Oppo A54 5G review
  • mobile phone
  • 23/04/2022
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Oppo A54 5G review

So, is the Oppo A54 5G great in other ways? The battery lasts for ages, the screen is good, its cameras are fun to use, and its performance is rock-solid.

It’s one of the most accessible 5G buys around. In this review, we’ll look at some ways the Oppo A54 5G is better than its Samsung and Motorola rivals. And why some of you should also consider the great Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite.

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Oppo A54 5G review: summary

The OPPO A54 5G is a great phone for those who want to try 5G without spending a fortune. It offers more tech per pound than the Samsung or Motorola alternatives, although bargain hunters should also consider the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite. It has a slightly more advanced screen and a more powerful brain.

Price: The Oppo A54 5G is available to buy for £219 from Amazon, Currys and Argos.

Key features:

Pros:

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What is Oppo A54 5G?

The Oppo A54 5G is a sensibly priced 5G Android phone, a good low-alternative to phones like the Pixel 4a 5G, Samsung Galaxy A32 5G or Oppo Find X3 Lite.

How much is Oppo A54 5G?

The Oppo A54 5G is available to buy for £219 from Amazon. This makes it £20 more than the rival Moto G50, but £20-30 cheaper than the comparable Samsung A32 5G.

Scanning around online for Oppo A54 5G prices and those of its rivals, it seems solid if not mind-blowing value. It’s around £20 more than the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite and Motorola Moto G50. And £10-30 less than the Samsung A32 5G.However, only the Xiaomi is close to a like-for-like rival as the Oppo A54 5G has a nicer screen than either the Motorola or Samsung. This alone is enough to bump it up from “OK” value to “pretty darn good”.

Oppo A54 5G features

5G is the most important feature of the Oppo A54 5G. It sits in the early waves of phones that offer this next-level mobile internet for around £200.

Right now, 5G may not seem an essential feature. 5G coverage is still largely restricted to larger cities, and most of us can get on just fine with a solid 4G signal, right?

However, we still think it’s a good feature to have if you like to keep your phones for a decent number of years before upgrading.

Oppo hides the cuts it has had to make to fit in 5G very well. For example, the A54 5G still has a very sharp Full HD screen with a modern-looking punch hole, pleasant colour and enough brightness for clear visibility outdoors.

The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and Motorola Moto G50 both drop down to a 720p display. They still look crisp enough but don’t have the high-end look of the A54 5G.

Still, the Oppo has the same processor, the same brain, as that Motorola rival. It's called the Snapdragon 480, an upper entry-level chip designed to further bring down the cost of 5G phones.

We’re more than happy with how it runs day-to-day. The Oppo A54 5G has no major lag – you don’t have to wait for an age for photos to process after taking them. But how about gaming?

The vast majority of games will run well on any £200 phone, so we like to dig into tricky ones like Fortnite and Asphalt 9 when testing Android mobiles.

Fortnite runs OK on the Oppo A54 5G, but you can only run it at up to “Medium” detail, and there are still big frame rate dips if when you turn around quickly to reveal new areas the phone has to render. Big gamers should consider the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro instead. It has far power graphics power but does not have 5G.

The Oppo A54 5G also only has the minimum storage we expect for the money, 64GB. Some 4G phones around this price have 128GB or even 256GB.

Still, the phone will take a microSD card, so this need not be a deal-breaker.

Oppo A54 5G battery

The Oppo A54 5G has a 5000mAh battery, just like the Motorola, Samsung and Xiaomi phones at this level.

Oppo A54 5G review

However, it outlasts the several comparable Motorola phones we have used recently, as we might expect from an Oppo phone. On one day that started at around 7am, we still had 40% charge left by 11:30pm.

And that day included an hour of GPS run tracking plus 40 minutes spent browsing for a Netflix movie to watch.

This is the kind of stamina we’re after. You can use the Oppo A54 5G carelessly and still be more or less certain it won’t run out of juice before you go to bed.

Companies like Oppo manage to squeeze out this above-average stamina by keeping careful control over what app processes can happen in the background. But as long as we don't notice they’re happening, we don't mind.

It's a shame the Oppo A54 5G does not have faster charging, though. You get a 10W charger in the box, where the rival Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite has an excellent 33W charger.

Oppo A54 5G camera

The Oppo A54 5G has five cameras. It sounds like a great haul, right?

Only one of them can actually take great photos. That’s the primary one on the back, of course.

