The new Oppo R5 might be thinnest phone on the market but that doesn't stop it from packing a powerful punch
A SLEEK NEW smartphone with plenty of power, Oppo’s R5 is the thinnest device on the market measuring a mere 4.85mm, which is 2 mm skinnier than the iPhone 6. It’s so skinny in fact that the lens bulges out at the back and there’s no room in the frame to house a 3.5mm stereo jack so Oppo provides a micro-USB-to-3.5mm audio adapter so it can be used with headphones.
Yet despite being ultra slim, the R5 weighs 155 grams and thanks to its stainless steel casing is satisfyingly sturdy.
The frame is made of prime-grade steel and designed with a micro-arc that adds strength to the entire device.
Oppo says the frame has been forged nine times and then finished by hand to give a perfect sheen and feel before being polished up to 1,000 times. The smartphone’s steel back, which is polished up to 1,000 times, adds to the elegance.
The R5 is available in silver and gold. I tested the silver version and I found the silver steel at the back attractive and in harmony with the white border at the front and white tabs on the back at both top and bottom.
During the test, the R5 felt sturdy in the hand, a feeling reinforced by the strong edges that stick out a little at the back. Oppo says the frame will never bend or twist because it has used enforced steel technology.
The steel body is also used for absorbing heat along with resin and other composite materials in a patented heat dissipation technology called
“Cool Element” that protects the octa-core CPU. When heat is generated, the material begins to change to absorb the heat and dissipate it.
The R5 is powered by 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core (MSM8939) processor and its graphic horsepower comes from the Adreno 405 GPU (graphic processing unit). R5 has 2 gigabytes of RAM or working memory and 16 GB internal storage without any expansion slot. Its USB port however supports external drive. It has a slide-out slot on the left to take a micro SIM card.
The smartphone has a beautiful 5.2-inch AMOLED display with full HD and 1920 x 1080 pixels with pixel depth of 423 PPI. It also boasts an 180-degree viewing angle.
R5 runs on Android 4.4 operating system and supports both 3G HSPA+ and 4G LTE connections. And now that TrueMove H’s 4G coverage has been expanded to include Seacon Square and Paradise Park shopping malls on the east side of Bangkok, I was able to try the 4G connection on the R5.
The R5 impressed me during the test. Both touch screen and menus were responsive and the scrolling was fast. I tried a graphic game, Punch Boxing, and it played smoothly without any performance hiccups.
The test with a 4G connection inside Seacon Square had applications downloading and installing in no time.
I used the Ookla speed test app to measure the download and upload speeds and was impressed with the results. The fastest download speed was 32.55 megabits and the fastest upload speed was 21.78 Mbits.
Continuing the test with TrueMove H’s 3G connection outside the mall, I was also able to quickly upload snapshots to my Facebook wall.
The camera is effective too and I was able to capture beautiful photos with the 13-megal pixel main camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera, both of which use a fast and wide-aperture lens of f/2.0.
The main camera boasts the Sony Exmor IMX214 BSI sensor so you can shoot good-quality images even in low-light environments.
R5 uses Pure Image 2.0 plus Flash Shot technology for image processing, resulting in good quality images. Scene modes available for shooting are Normal, Ultra-HD, Colourful Night, Slow Shutter, Expert Mode, Beautify, HDR, Panorama, Audio Photo, GIF, Double Exposure, Raw, Super Macro and After Focus. Activate the Smart Scene option to automatically select the scene mode that is appropriate for the current lighting environment.
I found that R5 captured really sharp and clean photos. The Smart Scene option worked well in selecting the appropriate scene mode, especially Colourful Night. During the test, I shot the street below at night from the 31st floor of our office block and the R5 captured sharp images of the cars, their headlights and the lights on the road
R5 has a very fast auto focus of only 0.18 second allowing for fast action shots.
The Ultra HD mode allows you to capture an important scene at up to 50-megapixel resolution by using Pure Image’s photo stitching feature, which uses software to boost the number of pixels of each image.
Another interesting mode is the After Focus. This allows you to shoot first and select your focus point later and is useful when you need to fire the shutter very fast. When you view photos that have been shot in this mode, you will see a focus icon. Tap it and anywhere in the photo to refocus.
The Beautify mode is very interesting and bound to be a hit with the girls. It allows you to select eight other filters – Natural, Memory, Japanese, Valencia, Expert, Desert, Rainbow and Mono – to apply to the portrait shot.
The Beautify mode can also be used to jazzing up portrait shots when you take a selfie with the front camera.
The camera is also capable of shooting 4K video @ 30 fps.
The R5 can play high-resolution audio files encoded in FLAC 24bit/ 192 kHz format, which has five times more resolution than an Audio CD.
I played Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut” album encoded in the FLAC 24bit/192kHz format on the R5 using my Sony MDR-EX1000 in-ear headphones and I was very happy with the sound quality. All the tiny ambient sound details could be heard along with the detailed instrument sounds.
The R5 comes with built-in 2000 mAh Li-Po battery. You don’t have to worry about the battery running out because the phone includes OPPO's VOOC mini rapid-charging system, where a 30-minute charge will provide 75 per cent of battery life and a five-minute charge allows you to make a two-hour call.
Oppo R5 has a suggested retail price of Bt15,990.
Networks: GSM850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA850/900/1700/1900/2100; FDDLTE B1/3/4/7/8/17/20/28a/28b; TDLTE B40
Operating system: Colour OS 2.0, based on Android 4.4
Processor: 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 OctaCore (MSM8939)
GPU: Adreno 405
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Storage: 16 GB
Battery: 2000 mAh LiPo battery with Rapid Charge
SIM Card: Micro SIM
Display: 5.2inch Full HD AMOLED with 1920 x 1080 pixels, 423 ppi
Cameras: Main camera: 13megapixel Sony Exmor IMX214 BSI sensor; front camera: 5megapixel frontfacing 83 degree wide angle lens
Connectivity: USB OTG, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11/b/g/n/a
Dimensions: 148.9 74.5 4.85 mm
Weight: 155 g