980
3DMark - 478 (2.10 fps)

In real-world usage, OPPO A55 is respectable to use. There are noticeable hiccups when left with multiple apps running in the background. Of course, this is expected on an entry-level smartphone so don't expect it to run smoothly if you're a heavy user. 

Hiccups and stutters are present 

It may not be designed for gaming, but some mobile games are playable at default or low settings like Call of Duty: Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Genshin Impact, among others.

Helio G35 is considered quite slow for a PHP 10K phone though. It would have been better is OPPO used Helio G80 at least.
Genshin Impact and OPPO's Game Space on A55
Genshin Impact and OPPO's Game Space on A55

In terms of security, OPPO A55 has a face unlock and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Both are snappy most of the time. 

For connectivity, the OPPO A55 has the usual WiFi 802.11b/g/n, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS, QZSS, and dual SIM.

One of the highlights of the OPPO A55 is its battery. A 5,000mAh of battery juices up the handset and has an 18W charging support. In our usual PCMark battery test, the A55 lasted a total of 23 hours and 40 minutes from 100 down to 19 percent. 
Wow!
Wow!

Incredible battery life!

Under moderate usage, the OPPO A55 was able to last up to a day and we believe it can extend up to a day and a half for light users. Charging takes less than an hour using the fast charger brick included in the box.


OPPO A55 battery settings
OPPO A55 battery settings

OPPO A55 operates based on Android 11 with ColorOS 11.1 skin. It has bloatware as well as the usual Google apps. The pre-installed apps such as Facebook, Lazada, Agoda, among others are uninstallable.
ColorOS 11.1
ColorOS 11.1

The overall software experience is smooth and nice most especially if you're familiar with its UI.

Pros - Striking design,, loudspeakers, stellar battery life, nice selfies
Cons - Unusable night mode, bokeh needs improvement, smaller internal storage compared to A54

OPPO A55 Specs

Display: 6.51-inch 2.5D curved NEG T2X-1 protected LCD (A-Si) screen w/ 120Hz touch sampling rate, HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 270 ppi
CPU: 2.3GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G35 octa-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8320 (680MHz)
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 64GB eMMC 5.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 50MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 mono + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 18W fast charging
OS: Android 11 w/ ColorOS 11.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11b/g/n, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS, QZSS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic
Others: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, face unlock, IPX4 splash resistance, USB-C, Colors: Starry Black, Rainbow Blue
Dimensions: 163.6 x 75.7 x 8.4 mm
Weight: 193 g
Price: PHP 9,999

Verdict

Suitable as a daily driver under PHP 10K
Suitable as a daily driver under PHP 10K

The OPPO A55 is a nice smartphone with incredible battery life and produces great selfies.

Though there are some improvements it needs to have as we noted above, OPPO A55 is still suitable to be a daily driver with a striking design as a bonus. For only PHP 9,999, this phone can be great for online classes, and other light to moderate usage. 

However, one thing is certain, there's a gap to be filled in between the OPPO A55 and its competitors.

Do you agree with us? 

Build/Design - 4.5
Multimedia Experience - 4
Cameras - 4
Performance - 4.25
Average - 4.19/5
OPPO A55 Review - Incredible battery and nice selfies OPPO A55 Review - Incredible battery and nice selfies Reviewed by Telenor Editorial on November 04, 2021 Rating: 5

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