There are many good things to say about the OPPO A93, the latest device from the Chinese manufacturer for the mid-range A-series lineup. The phone does almost everything right and fails in some, but the missteps are mostly trivial, and would not be seen as a barrier to spending KES 31k for this bad boy.
Even more interesting is the fact that the device does not need to be broken down into segments where we discuss battery and performance because, for the most part, I feel that it is unnecessary. Thus, this is more of a commentary where I say everything in a short story, and you either agree with me (which I am sure you will), or don’t, which is fine by me too because let’s be honest, everyone has biases, and I am going to disappoint some folks who have their eyes on something else.
Before we proceed, here is what the A93 brings to the table in terms of specs:
1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~409 ppi density)
|Chipset||Mediatek Helio P95 (12 nm)|
48 MP (wide)
8 MP (ultrawide)
2 MP (depth)
2 MP (monochrome)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Battery and charging||4000 mAh
18W fast charging
|Colours||Metallic White or Matte Black colour options|
Now, I need you to spend a few more seconds and see what the Reno4, which costs KES 9k more offers:
|Chip||Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G|
|Memory||8+128 GB |
|4000 mAh battery
|Main camera||48 MP main |
8 MP ultra-wide
2 MP B/W
|48 MP main with OIS
12 MP ultra-wide
13 MP telephoto
|Selfie||32 MP||32 MP|
|OS||Android 10, ColorOS 7.2||Android 10, ColorOS 7.2|
|Price||KES 40000||Not available in Kenya|
You will notice that the two devices are mostly the same.
Heck, if someone who doesn’t know the differences between them is presented with the handhelds, they would say the smartphones look almost the same.
But this is not a comparison, and we emphasized that in our initial impressions piece. The back and forth references are made because they are unavoidable.
- The hardware presentation is the same. The USB ports are at the same position, same for the speaker grill and headphone socket, and selfie snapper.
- They feel the same, the frosted plastic backplate feels less slippery and nice. It is a good material that hides scratches if that is your thing.
- Both have four rear camera lenses.
- Both have in-screen fingerprint readers that work expertly.
- Both have OLED screens.
You can spot a few differences, however:
- The Reno4 is slightly heavier, but only slight.
- The rear camera placement is different; the A93 has a square camera bump, the Reno4 has a rectangular one, with the lenses arranged vertically. The fourth lens is there too, but you have to look harder.
- The frosted backplates are different; whereas the Reno4 has a full frost paint job, the A93 adopts a two-tone approach. Check out the attached samples.
Other differences are subtle, including processing power (different chipset as stated in the specs sheet above), but day to day use feels the same.
You see, these are some of the things that have made the development of this review so difficult because previously, there was a notable difference between the Reno and the A-line. With their latest offerings, it makes little sense why OPPO would even bring both devices here besides the obvious price difference.
But from the financial angle, I do see what game OPPO is playing here. The A93 is a lifesaver for those who do not have an extra 10k for the Reno4. Not that the Reno4 stands out that much per se, but it is still a better choice for groups that have that budget.
My Reno4 is better because it costs more.
Which is true, of course, but in my opinion, it boils down to bragging rights. Or not. We will never know.
I could end the review right here, but I still have a few more things to say lest this ends up looking like a comparison.
Let’s talk about the cameras. The front-facing one in the Reno4 (there is actually one, although the dual-hole punch notch would make you think otherwise) is high res at 32 MP. The A93 catches up with a dual-selfie one at 16 MP and 2 MP for those portrait selfies. Do take them, and make sure you have a steady hand because they look good.
At the back, things are mostly the same. The assumption is substantiated with actual shots, which are stunning for a 31k phone. They are bright, look very nice on the display, and are equally replicated on social media sites.
I’m saying that you cannot go wrong with these snappers.
And that’s kind of the whole story. OPPO has been making good cameras for a long time now (remember the oversold ‘selfie expert’ moniker? The company may have realized it didn’t need to do that), and I advise you to ignore the memes. You know them.
You are buying the A93 because it has an excellent camera for the price.
And we have some samples:
Battery life is above average, excellent in fact. Reason? Well, the cell is big at 4000 mAh. However, it charges a bit slower at 18W, but that is still fast enough for the majority of people. However, the competition, some of which cost less $$$, has speedier top up speeds, but we bet OPPO has reserved those for the Reno and other pricier lines. Decisions decision!
Also, that battery can get you two days if you are not the kind to spend all day on your phone. Do something else, my friend, give the government a reason to tax you.
How about the software? We have said this many times that ColorOS 7.2 is the best thing that has happened to OPPO in recent times. It is feature-rich, customizable and will keep you engaged if you are the kind to dig around for cool stuff.
OPPO has also streamlined the skin to hardly tax processing power. It is as light as they come, and I am a fan.
Bear in mind that this is the same company that was on a hot seat a few years ago because its software was, how do I put this lightly? – horrendous. Turns out criticism pushes some companies to work.
And the icing on the cake is that ColorOS 11, which will come on top of Android 11, has been improved with additional features and reliability.
We can’t wait to test it out.
Now, before we get carried away, the A93 is a very easy phone to recommend, although, as I have tried to explain, is not far from what the Reno4 offers.
Is there something it could have done better? Yes, one thing; 90 Hz refresh rate next time?