Oppo R5 Review

Oppo R5 Review
Oppo R5 Review
Oppo R5 Review
Oppo R5 Review
Introduction


The super-slim, 0.19" (4.85mm) Oppo R5 was announced at the end of October and was quickly proclaimed the thinnest smartphone in the world - an impressively elegant handset, obviously meant to please users who place aesthetics as a top factor when picking a smartphone. To round off the package, Oppo equipped the R5 with a 64-bit Snapdragon 615, 2 GB of RAM, and a generous 13 MP / 5 MP camera sensor combo. So how does this combo of elegance and top-of-the-midrange hardware work? Let's check it out!

Design

A delicate smartphone for the style-conscious

There is no denying that the Oppo R5 is a pleasure to look at. The manufacturer did not rely just on the slim profile for aesthetics, but on a beautifully crafted matte silver-finished metal frame and back, intertwined with the white, non-glossy plastic bezels. Indeed, the R5 looks and feels like a well-built, premium handset; despite its thickness, it is absolutely sturdy, with no bends and creaks. As every slim handset to come out these days, this one also has a protruding camera on the back, though, it is housed in a nicely looking, rectangular bulge, so as long as one is used to this "feature" on modern smartphones, it will be a non-issue.

Measuring at 5.86 x 2.93 x 0.19 inches (148.9 x 74.5 x 4.85 mm) and weighing 5.47 oz (155 g), the R5 does not feel very different to hold, compared to other top-line handsets in the market – its footprint is familiar to the hand, and, while the slender profile does make it feel less bulky, the device still weighs just about the same as other, more traditional phones. Accessing the power button and volume rocker is easy, as both are placed in a comfortable spot on the right side of the frame, and while their feedback is not the best, they still feel clicky enough to not be awkward to use.

Due to the size constraints, Oppo was unable to pack a 3.5mm headphone jack on the device and hasn't equipped it with a dedicated speaker for audio – its earpiece doubles as a loudspeaker. The lack of these components actually contributes to the device's uniform look, as there are no excessive grilles or openings to disrupt its solid lines. Fear not, the _phone_ comes with its own proprietary headset, which connects via micro USB.

 

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Front view | Side view
OPPO R5
OPPO R5
5.86 x 2.93 x 0.19 inches
148.9 x 74.5 x 4.85 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

OPPO R5

HTC Desire 820
HTC Desire 820
6.21 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
157.7 x 78.74 x 7.74 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

HTC Desire 820

Xiaomi Mi 4
Xiaomi Mi 4
5.48 x 2.7 x 0.35 inches
139.2 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Xiaomi Mi 4

Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches
138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
4.55 oz (129 g)

Apple iPhone 6



Display

Punchy and crisp, though, inaccurate

The Oppo R5 has a 5.2" display with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, which results in a 424 ppi density, giving us a clear and crisp image. The panel uses AMOLED technology, which results in vivid, punchy, though, also – rather inaccurate colors. Its brightness levels range between a minimum of 2 nits, to a maximum of 339, making it comfortable to view in pitch-darkness, but troublesome when out in the sun.

The display's color temperature measures at 8011 K, quite a ways off from the reference value of 6,500 K. That, combined with an apparently skewed color reproduction, results in the picture looking cold, with a bluish/greenish tint visible throughout. The typical for AMOLED screens color over-saturation is also present here.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 606
(Excellent)
7
(Good)
1:1563
(Excellent)
7162
(Good)
2.23
3.51
(Good)
3
(Good)
HTC Desire 820 543
(Excellent)
17
(Poor)
1:1813
(Excellent)
7119
(Good)
2.19
3.83
(Good)
5.16
(Average)
Xiaomi Mi 4 490
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
1:901
(Average)
7392
(Good)
2.2
4.82
(Average)
6.91
(Average)
OPPO R5 339
(Average)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8011
(Poor)
2.38
4.77
(Average)
7.76
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
OPPO R5 59.9%
50%
unmeasurable
0.1%
3.4%
40.7%
46%
Xiaomi Mi 4 76.5%
50%
85.7%
10.2%
5.5%
2.9%
7.1%
Apple iPhone 6 82.3%
85.7%
86.9%
2.3%
10.8%
6.6%
24%
HTC Desire 820 84.3%
82.4%
84.8%
16.7%
16.4%
5.7%
13.2%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Oppo R5 Review

Oppo R5 Review
Oppo R5 Review
Oppo R5 Review
Oppo R5 Review
Introduction


The super-slim, 0.19" (4.85mm) Oppo R5 was announced at the end of October and was quickly proclaimed the thinnest smartphone in the world - an impressively elegant handset, obviously meant to please users who place aesthetics as a top factor when picking a smartphone. To round off the package, Oppo equipped the R5 with a 64-bit Snapdragon 615, 2 GB of RAM, and a generous 13 MP / 5 MP camera sensor combo. So how does this combo of elegance and top-of-the-midrange hardware work? Let's check it out!

