Oppo attracted the eye of media and consumers alike with their Find 5 earlier this year, a device that was – and still is – seen as a worthy flagship device in both specs and style. The Chinese manufacturer’s attention now seems to be shifting towards the growing dual SIM smartphone market with the R819.
Taking a quick glance at the R819’s peers, you might ask why dual SIM devices are targeted towards the lower end of the market with some average to low specs – it seems likely that some users might want a little more performance out of such a device It’s this market at which Oppo is now looking to have a crack.
The R819 is available on import from Expansys, who supplied our review device. We’ve put the phone through its paces to find out whether Oppo’s hit the mark.
The R819 has a clean look and feel, with plenty of straight lines and rounded corners. It’s quite light and easy to hold in the hand, which is a good thing. The body is mainly plastic, with a polished metallic-looking strip running around the side of the device.
Most of the space on the front is taken up by the 4.7 inch 720p screen, with capacitive Menu / Home / Back buttons below the screen and the front camera above. Bezels on all sides of the screen are about average for a device in this class. Around back, you’ll find a non-removable cover with the rear camera on the top-left and Oppo logo emblazoned.
Around the edges of the device, you’ll find the headphone jack on top, volume rocker located on the left hand side just slightly off the middle, with the power button located on the right hand middle of the device with the SIM tray located on the bottom left hand side corner. The Micro USB port is on the bottom of the device, placed off-centre near the right of the device.
The benchmark test don’t accurately reflect the overall performance of the phone. Launching the app tray and going between screens or loading games is quite fast and flows through without feeling buggy or freezing. Apps and games did load with ease and it seems Android 4.2.2 didn’t suffer any lagging issues which had become prevalent with Nexus devices, namely the Nexus 4, which we had reported on.
Under the Geekbench 3 test, it certainly did well, ranking in third position just under the HTC One Max and the ASUS Transformer Prime. Browsing performance was on the quick side which is reflected in the SunSpider score below as well.
The Oppo R819 does come with an 8MP rear facing camera which does take some really good pictures both in full or low light situations without loss of clarity or any sort distortion or graininess to the photos. Oppo are claiming that with the R819’s camera, the additional 5 layer lens coating can reduce the glare from the sun at its zenith sometimes saturating a scene with light. whilst its Anti-Halo and dedicated ISP (Image Signal Processor) help to soften and remove blurry lines whilst also enhance and sharpen the image quality.
I can attest to this, given the test photos that were taken on a recent trip to Katoomba in New South Wales’s Blue Mountains region. The images came out sharper and with little blur than on my current Razr M and Note II combined.
It also comes with a 1.9MP front facing camera which also takes what would be consider quite good photos for a front facing camera in daylight Although low light and night-time photos are best left to the rear facing camera.
I did however notice when using the Panorama option within the camera app, it was very tedious and very frustrating to use, as users would need a very steady hand and be able to keep up to a certain pace/speed and keep the arrow within the dedicated white line.
Oppo R819 Video sample
The display on the Oppo R819 is an IPS LCD 4.7” touchscreen offering 720 x 1280 pixels (312 ppi) which is quite good both in very bright light or low light. There are some parts where shading or certain colours may tend to blend together when viewing in certain angles but in general it is quite unnoticeable. Gaming on the device is quite clean, sharp and smooth thanks partially to the Quad-core 1.2 GHz and MediaTek MT6589 chipset.
When using the device outdoors, the screen is still easy to see in most bright lights depending obviously on the time of day, though in most cases I found that there wasn’t the need to crank up or down, the brightness settings within the device, which I found when Auto-brightness was on was too aggressive and not aggressive enough at certain times initially.
Oppo doesn’t provide information about rated battery life in terms of talk or standby time, but the R819’s Li-Ion 2000 mAh non removable battery offered surprisingly long life for a device in this class.
Once I took the device off charge for the day, even with average use of various social media apps and games, the R819 still had anywhere between 25% to 40% battery remaining by the end of the day, even if I went out after work. For me, that’s a big tick – the battery was able to last a full day and I didn’t need to carry a battery case or charge it at work.
Call Quality and Speakers
Calls on the R819 sound about as good as you’d expect from a device that doesn’t offer HD Voice – clear enough, and perhaps a little less tinny than normal.
The speaker is located on the back of the device in the right hand corner and may be easily covered by accident while the phone’s in your hand. It provides reasonable sound, but you’ll find you have to use software FX to tweak bass expansion or tone.
The Oppo R819 is running Android 4.2.2 out of the box, which is now one version of Android behind the current version of 4.3 and it probably won’t be upgraded beyond this point, as Oppo does have one of those reputations on not providing system updates.
This is where I think if any manufacturer is going to make a skin over Android, that any manufacturer in general should make and feel to the end user, effortless and flow without looking as if it was slow or clunky.
Oppo have gone with Colors ROM for this device and whilst a lot of people would argue that skins shouldn’t even be considered when making a device, I think this could be the exception to that rule.
Colors ROM flows so effortlessly on the device. it certainly isn’t weighed down at all.
Colours are bright and the feel of the software when playing games or scrolling through social media (which can weigh down the device generally) is quite good, surprisingly.
Oppo have included a few of their own apps, such as Lomo camera which is like a lomography retro style film camera photo app, FM radio which if you’re not wanting to chew into your monthly data could be a good thing but in this day and age with apps such as Tune-In, spotify just to name a few It’s probably time to point out that the FM Radio is actually included because ALL the SoC makers still include the FM Radio hardware and it’s just another stat to add to the list. Kingsoft Office if also another app, though I find using quickoffice to be a far superior product, but an everyday consumer would appreciate that Oppo have included an Office product by default. There is also Facebook app which seems to be a native app, so probably worth downloading the actual app from the play store, as it would be highly unlikely native app will get any facebook updates.
Oppo R819 Specs
ConclusionI would have to say that the device is a pretty and reasonably good for a dual-sim smartphone and does offer some pretty decent specs were other dual-sim smartphones don’t (like Samsung and Sony dual-sim devices currently available on the market).
Oppo is slowly finding their way to our shores, offering direct imports through their website and via import site Expansys or other grey importer’s website respectfully.
They have shown they can make some pretty decent if not quite amazing hardware and software, though their choice of skin UI over Android, aka Color would be questionable.
The only problem for me on deciding if I could use this device as a replacement did depend on the price, which does come in at $399 through Expansys. However given the specs included it is up there with decent smartphone such as the current Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy Express just to name a few, at a reasonable price.
The Oppo R819 dual-sim smartphone is available through Expansys who supplied this device for us to test out, for $399 + postage and handling. They also have covers for the device in Red, White and Blue for an additional $29 to protect your device.