Introduction

The world's thinnest smartphone record is as fragile as a piece of china. It was broken three times in the last couple of months alone. The Gionee Elife S5.1 was first with a ridiculously slim 5.1mm profile, but its moment of triumph was just that - a moment. The 4.85mm Oppo R5 snatched the prize right out of Gionee's hands but didn't hold on to it long enough either. Out of nowhere, the 4.75mm shadow of a Vivo X5 Max took it home. Though obviously, the record stayed in China the whole time.

Our luck isn't any better - we usually miss the record-holder by mere days. OK, the upside is we can concentrate on the important things. That said, the Oppo R5 may not be the thinnest anymore, but it's pure class - and mind you, it's the second time we meet it in person.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 official pictures

The Oppo R5 is made of hand-polished aluminum alloy with special liquid-metal phase-shifting cooling elements inside taking the heat off the processor cores. Speaking of, there's eight of them on the Snapdragon 615 chipset (four 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 cores and another four at 1GHz) with a new generation Adreno 405 graphics accelerator.

The Oppo R5 packs a 5.2" Super AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution and a 13MP rear camera with fast focus, Ultra HD 50MP option, refocus mode, and improved low-light performance with slow-shutter. You get a 5MP selfie cam as well and LTE is enabled too. The rapid charging mode is here to stay and the charger is even smaller this time around.

Let's take a look at the complete feature list.

Key features

  • 5.2" 16M-color 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen, 423ppi
  • Android OS v4.4.4 KitKat with Color OS
  • Octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU (4x 1.7GHz plus 4x 1.0GHz), 2GB of RAM, Adreno 405 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset
  • 13MP autofocus camera, dual-LED flash; HDR, RAW, Panorama, long exposure (up to 15s), 25MP Super Zoom modes
  • 1080@30fps, 720p@120fps, 1080p HDR recording
  • 16GB of built-in storage
  • Cat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS/GLONASS; microUSB
  • 2,000mAh battery with Oppo's proprietary VOOC rapid charging tech
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic

Main disadvantages

  • No 4K video or 1080p@60fps recording at launch
  • No FM radio
  • No microSD card slot and no higher capacity option
  • No 3.5mm audio jack (microUSB to 3.5mm adapter supplied)
  • No NFC
  • Relatively low battery capacity

A profile so thin comes at a price, of course. The 3.5mm audio jack turned out impossible to accommodate, so the Oppo R5's audio output goes through the microUSB port. Thankfully, Oppo is supplying an adapter, so you can use any 3.5mm headset.

The lack of a microSD slot and the low-capacity battery are tougher ones to swallow though and we'll try and look at how this might affect your overall experience.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 live pictures

Interestingly, the Oppo R5 doesn't come with the promised 4K video recording or the 1080p capture at 60fps. Oppo says those need some further tweaking, but they will be enabled via a software updatelater down the road. Fingers crossed!

But not for long, since that retail box awaits. We're taking the wraps off on the next page. Let's get started.

Unboxing the Oppo R5

The Oppo R5 comes in a flat retail box, quite similar to the Oppo Find 7 and 7a packaging, and the level of attention to detail leaves no doubt you are unboxing a premium smartphone.

Inside the box, you'll find a high-current VOOC rapid charger, a microUSB cable, a high-quality in-ear headset and the required microUSB-to-3.5mm adapter to use it.

A SIM ejection pin and a luxury "window" flip case complete the tally.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 retail package

The case looks very similar to Samsung's S-View accessories - it's made of synthetic leather, while the display window is enhanced by a subtle polished aluminum frame. The R5 fits nicely inside the premium case and the added extra thickness is negligible.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The original flip case

Unlike Samsung's and LG's solutions, the Oppo R5's flip case doesn't offer any customization of the peek window. You get the time with date, the status bar, along with missed notifications. You can't change the wallpaper or configure the information displayed.

We should warn you the Oppo R5 only charges off its original charger. We tried 2A chargers from Apple and Samsung, as well as 1A units by Nokia and HTC - none of them worked.

The only way alternative way we could charge the Oppo R5 without its proprietary 5A charger was via a computer USB port.

The Oppo R5 stands at 148.9 x 74.5 x 4.85mm - an amazingly thin profile though we can't say the same about the screen bezels. The R5 is by no means light though at 155g, with all the metal used on the unibody.

Design and build quality

Phones like the Oppo R5 are a rare sight. This may sound strange so soon after we reviewed the likes of the Gionee Elife S5.1 and the Lenovo Vibe X2, but Oppo's is, undoubtedly, special.

Even without knowing it is among the slimmest phones in the market, you'll know you're dealing with a premium _phone_ that's certain to turn quite a few heads.

The super thin metal frame gives the Oppo R5 the strength to endure some accidental drops, while the front has been shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 against scratches.

The Oppo R5's rear is beautiful yet familiar - it's also made of metal, except for the top and bottom bits, accommodating the antennae.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5

One can't help but notice the camera hump at the back - just like the iPhone 6 and the record-slim Vivo X5 Max, Oppo couldn't fit the entire camera module in such a thin body. It isn't such a big deal, but a protruding lens is more likely to get scratched compared to other setups. Hopefully, the metal ring around the lens will lend it some extra level of protection.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 flanked by the Gionee Elife S5.1 and the iPhone 6 Plus

The 5.2" Oppo R5 isn't among the most compact devices in the market, by its slim profile is a challenge to all the button-less and bezel-free bodies that accommodate similar or bigger screens.

