The OPPO A96 is the latest addition to the company's A series of phones with Snapdragon 680, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB storage.
OPPO refreshes its A series lineup with the OPPO A96. It's a smartphone which delivers an improved performance with the Snapdragon 680 4G (6nm) chipset that's built on a 6nm fabrication process. The phone is packed with 8GB RAM plus up to 5GB of extended RAM, which is quite promising for a 2022 mid-range smartphone. Our unit also comes with 256GB on-board storage to make ample room for apps and multimedia files and up to 90Hz screen refresh rate for a speedy performance.
OPPO A96 Review
With its Php 15,999 price, the OPPO A96 is set to replace the older models in the company's A series. But the question is, will it be a worthy replacement? Let's find out in this review.
The OPPO A96 is packaged in a sky blue box with black accents. On the face of the box, you'll find the memory configuration which is 8+256GB. We also have the imposing A-series branding and the unit's model on the front. At the back, you'll find some of the key features of the OPPO A96, such as:
- 33W SUPERVOOC fast charging;
- 5000 mAh battery;
- 8GB + up to 5GB Extended RAM;
- 90Hz Punch-hold display.
Opening the box, we are greeted by a white box which houses the transparent silicone case, SIM eject tool, guides, and warranty card. Putting this box aside, we now have the OPPO A96 unit in Starry Black colorway. There's also the Pearl Pink option should you prefer a stylish and feminine color variant. At the bottom of the box are two compartments for the USB-C cable and the 33W adapter, which according to OPPO, is capable of charging the unit from 0 to 50% in 26 minutes.
As usual, there's no headphones included but you can complement the handset with capable TWS earphones from OPPO's wide selection of AIoT products. Also, there's a screen protector which is already mounted on the display.
Getting the phone ready is quite a breeze. We checked the phone's information right after, and we have ColorOS v11.1, based on Android 11 out of the box. RAM can be expanded in 2GB, 3GB, and 5GB, which of course is dependent on available storage; this can be accessed by going to Settings - About phone - RAM. We also have a remaining 235GB of usable storage out of the total 256GB due to systems settings, files, and bloatwares.
Going back to our main unit, the OPPO A96 comes with a glass front, plastic frame, and plastic back. On the rear panel, the handset has a very minimalist design with a matte finish in this unit's black colorway. It's actually a fingerprint magnet but not very noticeable.
On the lower right side of the back panel, we have the OPPO branding embossed in transparent texts. On the upper left side, we have the protruding camera module in a rectangular shaped-design with shiny silver accents on the sides. It is now equipped with a dual AI camera setup, compared to the triple camera system of its predecessor. The new setup consists of a 50MP, f/1.8, 27mm main sensor, a 2MP, f/2.4 lens for portraits, and an LED flash.
For ports and buttons, we have them in no non-sense placements:
- Power button that doubles as fingerprint scanner (right side);
- Volume rocker and SIM tray for 2 nano SIM cards and a dedicated slot for microSD card (left);
- 3.5mm jack, primary microphone, USB-C charging port, and speaker grille (bottom);
- Secondary microphone (top).
We also have the earpiece on top-center, integrated with the bezel.
The front panel features a punch-hole design provisioned for the 16MP, f/2.0 selfie camera, situated at the far left corner of the screen. It also comes with thin bezels on the sides, and a tolerable chin.
The A96 frames a 6.59-inch FHD+ LCD panel. It's worth mentioning that the previous OPPO A95 sports an AMOLED panel.
Nonetheless, the new iteration now features up to 90Hz screen refresh rate which gives smooth and fluid performance when you navigate thru the phone's interface and also offers better experience in terms of gaming. Apart from that, the screen has good quality with ample brightness to use the handset outdoors.
The color reproduction and accuracy are on point; the viewing angles are also very generous. We had a worthwhile experience using the phone in binging shows from our favorite streaming apps.
