Generally speaking, Chinese smartphone brands tend to make more changes when brewing from the ‘vanilla’ Android system, such as Xiaomi’s MIUI, OPPO’s ColorOS, Lenovo’s ZUI, Vivo’s FuntouchOS and so on. Although ColorOS is not the earliest, after so many years of polishing, we can see OPPO’s efforts and improvements in this system.
In this article, we are going to review the OPPO A77 5G, which is equipped with the latest ColorOS 12.1, powered by Android 12.
Let’s take a quick look at the specs
|Dimensions||163.8 x 75.1 x 8 mm (6.45 x 2.96 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||190 g (6.70 oz)|
|Network bands (Australia)||3G: B1 / B5 / B8
4G: B1 / B3 / B5 / B7 / B8 / B28 / B40
5G: n78 / n28 / n5 / n40
|Build||Glass front, plastic frame, plastic back|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Display type||IPS LCD, 90Hz refresh rate, 480 nits (typ), 600 nits (HBM)|
|Screen size||6.56 inches|
|Resolution||720 x 1612 pixels|
|Operating system||ColorOS 12.1 (Android 12)|
|Chipset||MediaTek Dimensity 810 (6 nm) 2.4 GHz
4x Cortex•A76 2.4 GHz + 4x Cortex•A55 2.0 GHz
|Internal storage||UFS 2.2, 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM|
|Expansion||microSDXC (up to 1TB)|
|Main camera||48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), PDAF
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Selfie camera||8 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide)|
3.5mm audio jack
|Communications||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth 5.3, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
NFC contactless payment
|Charging port||USB Type-C 2.0|
|Security||Fingerprint scanner (on the side)|
|Battery||Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable
Fast charging 33W
|Colours||Ocean Blue, Midnight Black|
As can be seen from the above configuration, this is a mobile phone targeting the mid-range market. Although MediaTek’s Dimensity 810 cannot be said to be a powerhouse, the 6nm process technology will undoubtedly provide excellent power-efficient advantages. Combined with a large 5000mAh battery, it can be predicted that the battery life of this phone should be above average.
ColorOS 12.1 and the features
Among the manufacturers’ customized Android systems, ColorOS offers a good balance in terms of the fit between software and hardware.
In the past three weeks, I’ve used the phone to answer calls, check calendar items, reply to emails, and occasionally, play games. The user experience is very smooth, with almost no lag or unresponsiveness.
There are some third-party apps such as LinkedIn and TikTok pre-installed. However, these apps can be easily removed without any obstacles if you do not want to use them.
The overall interface of ColorOS is quite convenient to use, and the guiding logic between different levels of menus is also easy to understand. For people who are keen on personalization, OPPO A77 5G provides a rich selection of themes, fonts, wallpapers and more.
If we only look at the on-paper data, 720p resolution is not outstanding in this day and age, but OPPO cleverly equips it with a 90Hz refresh rate. Compared with finer images, a smoother visual experience will make it more intuitive to experience improvement in look and feel. To be honest, I didn’t expect to see a 90Hz screen refresh rate at this price range until I got the phone. Generally speaking, smartphones targeting the mid-range market are basically equipped with screens with a 60Hz refresh rate, and users are unlikely to be surprised by the screen quality.
In addition, this phone comes with a pre-applied screen protector from the factory, which is definitely a great thing for users, at least, it’s a big ‘Yes’ for me. While this PET plastic material may not provide long-term protection, it is better than no protection at all. It is worth mentioning that OPPO provides A77 5G with a Widevine L1 certificate. This way, users can also watch HD content on Netflix instead of being limited to the standard definition.
OPPO A77 5G is equipped with Dimensity 810 which is a mid-range SoC manufactured by MediaTek with 6nm process technology. The processor is capable of minimizing battery consumption while ensuring that the needs of daily applications and work are met. A77 5G can easily handle most mobile games, except for those that require extremely high specs hardware, such as Genshin Impact. I believe that for non-hardcore mobile gamers, this phone is fully capable of meeting the usual needs.
In addition, RAM expansion is possible in ColorOS. The model I have tested comes with 6GB of RAM, and ColorOS allows the RAM to be expanded to up to 11GB in total. Technically, this is only to ‘borrow’ some space from the internal storage, and the access speed is never going to be on par with the actual RAM. However, this, in theory, will effectively allow more apps and games to run in the background instead of killing them, which speeds up the loading time when the user switches between the tasks when there are many.
The camera performance on A77 5G is about average. It seems that most smartphones in the mid-range offer pretty much the same expectation on photograph results. The cameras are okay-ish to capture moments in life, but I wouldn’t suggest having unrealistic expectations of the photos.
There was a regular system update for August during the use, and one of the improvements it delivers along with the update is “Optimizes the overall shooting effect of the camera”. Unfortunately, I was not able to notice any significant improvement after installing the update. If you want to get satisfying photos with A77 5G, a good ambient lighting condition is highly recommended.
This is actually the part I want to talk about the most. Usually, a typical smartphone would be able to last for 5 to 6 hours when the display is turned on, and that is considered to be a good screen-on time (SOT). Gaming phones usually last longer as they mostly come with much bigger batteries. I was quite surprised to find out that A77 5G is able to provide me with 7 hours and 33 mins of SOT, which is totally unexpected but exceptional.
In the system settings, I have always turned on the auto-brightness, and as I mentioned earlier, the phone was primarily used for regular phone calls, messages, emails and occasional gaming. You may get different results from mine due to different usage habits, such as playing games a lot or reading books on your phone. These different usage scenarios will make the SOT longer or shorter than mine. I always carry a data cable with me when I go out, just to avoid the embarrassing situation of running out of power in electronic products. But with this phone, I never worried about recharging during the day.
- 90Hz refresh rate display
- Excellent battery life
- Expandable storage
- Snappy system
- Average camera
- Missing mmWave 5G spectrum
- 720p resolution
Should you buy one?
This phone does an excellent job overall among the mid-ranges. The screen has an above-average performance with a 90Hz refresh rate; the ColorOS 12.1 is stable and up to date with the latest Android 12 security patch; storage expansion with a microSD card slot could be useful for a certain audience. The phone is enabled for contactless payment and still has a 3.5mm jack. If you are looking for a decent smartphone that lasts the whole day with a full battery, and have no requirement for resource-demanding mobile games, OPPO A77 5G could be just right for you.
OPPO A77 5G is available at OPPO official website for $449 (64GB) and $499 (128GB).