Super-slim, yet weighing an extra-solid 155g, the Oppo R5 is one of those devices you'll love not only for the looks, but for the in-hand experience, too.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Handling the Oppo R5

Controls

Above the 5.2" Super AMOLED screen we find the earpiece, which also doubles as the single speaker. The 5MP selfie camera and a couple of sensors are right next to the tiny earpiece grille.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

A peek above and below the screen

The traditional Android capacitive dock is below the screen. The Oppo R5 uses the old arrangement of controls: Menu, Home and Back. Those are painted in silver and have white backlighting.

As for the hardware controls, they are all on the right side of the _phone_ - you get a Power/Lock key and a volume rocker - both made of what seems to be metal.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The controls are on the right

The left side has the lonely microSIM compartment, ejectable via the metal pin provided in the retail package.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The microSIM bed is on the left

There is nothing on the top of the R5, while its bottom features the microUSB port and the primary microphone. The USB port is also used for connecting a headset via a dedicated microUSB-to-3.5mm adapter - Oppo couldn't fit a standard audio jack in a body this thin. We wouldn't have objected if it wasn't for the even thinner Vivo X5 Max, which has a 3.5mm jack.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

There's nothing at the top • the microUSB port is over at the bottom

The bulging 13MP camera lens is in the top left corner of the phone's back. The single-LED flash is near the hump, as is the secondary microphone intended for stereo video recording and noise cancelling during calls.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The 13MP rear camera

Display

The Oppo R5 has a 5.2" AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution and 423ppi. It uses a similar panel as the Galaxy S5 - at least in terms of visual qualities. It's bright, with even backlighting, low reflectivity and great contrast.

Oppo R5

Oppo R5's 5.2" AMOLED screen

Another underlying similarity is the PenTile matrix with a diamond arrangement. The diamond layout will make sure there are no visible artifacts and, with pixel density north of 400ppi, you can't take away any points for sharpness either.

Oppo R5

The color rendering is great, with punchy colors typical of AMOLED screens. There are no dedicated color saturation modes as on the Galaxy flagships. The screen brightness is among the best we've seen on an AMOLED screen both at 50% and maximum. It's even on par with some of the latest IPS flagship screen, which is great.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Oppo R5 238 417
Oppo Find 7a 0.33 280 842 0.68 580 852
Samsung Galaxy S5 274 529
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256
Sony Xperia Z3 - - - 0.65 866 1333
Gionee Elife S5.1 210 417
Apple iPhone 6 0.17 207 1230 0.61 740 1213
Nokia Lumia 930 149 347


Since it's an AMOLED display, the stellar contrast should hardly surprise. The sunlight legibility is amazing too, helped by the non-reflective screen.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

The Oppo R5 is powered by a 2,000mAh battery, quite similar to that of the Gionee Elife S5.1. Unfortunately, the Oppo R5 couldn't match the performance of the ex-record holder and its battery rating is at the bottom of our all-time chart.

The R5 posted average battery endurance while on 3G calls, but it did very poorly in web browsing and video playback. While its overall standby performance is slightly above average, it didn't help the Oppo R5 achieve a satisfactory overall endurance rating.

The rating of 38 hours means Oppo R5 will last about a day and a half if you do an hour each of calls, video playback and web browsing each day. Disappointing indeed.

Oppo R5

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating.

Connectivity

The Oppo R5 comes jam-packed with connectivity features. It has quad-band GSM, penta-band HSPA and LTE Cat.4 support, backed by support for a wide array of network bands.

There's also dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microUSB 2.0 port. There is no USB On-the-go support.

There is no NFC support though.

As we mentioned already, the microUSB port outputs audio via the provided adapter since the Oppo R5 doesn't come with a 3.5mm jack.

There is no FM radio onboard the Oppo R5.

Global positioning is available - the phone comes with support for GPS and GLONASS.

One useful app here is the System update app, which helps you update the phone's software over the air or from a local file (a ZIP saved in the internal memory). The latter is one of the easiest software upgrade utilities we've seen.

Color OS plays nice with Android KitKat

Oppo R5 runs on Oppo's proprietary Color OS v2.0, which is another name for a heavily skinned Android 4.4 KitKat. The Oppo's launcher customizations run very deep, they keep all Google apps and services, and even bring quite a few of its own - themes support, new lockscreen, homescreen, and settings menu among others.

If you are not into custom UIs, there is a preinstalled theme called Jelly Bean, which replicates the stock Android Jelly Bean UI for you as close as possible.

Here's a quick Color OS rundown on video to get you started:

The Color OS default lockscreen uses swipe gesture for unlocking. It also has shortcuts for the phone and Messaging apps. Double tap to wake works on the homescreen, but not on the capacitive keys.

The lockscreen also has a hidden flashlight shortcut - a press and hold of the Home button (the screen needs to be awake) turns on the LED flash on the back of the device. It turns off when you let go of the Home button.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The lockscreen

The Oppo R5 doesn't have an app drawer, so all of your app shortcuts are available on the homescreen. And the apps above the dock are organized in a grid of 4x5. Widgets are available as well, though not as much as some other Android smartphones are offering these days.

