OPPO A53 Review

OPPO’s newest entry in the A series is the OPPO A53 priced in the ₹10,000 to ₹15,000 and it’s an upgrade of the OPPO A52 which was launched in June 2020. The OPPO A series lies in the lower midrange market, we saw the OPPO A52 priced at ₹16,990, however, the new OPPO A53 is actually cheaper, the price starts at ₹12,990. What has changed in the A53 are the cameras, the CPU, and the display quality. Here’s our OPPO A53 review.

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OPPO A53 Specifications

  • Display: 6.5-inch IPS display, HD+ resolution (1600 × 720 pixels), 90 Hz refresh rate
  • Software: ColorOS 7.2 based on Android 10
  • CPU: 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 640 SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 610 GPU
  • RAM: 4 GB OR 6 GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB OR 128 GB internal storage; dedicated microSD card
  • Main Camera: Triple Cameras (13 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP)
  • 13 MP f/1.8 aperture camera
  • 2 MP f/2.4 depth sensor
  • 2 MP f/2.4 macro camera
  • Selfie Camera: 16 MP f/2.0 aperture
  • Others: rear fingerprint sensor, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • Connectivity Options: Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, and USB Type-C port
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh battery, 18W fast charging
  • Price: ₹12,990 (4 GB + 64 GB), ₹15,490 (6 GB + 128 GB)

Design, Display, & Build

Both the OPPO A52 and OPPO A53 are identical and share several features, the size of the display, the battery, the selfie camera, GPU, however, the OPPO A53 is actually a degraded version of the OPPO A52.

One of the key differences is the display which has toned down to HD+ from Full HD+. Another change you can see is in the cameras itself, the rear camera has a camera removed, there’s now a triple-camera setup with 13 MP as the main camera.

Aside from these, the processor is slightly below the one in the OPPO A52, Snapdragon 640 vs Snapdragon 665. There’s a significant price difference, the OPPO A53 is priced at ₹12,990 which is ₹4,000 lesser than the OPPO A52.

The rear side of the OPPO A53 has a 3D Quad-curve design, stylish 3D texture in a glossy-back plastic body. The design seems good, the curves make it easy to hold the phone.

The front side has a punch-hole camera design giving the phone a high screen-to-body ratio. The display it has is a 6.5-inch IPS HD+ (1600 x 720 pixels) which is inferior to the one you see on the OPPO A52. However, what keeps the phone ahead than others is its 90 Hz refresh rate.

The rear side has a fingerprint scanner right below the triple camera setup, not side mounted like its sibling.

You will find a triple-slot SIM tray that comes with a dedicated microSD card while the other two slots are for dual 4G SIMs. The left side has two separate volume keys while the right side has a power-key.

The bottom has a Type-C USB port, loudspeaker, 3.5 mm jack, and a microphone. Surprisingly, the OPPO A53 comes with stereo speakers, far better than the single-channel loudspeakers.

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Software & User Interface

When we talk about the OPPO A53’s software, it’s using the Android 10 with a customized skin, ColorOS 7.2 that appears to be the newest ColorOS from OPPO. The security patch is dated 5th August 2020.

The ColorOS 7.2 is also seen on the OPPO’s Reno4 Pro. In our initial use, the A53 was smooth and lag-free, the UI felt light and responsive. The ColorOS 7.2 adds in new animations and visuals, new wallpapers, dark mode, live wallpapers, and several other features that are available to enhance the user experience.

The OPPO A52 comes with ColorOS 7.1 out-of-the-box while the OPPO A53 comes with the ColorOS 7.2, this is also another difference when you compare it with its sibling.

Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

Under the hood, the OPPO A53 is powered by the 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 640 octa-core SoC alongwith Adreno 610 GPU. Plus, the smartphone comes in two RAM and storage variants, one is 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage and the other one is 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. The storage can be expanded via a dedicated microSD card slot up to 256 GB.

We would like to see at least the Snapdragon 665 SoC on the A53 at this price. The performance could be just as decent, but for this price, you may get better performing smartphones such as the ones using the Snapdragon 720G or Snapdragon 712, far better if you are performance-oriented.

The Snapdragon 610 GPU is just good for casual gaming and there’s certainly no difference in gaming regardless of the Snapdragon chip holding it, let’s say the Snapdragon 665. If you are playing games, you might not notice the difference in performance.

If you are into gaming and you want to play graphics demanding titles like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and other higher-end games on this phone, we would suggest you pick a more powerful GPU smartphone such as the Snapdragon 720G or Snapdragon 730G powered smartphones that offer Adreno 618.

Cameras

The camera you see is one of the important aspects of the phone, you will find a triple camera setup on the rear side and one camera on the front for taking selfies.

Digging more into the cameras, the rear side offers a 13 MP f/2.2 main camera along with two 2 MP cameras, one for depth sensing and another for macro photography.

Looking at the camera specs, you can clearly see the competition offers better cameras, as high as 48 MP and quad-cameras instead of the triple at some point. On the other hand, there’s the 16 MP selfie camera in a punch-hole design which seems decent.

Speaking about the camera modes on the phone, there’s nothing new here. You get a Portrait mode, Expert mode, Panorama, Sticker, and Time-Lapse, no slow-motion video, and offers up to 1080p video capturing at 30 fps.

We did not find a dedicated Macro mode in the camera, you have to rely on the AI and autofocusing while taking photos to enter the Macro mode. No optical zoom or telelens is available on the phone, which means you need to rely on the camera’s digital zooming capabilities.

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Here are some shots we took using the OPPO A53’s cameras.

OPPO A53 Camera Samples

Battery Life

Moving on to the battery, the OPPO A53 is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery, the same capacity we saw on the OPPO A52. A higher capacity battery is great for longer battery run and a lower resolution display boosts its the runtime. The OPPO A53 has a huge battery with an HD+ resolution display which helps to extend the overall battery life.

There’s no doubt the battery performance is great, the power-saving CPU, the HD+ display, and ColorOS 7 optimizations, altogether help to achieve a longer battery life. You can expect the battery to run up to 2 days on average use.

In terms of battery charging, the 18W fast charging will charge 50% from zero in about 45 minutes, expect it to charge fully in 90 minutes or less.

Verdict

OPPO has brought another midranger, however, now at a better price. The OPPO A53’s long battery life, stereo sound experience, 90 Hz display, the full-screen punch-hole design, and ColorOS 7 perks all make it sound a worthy opponent for its price. However, rivals offer more solid cameras, AMOLED display, and better performance in this segment. If you are looking for a smartphone to binge-watch an entire season, the OPPO A53 can be a good contender in this segment, the battery life is reliable. But if you are looking for a higher resolution display and better cameras, look for other options in this range.

Strength

  • 90 Hz refresh rate
  • Stylish 3D design
  • Reliable battery life (5,000 mAh)
  • ColorOS 7 perks
  • 18W fast charging support
  • Dedicated microSD card support

Weakness

  • Average cameras (no slow-motion, 4K, 1080p@60fps), rivals offer 48 MP camera
  • HD+ 720p resolution

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