Design

A delicate smartphone for the style-conscious

There is no denying that the Oppo R5 is a pleasure to look at. The manufacturer did not rely just on the slim profile for aesthetics, but on a beautifully crafted matte silver-finished metal frame and back, intertwined with the white, non-glossy plastic bezels. Indeed, the R5 looks and feels like a well-built, premium handset; despite its thickness, it is absolutely sturdy, with no bends and creaks. As every slim handset to come out these days, this one also has a protruding camera on the back, though, it is housed in a nicely looking, rectangular bulge, so as long as one is used to this "feature" on modern smartphones, it will be a non-issue.

Measuring at 5.86 x 2.93 x 0.19 inches (148.9 x 74.5 x 4.85 mm) and weighing 5.47 oz (155 g), the R5 does not feel very different to hold, compared to other top-line handsets in the market – its footprint is familiar to the hand, and, while the slender profile does make it feel less bulky, the device still weighs just about the same as other, more traditional phones. Accessing the power button and volume rocker is easy, as both are placed in a comfortable spot on the right side of the frame, and while their feedback is not the best, they still feel clicky enough to not be awkward to use.

Due to the size constraints, Oppo was unable to pack a 3.5mm headphone jack on the device and hasn't equipped it with a dedicated speaker for audio – its earpiece doubles as a loudspeaker. The lack of these components actually contributes to the device's uniform look, as there are no excessive grilles or openings to disrupt its solid lines. Fear not, the _phone_ comes with its own proprietary headset, which connects via micro USB.


Front view | Side view
OPPO R5
OPPO R5
5.86 x 2.93 x 0.19 inches
148.9 x 74.5 x 4.85 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

OPPO R5

HTC Desire 820
HTC Desire 820
6.21 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
157.7 x 78.74 x 7.74 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

HTC Desire 820

Xiaomi Mi 4
Xiaomi Mi 4
5.48 x 2.7 x 0.35 inches
139.2 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Xiaomi Mi 4

Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches
138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
4.55 oz (129 g)

Apple iPhone 6



Display

Punchy and crisp, though, inaccurate

The Oppo R5 has a 5.2" display with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, which results in a 424 ppi density, giving us a clear and crisp image. The panel uses AMOLED technology, which results in vivid, punchy, though, also – rather inaccurate colors. Its brightness levels range between a minimum of 2 nits, to a maximum of 339, making it comfortable to view in pitch-darkness, but troublesome when out in the sun.

The display's color temperature measures at 8011 K, quite a ways off from the reference value of 6,500 K. That, combined with an apparently skewed color reproduction, results in the picture looking cold, with a bluish/greenish tint visible throughout. The typical for AMOLED screens color over-saturation is also present here.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 606
(Excellent)
7
(Good)
1:1563
(Excellent)
7162
(Good)
2.23
3.51
(Good)
3
(Good)
HTC Desire 820 543
(Excellent)
17
(Poor)
1:1813
(Excellent)
7119
(Good)
2.19
3.83
(Good)
5.16
(Average)
Xiaomi Mi 4 490
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
1:901
(Average)
7392
(Good)
2.2
4.82
(Average)
6.91
(Average)
OPPO R5 339
(Average)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8011
(Poor)
2.38
4.77
(Average)
7.76
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
OPPO R5 59.9%
50%
unmeasurable
0.1%
3.4%
40.7%
46%
Xiaomi Mi 4 76.5%
50%
85.7%
10.2%
5.5%
2.9%
7.1%
Apple iPhone 6 82.3%
85.7%
86.9%
2.3%
10.8%
6.6%
24%
HTC Desire 820 84.3%
82.4%
84.8%
16.7%
16.4%
5.7%
13.2%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

Oppo's ColorOS is a good-looking and functional take on Android

The Oppo R5 comes loaded with Android 4.4.4, heavily skinned to become what the company calls "ColorOS" – a simplified interface that does away with the app drawer, adds customizable gesture controls, themes, and a few other small, but useful functions. Users of the Find 7, Find 7a, N1, or N3 who have used ColorOS v2.0.1i will instantly feel at home, while others will have to traverse only a minor learning curve. On the R5, the software does not stutter or exhibit huge hangups, but there is an ever-present and very minor delay when scrolling through home screens – it doesn't feel as if the hardware is having a hard time drawing, though, so we wonder whether Oppo went a bit over the top with trying to make the animations feel buttery smooth, and accidentally overdone them to feel sluggish. That being said, users will enjoy scrolling around, though, those coming from snappier interfaces will need a little time to adapt and not feel constantly annoyed.