Naturally, folders are available, so you ca group your apps the way you like.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The homescreen

Exclusive space is Oppo's custom homescreen page. Currently, there are only two available - Photo and Music. Photo space takes up a whole homescreen and features a live viewfinder so you can take shots straight from your homescreen plus a shortcut to the full camera app. Below you get a timeline with all your recent photos and you can share them very easy.

The second Exclusive space homescreen pane is Music. It features a cool, if slightly intuitive design with a vinyl for changing the currently playing song and stopping/resuming playback. You can change songs, go directly to the music player or the phone app.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Exclusive spaces - Photos • Music • customizing docked shortcuts on an exclusive Space

The homescreen's contextual menu lists widgets, wallpapers, effects and themes. You drag widgets upwards to place them on the homescreen.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Customizing homescreens

Oppo's Color OS supports themes, one of which changes the appearance and functionality of Color OS to match that of stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. There are plenty awesome themes available for free in the Oppo's Theme Store, you just need an active internet connection to download some.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Themes Store • Different themes

By default the notification area will show one row of quick toggles, a brightness slider and a shortcut for enabling auto brightness mode, the current notifications plus a shortcut to go into settings. If you do a drag gesture from the quick toggles row you get two more lines of toggles. There's also a Kill all apps button there.

A long press on a toggle will bring up its respective settings entry. By the way, you can access the notification area even if you slide down from any empty part of the homescreen (not just the top), which helps single-handed use a lot.

The task switcher is pretty close to the one in iOS. All your apps are shown in a horizontally-scrollable grid of thumbnails, which you swipe either up to close or tap to open. Oppo has added a Kill All toggle at the bottom.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The R5 notification area • App switcher

Then there's the Gesture panel. You access it just like you would open your notification area, but you need to start your swipe from the bottom of the screen. You can perform various gestures in the Gesture panel to open different apps. For instance drawing a circle would open the camera app but you can assign any apps to any gestures you want.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Gestures menu

Finally, the Gesture & motion menu deserves our attention. It holds all the various gesture and motion tricks to make your life with the R5 easier. For one you can swipe with three fingers across the screen to capture a screenshot or pinch with several fingers to launch the camera and more.

The Motion options are very useful, too - flipping the device will mute the ringer, raising the ringing Oppo R5 to your ear will automatically answer the call and more. The Motion menu also offers Air Gestures on the homescreen - you can swipe through the panes with waving your hand over the display.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Gestures and motion

One hand mode is available too, activated by an upward swipe from the bottom left or right corner. When done, this will minimize the UI into a more compact windows, possible to use and operate with just one hand.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

One-hand mode

Overall, Color OS strives to be more feature rich than stock Android and has been customized quite deeply. It is still Android though, so users who are familiar with the OS won't have trouble knowing their way around Color OS. In fact most of Oppo's additions are quite welcome and improve the overall user experience.

Performance

The Oppo R5 is the first device we meet that has Qualcomm's latest mid-range chipset - the Snapdragon 615 - under its hood.

The Snapdragon 615 is built around a 64-bit octa-core Cortex-A53 main processor (4x 1.7GHz plus 4x 1.0GHz cores),an Adreno 405 graphics accelerator and 2GB of RAM.

Oppo R5 features a 1080p display, which isn't the best choice of resolution for a mid-range chip, but we are sure the Adreno 405 will have no issues with that resolution.

Our first benchmark test is GeekBench 3, which gauges the overall processor performance. Even with eight cores inside, the Cortex-A53 isn't among the most powerful CPUs around, so we didn't have our expectations sky high.

Surprisingly, the Oppo R5 did great, beating the Snapdragon 801-powered HTC One (M8) and Oppo N3.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    3011
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2860
  • Oppo R5
    2806
  • Oppo N3
    2704
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2410
  • HTC One (M8)
    2367
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1159

The AnTuTu 5 is again a compound benchmark, which also takes in consideration GPU and memory performance. The Oppo R5 posted a good score, but it's hardly a winner when compared to other smartphones in its price range.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    44020
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    43164
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    40393
  • Oppo N3
    39245
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    31452
  • Oppo R5
    31417

Next comes the compound BaseMark OS II 1.0 benchmark. It tests the processor, memory, graphics, web and OS performance. The Oppo R5 did OK here, better than the octa-core Gionee Elife S5.1, but not as good as its high-end buddies.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Oppo N3
    1280
  • HTC One (M8)
    1126
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1109
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1082
  • Oppo R5
    772
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    613
  • HTC Desire 820
    605
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    275

The multi-core and single-core performance of the Cortex-A53 processor in the Oppo R5 turned out weaker than the previous generation of Cortex-A7 cores.

The multi-core score is equal to that by the quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip.

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    2428
  • Oppo N3
    2417
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    2415
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2114
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    1819
  • Oppo R5
    1657

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    13634
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    10063
  • Oppo R5
    10000
  • HTC One (M8)
    9860
  • Oppo N3
    9320
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    8792

Now, let's check the graphics department. The Oppo R5 uses a new generation Adreno 405 GPU, which supports OpenGL ES 3.0.

The 1080p offscreen fps output of the Gionee Elife S5.1 is very good, managing half the framerate of the high-end Adreno 330, and much better than the previous generation Adreno 305 (like the one used within the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2, for instance).

