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A man holding an Oppo A12 Smartphone.

Oppo A12: What I Like, Dislike and Miss

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In my previous post titled “Dialog: What I like, Dislike and Hate” I wrote about my love and hate relationship with Dialog Axiata. Today I want to tell you what I feel about my new Oppo A12. There was a time I used to say ‘appo!’ (a Sri Lankan expression of hopelessness) every time anyone said anything about the Oppo Smart Phones. However, feedback from my friends who had bought Oppo devices was nothing but positive. Hence, after my Huawei Nova Lite died, I decided to settle for an Oppo Smart Phone. I bought an Oppo A12, the cheapest at the time. I am using the device for two months now. If you are considering upgrading to an Oppo Smartphone but are uncertain about it this blog post is for you.

Note: This post is not an endorsement of Oppo A12 or other Oppo Products. It’s not a scientifically researched review either. I am merely sharing my personal experience. I shall not be responsible for any damage or loss you might suffer by acting upon the observations mentioned below.

Oppo A12: What I Like

Value for Money

I bought my device from Smart Mobile – Nugegoda for a sum of LKR 30,000/- (approximately 160 USD). Although the usual price is lower by a couple of thousand rupees in other places, this merchant threw in a service warranty of extra two years which is very good for the price I paid. I can sleep in peace knowing my device is covered by both the vendor and the merchant for up to three years.

Easy to Switch

Setting up a new phone is a boring and very time-consuming task. Thankfully my new Oppo A12 was shipped with a built-in app that allows me to clone my old Huawei Nova Lite over Wi-Fi. I was able to clone the apps and the settings but not the passwords for obvious reasons. This feature is nothing new to iPhone users. However, it’s a huge timesaver if you are switching between two Android devices or upgrading.

Better Software

You can say Color OS is Android in Apple clothing but proprietary. It resembles iOS in terms of Similar gestures, swipes, apps, and even iconography. The unique skin makes the UI much easier to use. Best of all it is free of bloatware meaning you have plenty of space for your apps. The OS integrates three very useful apps also. An app for call recording (not included in devices designed for countries in the European Union), a secure keyboard, and a night shield. You might say there are plenty of similar apps in the app store. The problem is most of these apps although free is ad-supported. Some apps like call recording apps are not compatible with all devices. Even worse apps can be rigged with malware. In the year 2020 Google removed 21 apps with more than seven million downloads after Avast detected adware in them [Source: ZDNet].

Reliable Hardware

The Oppo A12 is equipped with better hardware also. It’s powered by a 4230mAh Battery. Once charged to the brim I can use the phone for more than 72 hours without recharging all the while using power-hungry apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Uber in addition to calls and WhatsApp texting.

I am not a professional photographer but still, I can notice both rear (dual cameras, 13 megapixels each) and the front cameras have a superior output compared to all the other smartphones I have used before. The rear camera has three modes: Video, Photo, and Portrait. It’s AI-powered and includes Beautification, excellent Night Mode, Scene identification, and so much more. Consider the images featured below for an example.

Oppo A12
Portrait Mode

Finger Print Scanner is an essential feature as it allows me to unlock the device without typing the PIN and login to LastPass without typing the Master Password. It is super sensitive compared to the fingerprint scanner in Huawei Nova Lite which gets smudged after using it for a few weeks which requires cleaning.

As for the processor speed, storage, and memory the device is powered by a 4×2.35 GHz Media Tek P35 Octa-Core Processor. If you don’t know what that means pay attention to the number proceeding “GHz”. Higher the number faster the phone. The version I bought is equipped with a 32 GB ROM and 3GB RAM.

Oppo A12: What I Dislike

I am into Netflix binge-watching and the processor tends to overheat when watching Netflix. Hence, I don’t use Netflix on my phone anymore unless it’s necessary. Microprocessors naturally generate a lot of heat when processing videos but my older Huawei Nova Lite didn’t have an overheating problem. It’s not a severe issue but not a very good selling point either I shall say.

The Oppo A12 has 16 different notification sounds but they are almost the same. It’s a bit inconvenient because I like to assign different notification sounds to different contacts, WhatsApp groups, app notifications, etc. The Huawei Nova Lite on the other hand has a very distinctive set of notification sounds. Again, it’s not a severe issue but not a very good selling point either for some of us.

Oppo A12: What I Miss

In my old Huawei Nova Lite Smartphone, there is an option that when enabled gives a 10-second window to stop an SMS from being sent after pressing send. This is a very useful feature because I have a small window to cancel sending if I noticed a spelling mistake or simply changed my mind. The Oppo A12 doesn’t support that feature. It’s one thing I dearly miss after the switch.

The tiny LED indicator on the top left of the Huawei Nova Lite is another useful feature I miss in the Oppo A12. The indicator has three colours. Green, Yellow, and Red. In addition to indicating the battery level when charging and when the battery is below 4%, the indicator LED blinks when there’s a new message or I have missed a call. This is helpful to know whether I have missed any calls or messages while I was out without even turning the display on. Although not a big deal from a technical point of view it’s something I miss very much in my Oppo A12.

Wrap Up

Personally, speaking if you are looking for value for money the Oppo A12 is indeed more value for less money. I have come to know through others that Xiaomi is even better compared to Oppo. Still, I cannot say certainly because I have never used Xiaomi before. In the event I happen to switch to a Xiaomi I will take time to share my experience with you. In the meantime, click here or here if you wish to learn more about the Oppo A12. [Photos by Mayur Roshen from SR Photography]


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