The others are a fairly poor 8MP ultra-wide, which captures images with far less detail and a much lower dynamic range. This means the darker parts of the picture end up looking pretty dim, particularly if there are bright clouds up top.

Oppo put a basic 2MP macro camera on the back for ultra-close images. But the poor quality of this camera means you’re unlikely to shoot anything worth sharing. The Oppo A54 5G’s last bonus camera is a depth aid for the Portrait mode that blurs out the background.

We are glad it’s here because depth photos can look great, particularly those of people. But it’s another ‘junk’ sensor in quality terms.

The main 48-megapixel camera is the Oppo A54 5G’s one camera highlight. And the first positive we noted has nothing to do with image quality: this camera feels responsive. There's no big delays with focusing, or between the moment you hit the shutter button and the point the A54 5G actually takes a picture.

This has a huge part in making a phone camera fun to use. And Oppo has nailed it.

The app even has presets for 2x and 5x zoomed pics but don’t be fooled. There’s no zoom camera here, and while the Oppo A54 5G can just about get away with 2x shots, 5x ones look rubbish.

Standard view photos, though, are very nice considering the phone’s cost. There’s lots of detail, and the images tend to skew slightly warm, which is always easy on the eye.

We had a chance to directly compare the Oppo A54 5G with the Moto G 5G, Moto G50 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, shooting the very same scene. The results bring good news for Oppo.

The Oppo A54 5G beat the Motos for texture detail and image integrity at the corners of the frame. It roughly matches the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which is a 4G phone — and therefore might be expected to do better (as 5G tends to lead to budget-related compromises elsewhere).

We also have a lot of time for the phone’s “AI scene enhancement” mode. These usually just ramp-up colour. The Oppo A54 5G does do this but also brightens up the darker parts of the picture. You trade away some realism but end up with larger than life images that are sure to get you more likes on Instagram.

For sunsets, dramatic cloudy skies and landscapes, AI enhancement is a hit.

The Oppo A54 5G is less impressive for video because it can only shoot at up to 1080p resolution. There's no 4K mode, not even at 60fps mode at 1080p. Video quality is fine, though, and there’s at least some stabilisation.

Around the front of the Oppo A54 5G is a 16-megapixel selfie cam. This is probably the second-best camera on the phone, but we don’t think its images are anything more than ‘fine’.

Oppo A54 5G design and set-up

All current 5G phones at this level have a similar scent to their design. They are all plastic and have mid-size screens. You don’t tend to get ultra-large budget 5G mobiles or remotely small ones – sorry, folks.

The Oppo A54 5G comes in two colours, and we’re using the more subdued silver one. It’s a gradient, light grey at the top and dark grey at the bottom, with a glossy metallic look throughout. There’s a reactive layer in here, too, one that brings up purple highlights as it catches the light.

It’s rather nice, and there’s a purple-green Oppo A54 5G finish if you would like something more punchy.

Other parts are very similar to the competition. The A54 5G has a good side-loaded thumb/finger scanner for passcode-free unlocking, there’s a headphone jack and just the one speaker down at the bottom.

We’d much rather have a stereo array, particularly for movies and games. But this one is at least loud enough to let you listen to podcasts or streamed radio while cooking.

The initial setup process is very similar to that of other brands. You’re taken through a wizard that lets you log in to your Google account to auto-install the apps you have on your current phone. You can cull ones you no longer use at this point too.

We did find we wanted to make a few more tweaks to the interface than in other phones, though. The Oppo A54 5G has an interface called ColorOS that sits on top of Android.

It is not the prettiest around, and it doesn’t have an app ‘drawer’ — a dedicated app library area — as standard. Its fonts and icon style all look slightly stiff too. All of this can be tweaked within a few screen taps, presses and swipes, but you do, of course, have to know where to look for these options.

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Our verdict: should you buy Oppo A54 5G?

The Oppo A54 5G is a no-nonsense, affordable 5G phone that offers more for your money than the latest rivals from Motorola and Samsung. These include a sharper screen and a better primary camera.

Battery life is very good, and performance is sound, as long as you aren’t big on high-end mobile gaming. Oppo has nailed the basics.

Xiaomi arguably offers even more in the Mi 10T Lite, and there are some better options if you don’t care at all about 5G. But it seems sensible to buy a phone with 5G rather than without for most at this point.

Rating:

Features: 4/5

Battery: 4/5

Camera: 4/5

Design and set-up: 4/5

Overall rating: 4/5

Where to buy Oppo A54 5G

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