The gesture controls include the well-familiar double-tap to wake, but barely end there. When the screen is off, the user has a choice to draw a circle, which will open the camera app, or draw a V-shape, which starts up the flashlight. Swiping downwards with two fingers will play / pause music playback, and drawing a > or < shapes will skip to the next or previous song, respectively.

Once the display is on, the user can control volume, by swiping up or down with two fingers. Swiping with three fingers will snap a screenshot. If these are not enough, one can call up a gesture board by pulling up from the bottom of the screen. Here, the user can draw the "O" or "V" gestures for camera / flashlight, or enter the Settings and create their own gesture commands for a select group of predetermined functions or apps.

In our experience, gesture app-launching was generally slower and more unreliable than just scrolling to the needed app and tapping its icon, but we did enjoy using the touch-controlled music playback, volume set, and screenshot features.

Processor and Memory

One of the first smartphones to come with a 64-bit Snapdragon

Not only is the Oppo R5 one of the thinnest smartphones in the world, it's also one of the first to come with an octa-core, 64-bit, Qualcomm-made SoC on board, ready to enter the Android Lollipop era with full force (and we are assuming that Oppo will update its newest devices to the new OS, sooner or later). Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 615 in February, 2014, and this is our second taste of the new SoC (the first one being HTC's Desire 820).

The 600 series is usually where the upper mid-range class of Qualcomm-made processors resides, and for what it is – we are more than pleased with the SD 615's performance. Web browsing is a breeze and 3D games run smoothly, even on the highest setting. The SoC is paired with 2 gigabytes of RAM, which is now the norm for a phone that takes itself seriously, and we had a hard time making the device exhibit a hiccup.

The R5 does tend to get hot, though, this is expectable with its slim body. Oppo has said that it's used materials that dissipate heat faster and “radically improve thermal efficiency”. Still, we'd keep a watchful eye on any signs of overheating and avoid over-stressing the device (using it while charging, for instance).

Unfortunately, the phone's size shows to be a hindrance yet again, as Oppo only fitted it with 16 GB of internal storage, 4.5 of which are taken by the OS, and there is no slot for an external memory card.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 34032
HTC Desire 820 31749
OPPO R5 29969.3
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 1284
HTC Desire 820 2048
OPPO R5 942.3
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 1431
HTC Desire 820 925
OPPO R5 2334
Sunspider
Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 1571.8
HTC Desire 820 1123.4
OPPO R5 1103.4
Apple iPhone 6 353.4
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 28
HTC Desire 820 25.2
OPPO R5 14.7
Apple iPhone 6 48.9
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 11.2
HTC Desire 820 11.7
OPPO R5 5.8
Apple iPhone 6 25.8
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 850
HTC Desire 820 697
OPPO R5 684.3
Apple iPhone 6 1630
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 2155
HTC Desire 820 2563
OPPO R5 2650.6
Apple iPhone 6 2927
View all

Internet and Connectivity

A buttery-smooth performance and a crisp screen make browsing a pleasure

As previously mentioned, the screen wields a very dense pixel-per-inch ratio, which makes even the finest of details crisp and clear. This is, of course, great for web browsing, and is aided by a smooth performance with minor stutters, which appear on heavy web pages. There is no proprietary browser – Oppo offers Google's Chrome out of the box, knowing that this would be enough for most users.

The R5 is LTE-capable, for your fast data-downloading needs, has Bluetooth 4.0,aGPS , and 802.11 b/g/n/a Wi-Fi; somewhat regrettably – no NFC.

Camera

A 13 MP Sony Exmor IMX214, paired with an options-packed camera app brings us mostly good results

The main camera module houses a 13 MP Sony IMX214 sensor, with an F2.0 aperture size, while the frontal cam has a selfie-afficianado-pleasing 5 MP resolution. The camera app is among the better ones we've seen, offering a rich choice of modes (and a selection of downloadable ones), among which one can find Auto, HDR, UHD, Manual Mode (called Expert Mode), Colorful Night shot, and others. Switching over to the frontal cam automatically activates the Beauty Face function and gives the user a variety of filters to choose from.

In well-lit situations, the camera snaps quickly and gives us generally balanced pictures – colors are represented accurately and the images are neither oversharpened, nor extremely soft. Indoor, the sensor does a great job at capturing a good amount of light and detail, even in darker situations.