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    28.4
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    27.8
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    27.7
  • Oppo R5
    15.1
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    12.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    5.8

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.8
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.1
  • Oppo R5
    5.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.9

The 1080p onscreen result is rather good too, though we'd guess this chipset is better suited to 720p displays. Again, the Adreno 405 GPU outputs did half the framerate that flagship smartphones manage.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • HTC One (M8)
    30.1
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    29.3
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    28.1
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    16.4
  • Oppo R5
    14.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    10.6

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12.7
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.7
  • Oppo R5
    5.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    4

The Basemark X benchmark draws pretty much the same picture as the GFX benchmark.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12637
  • HTC One (M8)
    12396
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11744
  • Oppo N3
    10168
  • Oppo R5
    4855
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    4150

Finally, it's time to check the web browsing performance. The Chrome BrowserMark 2.1 tests HTML 5 performance, while Mozilla's Kraken 1.1 is JavaScript-centric.

The Oppo R5 did well in both web benchmarks, though there are faster phones out there.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    6043
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    6355
  • Oppo N3
    6460
  • HTC One (M8)
    10296
  • Oppo R5
    11656
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    12961

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1533
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1398
  • Oppo R5
    1319
  • HTC One (M8)
    1069
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    868
  • Oppo N3
    730

The Snapdragon 615 chipset is a notable upgrade over the previous generation. Its octa-core processor in snappy and it's certainly future-proof with its 64-bit architecture. At times, it was neck and neck wih the Snapdragon 801, which is quite an achievement on its own.

The Adreno 405 is noticeably better than the Adreno 305 and the Mali-450 GPU, but fails to catch up with the Adreno 330 used in higher-end chipsets.

Phonebook and telephony

The phonebook uses a tabbed interface - it offers groups, then there's the contact list and favorites. The UI is pretty standard Android affair, save for the custom paintjob.

A tap on a contact's photo brings out Quick contacts - shortcuts for calling, texting, emailing a contact and a bit more (e.g. a Chrome shortcut to visit their web site).

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Phonebook

Contact info is displayed as a list of all available details. Custom ringtones can be selected for each contact and duplicate contacts can be merged into a single entry.

Contact syncing tools are very powerful - contacts can be moved or copied between phone storage and a Google account, they can be synced with an Exchange server or Facebook, and you can send / import contacts over Bluetooth.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Viewing and editing a contact

There's an Anti-harassment mode located in the contacts app, which is pretty powerful. You can put numbers in a blacklist, block messages and intercept spam calls. The strange thing is, you can't block people from within the messaging or phone app - only in the contacts app.

The dialer supports Smart dialing just fine (looking up both names and phone numbers).

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Dialer

The Oppo R5 scored a Good mark on our loudspeaker test, which means you should have no problem hearing it in all but the loudest of environments.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Gionee Elife S5.1 64.5 64.7 66.9 Below Average
Sony Xperia Z3 69.7 66.6 67.2 Average
HTC One (M8) 65.8 64.7 75.7 Average
Oppo R5 66.6 66.2 75.3 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 66.9 66.6 75.7 Good
Oppo Find 7 69.8 70.3 75.8 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active 73.1 69.3 76.7 Very Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 Excellent
Motorola Moto G 4G 77.1 76 83.3 Excellent


Messaging and email

The messaging department is pretty standard - there's a list of all bubble-styled conversations organized into threads, with a big New Message button at the bottom and a settings button next to it.

Attaching multimedia to a message will turn it into an MMS. You can add everything from photos, videos, audio to general files. There's even a full blown slide editor if you want to make full use of the MMS standard. The Attach location option is pretty nice too.

Hangouts is also included and supports SMS.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Messaging

Moving on to email, the Gmail app has handy shortcuts at the bottom of the screen and supports batch operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted. The default app supports multiple Gmail accounts, but there's no unified inbox.

A cool feature in Gmail is that you can swipe left or right to move between messages in your inbox.

There is also a generic email app for all your other email accounts and it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the messages in the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Gmail and Oppo's built-in email client

The Oppo R5 offers a great Swype-enabled keyboard with big keys and they become even bigger when you switch to landscape mode - the wide screen is remarkably comfortable for two-thumb typing. There is an option to change the individual key height in both portrait and landscape, which isn't found that often. Themes are available too. You can also have split or mini keyboard layouts.

Placing the device in landscape expands the keyboard immensely but leaves too little space for the text box above and we found ourselves never really using landscape as the portrait keyboard was spacious enough.

Oppo R5

Keyboard

An Oppo gallery

The Gallery on the Oppo R5 is a custom job, but surprisingly one with less features than the vanilla app. Obviously, Oppo has approached this interface with a less-is-more tactic.

The default view is a grid of folders, with a name and number of images for each folder labeled underneath. You can't filter images by location, time, people or tags like you would in the stock app. Images inside folders are arranged on a rectangular grid and you have two options - image selection mode and start a slideshow. You can select multiple images (folders too) and then Share and Delete options become available.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Gallery

The available features when viewing a single image are pretty standard - set image as wallpaper/contact image, share it, delete it or get a menu with more functions.

The image editor offers light adjustments that let you bring out the shadows or the highlights, you can apply effects, color styles, red eye correction, straightening, sharpening and face glow (which detects faces automatically). Most of these options have a slider that lets you fine-tune the intensity of the effect.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Viewing an individual image • Editing options

Video player

The Oppo R5 comes with a pretty simple-looking video player, which supports DivX, AVI, MKV, MP4, etc. We had no issues playing files all the way up to 1080p resolution and the only real setback were certain files with XviD video or AC3 sound.

