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OPPO A94 Review: A Promising Mid-Ranger With Plenty To Like About

OPPO Singapore is on a launch frenzy in the local market recently, bringing in a good selection of smartphones that cover every segment of the market with a strong ambition to further expand their market share in the country.

While the spotlight is mostly on OPPO’s latest Find X3 Pro (Review), but there are some other models that are also worth paying attention to. Among these devices include the OPPO A94, an exciting mid-ranger phone that shape up to be a great alternative over other devices within the same segment including the Realme 7 Pro (Review) and the Samsung Galaxy A51.

OPPO A94 Rear Design -1

Priced at S$429, the OPPO A94 is an enticing smartphone you can take home from a sub-S$500 price bracket. However, does it has everything you’re looking for in your next smartphone? Read on to find out in our OPPO A94 review!

Design

OPPO has always placed design at the forefront and this extends to budget mid-ranger smartphone like the OPPO A94 which dons an extremely sleek design especially with its 7.6mm thin profile and dual-curved back panel.

OPPO A94 Rear Design -2

Along with its featherlight weight of 172 grams, the OPPO A94 feels very much like the OPPO Reno5 Pro (Review) in terms of handling. This means the phone is great for single-handed use, and you’ll have absolutely no issue using it in both portrait or landscape orientation even if you have small hands. That’s something I really love about OPPO smartphones.

OPPO A94 Rear Camera Design

For the Fantastic Purple variant I’d received for review, the color is indeed fantastic! It comes with an iridescent sheen which shifts color under different angle of incident light. It certainly looks unique, and to some extend, electrifying. The only drawback is that its back panel do attract smudges pretty easily, but that shouldn’t be a problem since they can be easily wiped off.

OPPO A94 Front Design -1

Over to the front, the OPPO A94 sports a hole-punch display with fairly acceptable amount of bezels along its four sides. The front display is an AMOLED panel which measures 6.43” diagonally. Colors are sharp and punchy with its FHD+ screen resolution and 92% DCI-P3 color gamut.

OPPO A94 Front Design -2

The screen can also gets really bright with a peak brightness of up to 800 nits. Therefore, you can be assured that the screen will remain visible even under direct sunlight which is something particularly important if you’re one of those who enjoy outdoor photography.

Since its an AMOLED display, the phone naturally features an in-display fingerprint scanner which feels snappy, with near instantaneous unlocking.

Performance

At the helm, the OPPO A94 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P95 chipset which is among some of the most powerful 4G mid-ranger chipset in the market. Its in fact the same chip that fuels some of OPPO’s popular smartphone models including the Reno3 Pro and OPPO F17 Pro.

For day-to-day usage, the Helio P95 chipset is certainly up to the job for a smooth and uninterrupted user experience. To be honest, there’s hardly any lag when multi-tasking on the phone especially when OPPO’s ColorOS 11 is well-optimized for such use cases.

Even when playing resource-intensive game titles like PUBG Mobile, gameplay appears fluid under the default graphic settings. The same goes for other well-known game titles like Brawl Stars and FIFA Football.

Most importantly, there also isn’t any notable heating issue on the OPPO A94. The phone remains comfortably cool after several rounds of PUBG Mobile in the default settings mode. As such, you’ll hardly encounter any throttling if you’re more of an average gamer like me.

In the memory department, its assisted by 8GB RAM which is more than sufficient for most users. Likewise, there’s also 128GB worth of storage space that can be further expanded via a microSD.

Cameras

For photography, the OPPO A94 relies on a versatile quad-camera system headlined by a 48 megapixels (f/1.7 aperture) main camera, 8 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera, 2 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) macro camera, as well as a 2 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) depth unit.

OPPO A94 Default Camera Sample -1
Default Camera Sample (Well-lit Environment)
OPPO A94 Default Camera Sample -2
Default Camera Sample (Evening, Low-light)

Photos shot using the default shooting mode goes through a 4-in-1 pixel binning process to output 12 megapixels images with improved low-light performance. In general, photos clicked with its main camera are great. Despite costing considerably lesser than most of the upper mid-ranger phones, you still get images with wide dynamic range and plenty of details across all lighting conditions.

Image quality aside, its also worth pointing out that the camera focuses really quickly – something we probably didn’t expect from a phone at this price point. Furthermore, it’s AI scene recognition also works like a charm, bringing in some much appreciated enhancements that make the photo pops (without overdoing it).

OPPO A94 Night Mode Sample
OPPO A94 Night Scene Sample

For darker environment or night photography, the phone do have the usual Night mode to help brightens the scene. As with any of the OPPO smartphones I’d reviewed so far, the A94’s Night mode is also highly capable in capturing a flattering night scene.

Similarly, its 8 megapixels ultra-wide camera also performs pretty well across different lighting conditions. You still get great level of details and a nice color profile like its main camera. Most importantly, you’ll hardly see those odd distortions around the edge of the photo which would otherwise affect the quality of the picture.

OPPO A94 Close Up Sample -1
Close-up Sample #1
OPPO A94 Close Up Sample -2
Close-up Sample #2
OPPO A94 Close Up Sample -3
Close-up Sample #3

However, what I really enjoy most is actually taking close-up images with the OPPO A94. There are many things to like about its close-up shots including its natural-looking bokeh effect that’s pleasing to the eyes, as well as its impressive edge detection that allows the subject to be well separated from the background.

Finally, we also have a 32 megapixels shooter upfront that’s able to take insta-worthy selfies with great exposure and details. As usual, its beautification feature can be turned off by setting it to natural. Otherwise, you can easily adjust the level of beautification to suit your likeness as well.

Battery & Charging

To keep its light on, the OPPO A94 is fitted with a 4,310mAh battery that can easily last you through the day. In fact, on a normal usage, the phone tends to leave you with around 30% to 40% battery remaining at the end of the day which surprisingly outperforms even some of the flagship phones in the market.

To sweeten the deal, the OPPO A94 is also equipped with 30W VOOC 4.0 flash charging which brings the phone from 0 to 100% in around an hour which is really fast for a mid-ranger device. Bear in mind, high-end devices like the Sony Xperia 1 II and Galaxy S21 Ultra (Review) actually has a slower charging speed than this phone which cost a quarter of their price.

Verdict

Overall, the OPPO A94 is undeniably a fun and feature-rich phone that punches above its weight. Its certainly one of the best option for those on a tight budget, offering more than enough power and features for an average user.

However, if 5G connectivity is something you look for in your next smartphone, then you might also want to consider the OPPO Reno5 Z which cost S$100 more than the OPPO A94. It shares largely the same specs as the OPPO A94, but is equipped with a slightly more powerful MediaTek Dimensity 800U chipset.

If you’re interested, the OPPO A94 is available for purchase at S$429 via both Shopee and Lazada.

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