The Oppo A78 5G, an entry-level midrange contender from the Chinese smartphone manufacturer that’s all about trade-offs. Learn more in this full review.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
At first grip, the Oppo A78 5G feels deceptively slim thanks to its black-anodized aluminum frame. This frame does not encapsulate the whole width of the phone as the glass display protrudes slightly from its chassis.
In front the display features an O-drop notch where the front-facing camera is situated in, above it is the call earpiece that doubles as one of the device’s stereo speakers.
For I/O, on the left side is its hybrid dual SIM card tray with support for microSD card expansion, and the volume buttons. On the right side is the power button that doubles as a capacitive fingerprint sensor.
Found at the bottom is a 3.5mm audio jack, noise-cancelling mic for calls, USB Type-C (2.0) port for charging and data transfers, and a downward firing speaker as the second stereo speaker.
At the rear, we have a stealthy polycarbonate back panel with a little sheen, which gives it its “Glowing Black” moniker. It’s also available in “Glowing Purple” for a more vibrant option.
In the piano black panel branded, Innovative Ai Camera we have two centavo-sized camera modules. The top one houses the main sensor while a depth sensor coupled with the LED flash resides in the one below it.
Overall, the conventional button placement is appreciated and the ergonomics is great for a tall front-heavy device. The front bezels are rather disappointing because of that thick chin but like other devices in this segment, it’s no surprise. The device is also annoyingly a fingerprint magnet, especially in this black color.
The Oppo A78 5G sports a 6.56-inch HD+ IPS LCD display (720 x 1612, 269 ppi) that features a 90Hz refresh rate. It also has Panda glass protection for defense against drops and falls.
It has a max brightness of 600 nits and it’s good enough for viewing in varying lighting conditions.
The panel produces vibrant colors out of the box and it’s a pretty good IPS panel.
The big elephant in the room is that HD resolution.
Did I notice it?
It’s as if Youtube videos were locked at 720p playback, except it’s everything on the screen. Weirdly enough in the Youtube app, you can actually change the playback resolution to something higher if available, but I am certain it does not reflect in real-world consumption.
What saves it is the stereo speakers. Consuming media in 720p in 2023 was easier to get over with good audio playback.
It gets loud enough to fill a phonebooth. Its sound stage isn’t the best but its good enough for binging a couple of movies back to back.
Overall it’s a good enough display for general viewing but I kind of expected more given its competitors. It’s stereo speakers do make up for it just enough.
For biometric security, the A78 5G features fingerprint and face unlock.
The side mounted scanner is pretty accurate, granted you enroll your fingerprints properly. Enrolling the same fingerprint for more accuracy is a little annoying because the software fundamentally does not allow you to.
Alternatively we still have face unlock here, and recognition is quick; Just not in challenging lighting conditions.
The Oppo A78 5G features a dual camera setup at the rear that feels more like a single.
It’s composed of a 50MP [f/1.8] main sensor, and a 2MP [f/2.4] depth sensor.
In front, it features an 8MP [f/2.0] camera sensor for selfies.
Overall photos look passable to decent at best with challenging lighting conditions in mind.
Where this camera system really shines is in good lighting conditions, so it’s best to keep that in mind when using this for more photo-centric purposes.
Video calling looks okay but again, at this price point I can’t help but expect just a little bit more.
For video, the A78 5G can shoot at 1080p or FHD at 30fps, front and back. Footage is usable for video messages and alike.
OS, Apps, UI
Out of the box, Oppo’s A78 5G boots with Android 13 skinned with ColorOS 13 on top.
ColorOS is pretty classic at this point, now in it’s 13th iteration.
Similar to realme UI, I usually dig through its settings for creature comforts like being able to swipe down from the home screen to access the notification drawer, and double tapping to lock my device (which still only works on the home screen by the way).
I still miss being able to double press the lock button to shortcut to the camera. Though ColorOS does provide alternatives for this in gesture shortcuts.
Classic Oppo, drawing a circle while the screen is off still works, along with a “V” for flashlight and alike. It’s a good enough alternative instead of nothing at all.
Overall it’s a solid operating system, and it’s well tuned for the A78 5G. It takes good enough advantage of its available hardware and I don’t really have much complaints from an ease-of-use standpoint.
Performance and Benchmarks
Inside the Oppo A78 is a Mediatek Dimensity 700 (MT6833). A 7nm chipset that features an octa-core processor and Mali-G57 MC2 GPU.
It’s safe to say this is where the device’s budget went when it came to building it. It’s a fast midrange chip and you can feel it.
Compared to something like a Helio G88 chipset, it blows it out of the water. Mobile Legends runs perfectly stable in low to medium settings. And running most productivity apps felt fine too.
Our review unit comes with 8GB of RAM with an additional 8GB of RAM expansion, and 128GB of UFS 2.2 internal storage. It also features microSD card expansion of up to 1TB but you would have to sacrifice a SIM slot to utilize it.
For those interested in synthetic benchmarks, check-out our results below.
|Device:||Oppo A78 5G|
|Chipset:||Mediatek Dimensity 700 (7nm)|
|3D Mark Wild Life||1,208 (7.20 Avg FPS)|
|PCMark Work 3.0||7,473|
|PCMark Storage 2.0||13,127|
Battery and Connectivity
The Oppo A78 5G is powered by a 5,000mAh battery. It features 33W SuperVOOC fast charging and can charge the phone up to 100% in around an hour.
Battery life is pretty good for a 5,000 mAh cell at this price point, probably due to that lower resolution display.
In PCMark’s Work 3.0 battery test, our A78 5G could not complete its test after trying 5 times, due to a weird notification bug we couldn’t fix even in DND mode.
In our proprietary battery loop test, the A78 5G lasted 19 hours and 57 minutes.
For connectivity, Oppo’s A78 features 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS and NFC.
In conclusion, the Oppo A78 5G is quite the interesting entry-level midrange smartphone. It’s got a lack-luster display but good speakers, a decent camera system carried by its software, and a somewhat slow charging rate for good battery life (thanks to that display).
Overall it’s a decent device with up to 16GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage with microSD card expansion for PHP 14,999.00.
If display quality was your priority, there are better and cheaper devices in the market that can give you a more optimal viewing experience.
So ultimately the A78 5G is a decent contender for its battery life.
What we Liked:
- Battery life.
- 5G chipset.
- Decent stereo speakers.
- Good software tuning.
What we Didn’t Like:
- Lackluster display.
- Underwhelming camera system.
- Big chin bezel.
Oppo A78 5G specs:
6.56-inch HD+ display 90Hz refresh rate
Mediatek Dimensity 700 SoC
128GB internal storage
GSM, HSPA, 4G/LTE, 5G
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Bluetooth 5.3, A2DP, LE, aptX
GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, BDS, QZSS
50MP Main sensor (f/1.8 aperture, PDAF)
2MP depth sensor
8MP Selfie (f/2.0 aperture)
5,000 mAh Li-on battery, 33W SuperVOOC fast-charging
Type-C, USB 2.0
ColorOS 13, Android 13
163.8 x 75.1 x 8 mm (dimensions)
188 grams (weight)