The interface for video selection is pretty basic too - a list of all available files. The player supports subtitles too, but there's only an on/off toggle here, you can't manually pick the subtitle file (so it would have to have the same name as the video file to work, and be in the same directory). Also, some foreign language subtitles didn't display all characters correctly.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Video player

While watching a video you get a timeline scrubber, play/pause along with forward/back controls, a lock option (which locks the display against accidental touches) and a pop up toggle.

A feature that seems lifted right off the Samsung/LG flagships is the pop-up player. It's a small floating window that lets you have other apps working underneath. You can move it around to get it out of the way, but there's no transparency option.

Oppo R5

Video as an overlay

Music player with Dirac HD

Oppo's latest music player has quite a simplistic interface and is very easy to use and navigate. The music player UI is pretty straightforward - your music library is organized into a local list of all music, favorites, artists, albums and folders. There's also an option to add a playlist.

The music app supports Dirac HD Audio though there are no other music enhancement options.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Music player

The Now playing interface is split into two - the current playlist and the album art/music controls screen. You can swipe between the two. By default the player will look for lyrics and display them under the album art, which imitates a vinyl record. You can add album art if it's not built inside the tracks (but the player won't look for it automatically).

There's a playback mode button (normal, shuffle, repeat track) and a toggle for audio enhancement. That cycles through Dirac HD on and off.

By the way, the music player successfully played a 16-bit FLAC file so there is hardly anything it won't play.

Audio output has its ups and downs

We weren't very optimistic about the Oppo R5 audio output - the lack of a dedicated 3.5mm audio jack means that the smartphone had to use its microUSB for sound-feeding purposes and similar attempts in the past have shown that it's not a great idea. Besides, the very slim waistline is a challenge on its own as some audio components require more physical room to prevent interference.

As it turned out, the Oppo R5 sound output isn't as bad as we feared it might be, even if it's not quite the best around. The smartphone was nicely loud when used with an active external amplifier and had no issues with its scores outside of the rather high intermodulation distortion.

Plugging in a pair of headphones lead to a reasonably contained hike in stereo crosstalk as well as some deviation in the frequency response. The volume levels also dropped to average levels so we had to drop the overall score from very good to decent. It's certainly better than some other super slim phones we've tested recently and that's a win in its own right.

And here go the detailed results so you can check them out for yourselves.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Oppo R5 +0.02, -0.08 -93.4 92.5 0.0009 0.398 -93.2
Oppo R5 (headphones attached) +0.66, -0.01 -93.3 92.9 0.011 0.385 -68.6
Gionee Elife S5.1 +0.03, -0.23 -91.2 91.2 0.0099 0.014 -82.7
Gionee Elife S5.1 (headphones attached) +0.57, -0.90 -83.8 88.7 0.019 0.476 -43.8
Motorola Moto G (2014) +0.01, -0.06 -91.6 92.4 0.0089 0.014 -91.7
Motorola Moto G (2014)(headphones attached) +0.02, -0.09 -91.6 92.4 0.011 0.017 -45.7
Motorola Moto G +0.08, -0.85 -92.1 91.9 0.0059 0.082 -91.4
Motorola Moto G (headphones attached) +0.10, -1.03 -92.0 91.8 0.010 0.117 -50.4
Oppo R819 +0.04, -0.09 -92.4 92.3 0.017 0.045 -87.9
Oppo R819(headphones attached) +0.58, -0.13 -91.0 90.9 0.015 0.438 -48.7
Nokia Lumia 625 +0.13, -0.10 -90.3 90.3 0.013 0.355 -82.5
Nokia Lumia 625 (headphones attached) +0.24, -0.00 -90.2 90.2 0.014 0.460 -83.8
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini +0.03, -0.04 -92.6 90.7 0.016 0.018 -94.0
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini (headphones attached) +0.23, -0.05 -86.7 86.2 0.052 0.167 -55.7

Oppo R5 frequency response

Oppo R5 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

Very good 13 MP camera shoots stills up to 25MP stills

The camera of the Oppo R5 looks to be one of the phone's key selling points. The camera uses the same tech found inside the Find 7 and Find 7a - a Sony Exmor IMX214 BSI 1/3.06" CMOS sensor of 13MP resolution. The lens has a bright, F/2.0 aperture. The camera is capable of producing 25MP interpolated shots, RAW images, HDRs and Panoramas.

Oppo R5 is quite in tune with the world's fixation on the selfie genre and comes equipped with a 5MP front snapper, which takes some nice photos as well.

Oppo R5

A 5MP selfie sample

The camera interface has two control sidebars in the viewfinder, the right one holding the still and video buttons and a gallery shortcut, while the left one is for settings, flash and front 5MP camera switch.

The right sidebar is expandable and it holds shortcuts for the different shooting modes - Beauty, Panorama, HDR, HD Picture, RAW, Expert, Macro, Slow Shutter and Normal. The Expert mode gives you control over the exposure compensation, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and manual focus.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Camera app • Expert mode • More modes

There is Add apps key, which takes you to a dedicated repository for camera applications. This is where we found the RAW and HDR modes, they weren't initially pre-installed on our unit.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

All available shooting modes for download • Additional settings

The Slow Shutter mode allows for longer than usual exposures - from 1 up to 15 seconds actually (the Lumia 1020 can only shoot reach a shutter speed of up to 4 seconds, while the Find 7/7a duo supports up to 32s).