At the heart of the OPPO A96 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset which is quite popular in mid-range smartphones in the first part of 2022, and probably until the end of the year. It's quite an upgrade from the Snapdragon 662 of the OPPO A95. We also have a beefy 8GB of RAM and a generous 256GB of storage.
In my time with the phone, it ticks the checkboxes I need for a mid-range device. It can run most of the apps thrown at it with ease. The performance is quite smooth and buttery; popular games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Call of Duty Mobile, and PUBG Mobile run with no issues on this phone. I also have not experienced any app crashes unless I overwhelm the system with unclosed apps in the background.
It's also worth-noting that we don't have 5G connectivity in here but rest assured that it can definitely take advantage of 4G speeds quite well. It also has a single-firing loudspeaker so the phone can deliver what we expect from a mono speaker - quite balanced on mid volumes but tends to be distorted on the highest level. Having said that, the phone still sounds good on mid volumes. I think it's a good companion for content consumption.
AnTuTu score: 279472
There's nothing special about the OPPO A96's camera. The phone packs a dual camera module defined by the 50MP main and 2MP depth sensors. For its price, a dual camera module is quite outnumbered by other phones in this segment.
The primary camera can take great shots in a well-lit environment, with snaps perfectly suitable for social media use. Photos come off with accurate colors and good contrast. The dynamic range may need a small refining but the clarity is still there.
In low-light, the phone may struggle a bit with the presence of noise and colors being muted. There's a Night mode though, which can expose limited shadows and restore a fair amount of detail in the shots. The selfie camera is a 16MP affair; it took capable shots that are also good for social media sharing.
As mentioned earlier, the OPPO A96 runs on the older generation ColorOS 11.1, which is not quite I was expecting for this new iteration of the popular OPPO A-series in 2022. Of course, most of us would like to have the latest mobile experience that ColorOS 12 could have offered (based on Android 12), such as a more refined user interface, a number of phone optimizations and new features, as well as privacy and security features.
But still, the software complements the capable chipset in giving good software experience to the users with its flat icons, minimalist panels, and notification shade.
The OPPO A96 packs a 5000 mAh battery and could definitely last a whole day of fair to moderate usage. As advertised, its companion 33W fast charger should get the phone to 50% in just 26 minutes. However, our real-time test result - 0 to 50% in 51 minutes - varied significantly from that which is marketed. To complete, from 0 to 100%, the device scored 1 hour and 43 minutes.
The OPPO A96 is a capable smartphone that can handle all your basic tasks. It could be a good companion if you're looking for a decent smartphone with above average design. There is also no denying the fact we can't point anything special about the smartphone other than the matte-textured design and big storage capacity.
Apart from that, the Php 15,999 price tag could be a hard sell since there are tons of affordable phones with the same chipset and feature set. If you're an OPPO A series fan and you need a big storage for your multimedia files, the OPPO A96 is a welcome upgrade to your aging A94 or A95. Otherwise, this is an easy pass.
- Exquisite matte design
- Roomy 256GB storage
- 90Hz screen refresh rate
- High-priced despite modest hardware
- Mediocre camera
OPPO A96 Specs
- 6.59-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display, 90Hz, 1080 x 2412 pixels, 401 ppi density, 480 nits (typ), 600 nits (HBM)
- Snapdragon 680 4G (6nm)
- 2.4GHz Octa-core CPU
- Adreno 610 GPU
- 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM, UFS 2.2
- Dual rear cameras: 50MP, f/1.8 main PDAF + 2MP, f/2.4 depth-sensing sensor
- 16MP, f/2.0 front camera
- 1080p@30fps videos
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Dual SIM (Nano)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
- USB Type-C 2.0, USB OTG
- Fingerprint (side-mounted), Face unlock
- ColorOS 11.1, based on Android 11
- 164.4 x 75.7 x 8.4 mm, 191 g
- IP5X dustproof, IPX4 waterproof
- Li-Po 5000 mAh battery with 33W fast charging
- Reverse charging
- Starry Black, Pearl Pink
- AnTuTu score: 279472
- Php 15,999 SRP