The phone's HDR function is a letdown – sure, it does light up all the dark corners in an image, but the whole picture ends up looking like it has its contrast set to low and brightness to high, while also being covered in grain. It is still usable in some dark situations, but is mostly hit-or-miss.

The Expert Mode offers access to manual focus, exposure compensation, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance settings. While its options are not extremely elaborate, users who enjoy tinkering to get the best photos possible will be pleased with it.


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Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 1.9
2
619
432
OPPO R5 2.6
4.4
669
602
Xiaomi Mi 4 2.8
4.3
799
742
HTC Desire 820 4
No data
561
470
View all

Video recording is not much different – we are treated to a balanced picture, though, not-so-impressive audio.


Multimedia

The crisp, punchy display is great for viewing, but the audio lacks in a few ways

The crisp 5.2” FHD screen contributes to a satisfying viewing of pictures and video – as long as vivid and oversaturated colors are your thing, the R5 will not disappoint. Audio, on the other hand, is a different bowl of rice.

Since Oppo decided to use the phone's earpiece as a makeshift loudspeaker, the quality is not the best – a lack of volume and depth is combined with a hump in the mid-frequencies, creating a sort of an annoying, old-school, busted radio effect. It is not unbearable, but would not be our first choice for listening to music.



Call Quality

A mediocre microphone and a sub-par earpiece

Oppo R5 Review
In-call, we had a bit of a hard time understanding what the other side is saying – the volume was lower than desired, the voices sounded digitized, and the lack of depth and mid-range hump was, again, present in the sound. The audio was not unbearable, though, if one tends to spend a lot of time in phone calls, they would most likely not be pleased with this handset.

The other side had a better time than us, as the R5's microphone tends to send a loud audio signal; even though it is still muffled and inarticulate – it's more easily understandable than what's coming in from the earpiece.

Battery Life

The thin profile takes its toll

Having a thin phone is great and all, but a lot of users would agree that the compromise in battery size makes for a bad trade-off. In this case, we are on the fence, as the R5's 2,000 mAh juicer managed to last 5 hours and 8 minutes in our battery life test – quite an impressive feat, since the juicebox has to power a 5.2”, 1080p display, but still – lacking way behind other premium Android handsets.

Oppo R5 Review
There is also Oppo's VOOC tech – a technology, which uses a 4.5 A charger, and a circuitry inside the smartphone, which protects the battery from damage. So, the Oppo R5 charges up from 0% to 75% in about 30 minutes, while going to the full 100% will take around 73 minutes, as the last 10% of battery take quite a while to fill up. Super-fast charging is great, though, it doesn't really make up for a mediocre battery life – we doubt purchasing the thinnest smartphone in the world, only to have to lug around its bulky charger, is what users have in mind.

Our real-life experience with the device shows that, with casual use, it can last one through the day. It manages to hold its charge very well in standby mode, and if it's used for the sporadic phonecall / e-mail check / chat / picture share, it will not leave its owner high and dry. Additionally, Oppo has included two tiers of power saving to help users out when in a tight spot and low on power.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 8h 32 min (Excellent)
HTC Desire 820 6h 49 min (Average)
Apple iPhone 6 5h 22 min (Poor)
OPPO R5 5h 8 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi 4 126
HTC Desire 820 179
Apple iPhone 6 147
OPPO R5 73
View all

Conclusion


A very elegant handset with a sizable display to boot – the R5 seems to be for casual users, who prefer their smartphone to be a modestly used tech accessory, rather than a tool for long surfing and gaming sessions. Physically, the device provides a very pleasing experience when used, while the user interface could do with just a few minor tweaks – snappier menu scrolling being at the top of the list. A good camera, paired with an adequate and comfortable to use shooting app, and a well-performing SoC under the hood round off the package.

If a super-thin phone is what you are looking for, then the R5 is a good option, but be wary of the tradeoffs – sub-par audio quality, a battery that doesn't agree with heavy usage, low internal storage with no option to expand. If you wish to check out other svelte choices – take a look at the Gionee Elife S5.5 (rebranded as BLU Vivo IV in the US), though, we believe that the R5 is a few steps ahead.

If you are willing to go up a notch in thickness, you could take a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A5, which also promises a premium design in a 0.26” profile, a 13 / 5 MP camera combo, and the new Samsung Themes customization options.

We also can't help but think of the R5 as a competitor to the iPhone 6, aiming to beat Apple at its own game of “going thinner”. Well, if that's the case, Oppo may have just hit the nail on the head – the device is indeed thinner than the iPhone and has an equally poor battery life, but for its going price – we can't say that it's a better choice than the iOS-bearing flagship.

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