HD Picture is an intriguing feature, advertised as Super Zoom. It snaps a few (probably 13MP) photos in a flash and then merges them to create a pixel-perfect rendering of the scene and then upscales that to 25MP, giving you plenty of room for zooming and cropping afterwards. You will find a sample image further down.

The Oppo R5 camera captured very good photos. The image processing is nicely mature, bringing noise levels down without sacrificing much high-frequency detail.

There is plenty of resolved detail, the colors look accurate with spot-on white balance. Contrast is good too, but the dynamic range could have been better. Still, we are really happy with the 13MP photos, taken with the R5. Check them out.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 13MP camera samples

Next, we come to the Panorama shooting mode. You can capture a field of view of up to 180 degrees and the resulting image is up to 18MP. Note that if you hold the phone vertically, you'll be getting those 18MP pano shots (7400x2550px), while the horizontal shooting will output images only up to 13MP (7000x1900px).

The panoramic images are quite good, too, the stitching is fine most of the time as are the colors and contrast. The resolved detail isn't on par with the regular still images, but it is more than enough to please most of the users. Here are two sample Panorama photos.

Oppo R5

Oppo R5

Oppo R5 panorama samples taken in portrait and landscape modes

There is also an HDR mode available for the Oppo R5. It snaps several shots of the same scene with different exposure settings and then combines them into a single image. Unfortunately, there is something very wrong with the HDR post processing and the produced images are hardly usable.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

HDR off • HDR on • HDR off • HDR on

Of course, we just couldn't miss the opportunity to snap a long exposure shot. As we mentioned already the Oppo R5 is capable of slower shutter speeds, ranging from 1s up to 15s.

Oppo R5

Slow Shutter camera sample (2s)

We snapped a few 25MP HD samples, too. While the 25MP samples all have good colors, contrast and little noise, the resolved detail is quite uninspiring.

Oppo claims the HD Pictures should be used for high-quality prints. It's worth noting the samples are indeed better than anything we could have achieved by upscaling the regular 13MP to 25MP, so they certainly have their use, especially if you would like to crop and keep only a portion of the image. But we'd still use the otherwise very good 13MP Normal mode most of the times.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 25MP HD Picture camera samples

Photo quality comparison

The Oppo R5 enters our Photo quality comparison tool to compete against the latest flagships. It definitely does a great job on all three charts - the resolved detail is top notch, the colors are quite accurate and the contrast is good, too. There are no visible defects of whatsoever, pink spots or oversharpening.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Oppo R5 in our photo compare test

1080p video recording at 30fps, 4K videos to be implemented later

Oppo R5 was announced as a 4K-capable smartphone, but we couldn't find the 4K recording mode anywhere. The Full HD at 60 fps was missing as well.

We contacted Oppo and as it turned out those modes are still to come for the Oppo R5 - they are in the final stages of development, but needed more optimizations. We guess Oppo will release them when they are ready via the Camera Apps repository.

So, for now the Oppo R5 is stuck with 1080p video capture at 30 frames per second plus 720p slow-mo videos at 120fps. The 1080p videos are far from perfect though, with uninspiring level of detail and dynamic range. The colors and white balance are good though.

The samples came out with 10 Mbps bitrate, which explains the low level of resolved detail. Thanks to the second microphone, the recorded sound is stereo with 96 Kbps bitrate and 48 KHz sampling.

Here is a video sample we've uploaded on YouTube.

HDR video shares the same credentials as the still HDR mode - pretty much unusable. Here is an HDR video sample.

You can also download an untouched 1080p@30fps and HDR 1080p@30fps video samples.

Video quality comparison

The Oppo R5 faces quite a tough 1080p competition in our video compare tool and does unimpressively most of the time.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

Oppo R5 1080p in our Video quality comparison tool

Google Chrome web browser

The Oppo R5 comes with Google Chrome as its preinstalled browser. The interface is the same as on any other Android smartphone - clean and minimalist.

Opening the tabs area reveals a list of tabs which can be closed again with a left or right swipe. Incognito tabs are supported, too.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Google Chrome

Of course, one of Chrome's strengths is its ability to seamlessly sync with its desktop version, using nothing but your Google account. This allows you to open an article on your PC and finish reading it on your mobile phone. It also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites.

Google Chrome is generous on customizable settings as well. You can control almost every aspect of your web browsing by choosing what content you want to allow to load like JavaScript, images, cookies and pop-ups.

Other pre-installed apps

Perhaps the highlight of Oppo's homebrewed apps is the Security Center app. It lets you control all sorts of features from call/message privacy and Quiet Time settings, to phone optimization and app permissions, app encryption, to network and battery usage. The phone's Guest Mode is also activated from within this app.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Security Center

The Oppo R5 comes with Kingsoft Office preinstalled. It's a pretty powerful office editor that can handle Word docs, PDFs, Spreadsheets and Presentations. It can link to cloud storage, email files, and create a shared view with other users and more. There's editing enabled, too, so you can get some work done on the go.

Kingsoft has since dropped support for its Office application, and has instead published an updated version under the name of WPS Office.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Kingsoft Office

The calendar app has three views that you can swipe between. First is the Year view, which aggregates all 12 months with all of their days, a month view, which has little red dots for events and the agenda view, which is a vertically scrollable grid of events.

Sadly, year view doesn't show little dots for when there's an event, despite the screen being large and high-res enough to allow it.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Calendar

The clock app supports multiple alarms, each with its own repeat time, ring tone, volume, snooze interval and note. The app also offers a world clock, a stop watch and a timer. Calculator is available, too.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Clock

The Keep app lets you create complex notes with text, images and hand drawn notes. You can even set a password for your notes.

The Tools folder is preloaded with a few apps that you usually get from the market. There's a Flashlight app, a sound recorder and a 3D compass.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Keep • Flashlight • Compass • Voice recorder

The phone comes with a capable file manager out of box. Its interface is laid out over two tabs, the first one organizes files by category, while the second is a traditional folder browser.

Files and folders can be copied, moved, deleted, renamed and compressed to ZIP (and ZIP files can be extracted). Batch operations are supported. The folder browser has list and grid views and you can change the sorting method. The system can be encrypted and password protected too.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Files app

The file browser also has built in DLNA and FTP server support, which makes it easy to access multimedia and general files on another device.

Google Now, accessed by swiping up from any of the navigation buttons, integrates with your Google account and can access your daily routine, internet searches, email, etc. and give you information relevant to your interests and daily needs.

It provides traffic information to your work or home, knows the scores of sports teams you follow and gives you the weather forecast for your location. It's great for at-a-glance info, but can handle voice Google searches as well. It also has a dedicated homescreen/lockscreen widget.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Google Now

The Oppo R5 comes with a GPS/GLONASS receiver. A-GPS can speed this up quite a bit, but requires Internet access. If rough positioning will do, Cell-ID and Wi-Fi positioning are on it. Wi-Fi positioning can work even if Wi-Fi is disabled or you can turn this off to save battery.

The Oppo R5 comes with Google Maps and Navigation. Voice-guided navigation has become an important everyday utility. The public transport option can be very useful too.

Maps show alternative routes and you can see alerts if there are any potential holdbacks along your route like construction zones, traffic jams and so on. Google's involvement with the live traffic info crowd-sourcing app - Waze - seems to be paying off.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Google Maps

The app also supports the Street View mode, allowing you to see the landmarks you're looking for before you set off. That makes them much easier to find when you arrive.

The Google Play Store features several scrollable tabs - categories, featured, top paid, top free, top grossing, top new paid, top new free and trending. Apps usually have several screenshots (some even offer a demo video) so you can get an idea of what the app looks like before installing it.

Final words

Creating the R5, Oppo was obviously laser focused on delivering exquisite design and build quality, and making a sizzling first impression. And well, they delivered that in spades.

The Oppo R5 is one of those few smartphones you can fall in love with at first sight. And its metal frame is as tough as nails and as resilient as a suspension bridge.

Oppo R5

And that beauty is not skin deep. The Snapdragon 615 chipset inside turned out quite capable, the camera samples are great and the overall camera performance is rather promising. The AMOLED display is near perfect too.

The phone sure does have its flaws though. Its battery life scraped the bottom of our battery charts, audio quality is nothing to write home about, and you can't listen to music and charge the phone at the same time. It's also got a price tag worthy of a flagship with offering as much oomph in the graphics department, if not elsewhere.

Here are the key test findings that we noted down in the course of our review.

Key test findings:

  • Design and build quality are superb
  • The super slim profile looks hot but a micro SD slot, 3.5mm audio jack and an adequately sized battery were badly missed
  • The 1080p AMOLED display is excellent
  • The battery life is poor, though the power consumption in standby is slightly better than average
  • The Color OS 2.0 launcher scores points for the eye-candy and customization options, the powerful system management tools are welcome too
  • The benchmark performance shows great promise and is perfectly good for the class, but not for the price
  • The speaker loudness is Below average
  • Audio output quality is decent
  • The still camera is very good, but the HDR samples are unusable
  • The video camera seems OK, though the 4K and 1080p@60fps recording modes are yet to be implemented
  • The video player plays all sorts of files (with subtitles, too), but lacks AC3 and DTS sound decoders

As you can see, the Oppo R5 is far from perfect, except for looks, and the high-end price tag isn't helping its case either. There are no prisoners taken in this price range.

What we mean is that the Oppo R5 can hardly hold a candle to the water-proof Samsung Galaxy S5 or the metal-clad HTC One (M8 Eye). Even the water-proof glass-and-metal Sony Xperia Z3 costs around the same. All three flagships offer, well, flagship performance, along with better imaging skills and battery performance.

Samsung Galaxy S5
HTC One (M8 Eye)
Sony Xperia Z3

Samsung Galaxy S5 • HTC One (M8 Eye) • Sony Xperia Z3

The LG G3 and the Oppo R5 have one thing in common that neither of them would like to acknowledge - the questionable battery backup. Maybe that's exactly the reason why the G3 has seen a significant price drop - which in turn spells bad news for the ambitious Oppo R5. And that's if the QHD screen wasn't enough of an advantage. Great couple otherwise, the super slim and the almost bezel-free.

LG G3

LG G3

In the super-slim league, the Vivo X5 Max has just got its hands on the world's thinnest smartphone title. It comes with a slightly bigger Super AMOLED, it has even found room for a 3.5mm audio jack and a second slot, which can either accommodate a second SIM or a microSD card.

The battery is a 2,000mAh unit though and its endurance may as well turn even worse than the Oppo R5. The good news is the Vivo X5 Max costs less than Oppo R5, though its availability is rather limited to just a few markets.

vivo X5Max

vivo X5Max

The HTC Desire 820 runs on the same Snapdragon 615 chip with an octa-core processor as the Oppo R5, and offers even snappier graphics performance because of its lower-res 5.5" 720p display.

The HTC Desire 820 is quite slim itself at 7.7mm and comes with a 13MP rear and an 8MP selfie cam. It has a microSD card slot, and front stereo speakers - an HTC staple. This attractive package costs about €120 less than the Oppo R5.

HTC Desire 820

HTC Desire 820

Finally, the 5.1mm Gionee Elife S5.1 is almost as thin as the Oppo R5, betting on a dual-glass design instead of brushed aluminum. There is no camera hump, but nor is there a microSD slot or LTE connectivity. Its hardware department (and durability) is inferior to Oppo R5's, but the price reflects it.

Gionee Elife S5.1

Gionee Elife S5.1

So, the Oppo R5 certainly knows its limitations and these are well masked behind a beautiful, luxurious facade. Priced like a flagship but not quite performing like one. More beautiful than most. A hard one to admire from a distance.

Unboxing the Oppo R5

The Oppo R5 comes in a flat retail box, quite similar to the Oppo Find 7 and 7a packaging, and the level of attention to detail leaves no doubt you are unboxing a premium smartphone.

Inside the box, you'll find a high-current VOOC rapid charger, a microUSB cable, a high-quality in-ear headset and the required microUSB-to-3.5mm adapter to use it.

A SIM ejection pin and a luxury "window" flip case complete the tally.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 retail package

The case looks very similar to Samsung's S-View accessories - it's made of synthetic leather, while the display window is enhanced by a subtle polished aluminum frame. The R5 fits nicely inside the premium case and the added extra thickness is negligible.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The original flip case

Unlike Samsung's and LG's solutions, the Oppo R5's flip case doesn't offer any customization of the peek window. You get the time with date, the status bar, along with missed notifications. You can't change the wallpaper or configure the information displayed.

We should warn you the Oppo R5 only charges off its original charger. We tried 2A chargers from Apple and Samsung, as well as 1A units by Nokia and HTC - none of them worked.

The only way alternative way we could charge the Oppo R5 without its proprietary 5A charger was via a computer USB port.

The Oppo R5 stands at 148.9 x 74.5 x 4.85mm - an amazingly thin profile though we can't say the same about the screen bezels. The R5 is by no means light though at 155g, with all the metal used on the unibody.

Design and build quality

Phones like the Oppo R5 are a rare sight. This may sound strange so soon after we reviewed the likes of the Gionee Elife S5.1 and the Lenovo Vibe X2, but Oppo's is, undoubtedly, special.

Even without knowing it is among the slimmest phones in the market, you'll know you're dealing with a premium phone that's certain to turn quite a few heads.

The super thin metal frame gives the Oppo R5 the strength to endure some accidental drops, while the front has been shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 against scratches.

The Oppo R5's rear is beautiful yet familiar - it's also made of metal, except for the top and bottom bits, accommodating the antennae.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5

One can't help but notice the camera hump at the back - just like the iPhone 6 and the record-slim Vivo X5 Max, Oppo couldn't fit the entire camera module in such a thin body. It isn't such a big deal, but a protruding lens is more likely to get scratched compared to other setups. Hopefully, the metal ring around the lens will lend it some extra level of protection.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Oppo R5 flanked by the Gionee Elife S5.1 and the iPhone 6 Plus

The 5.2" Oppo R5 isn't among the most compact devices in the market, by its slim profile is a challenge to all the button-less and bezel-free bodies that accommodate similar or bigger screens.

Super-slim, yet weighing an extra-solid 155g, the Oppo R5 is one of those devices you'll love not only for the looks, but for the in-hand experience, too.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

Handling the Oppo R5

Controls

Above the 5.2" Super AMOLED screen we find the earpiece, which also doubles as the single speaker. The 5MP selfie camera and a couple of sensors are right next to the tiny earpiece grille.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

A peek above and below the screen

The traditional Android capacitive dock is below the screen. The Oppo R5 uses the old arrangement of controls: Menu, Home and Back. Those are painted in silver and have white backlighting.

As for the hardware controls, they are all on the right side of the phone - you get a Power/Lock key and a volume rocker - both made of what seems to be metal.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The controls are on the right

The left side has the lonely microSIM compartment, ejectable via the metal pin provided in the retail package.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The microSIM bed is on the left

There is nothing on the top of the R5, while its bottom features the microUSB port and the primary microphone. The USB port is also used for connecting a headset via a dedicated microUSB-to-3.5mm adapter - Oppo couldn't fit a standard audio jack in a body this thin. We wouldn't have objected if it wasn't for the even thinner Vivo X5 Max, which has a 3.5mm jack.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

There's nothing at the top • the microUSB port is over at the bottom

The bulging 13MP camera lens is in the top left corner of the phone's back. The single-LED flash is near the hump, as is the secondary microphone intended for stereo video recording and noise cancelling during calls.

Oppo R5
Oppo R5
Oppo R5

The 13MP rear camera

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