This would be OPPO’s finest A series to-date. What else?
One thing I like about OPPO is that they continuously produce high quality mid-rangers over and over again with the newer ones carrying a significant upgrade from its predecessor. The new OPPO A98 5G is no exception. The 5000mAh capacity battery has been upgraded to enable the super fast charging speed via OPPO’s own SuperVOOC charging. It goes from zero to one hundred in less than an hour, which is pretty impressive. This made me think. What other upgrades have they done to the new OPPO A98?
The camera module has been upgraded, obviously. It now comes with a hi-res imaging system comprising a 64-MP AI camera and a 32-MP selfie camera, a 2-MP depth camera and a novelty microscopic camera with up to 40x magnification. You read that right. A microscopic camera.
So right now we are going in-depth with the newly launched OPPO A98 5G smartphone. But first, I would like to say that this phone will have a positive response from most of us Malaysians. It looks good, the camera is nice and so is the price tag. Ok, so let’s go deep with the review.
First Look and Design
When it comes to design, I prefer simplicity. That is exactly what the OPPO A98 5G is all about. The device is pretty thin, measuring about 7.7mm thick with a fresh new 3D micro-curved design around the back edges making it comfortable to hold and grip in one hand. Only the back panel has the 3D micro-curved around the sides while the front display remains flat, as I preferred it.
The back panel has a matte finish for some extra grip and of course it will repel any fingerprint smudges. The front display is a 6.72” LCD display with a max of 120Hz refresh rate which mostly can be found on a flagship device. So it’s a smart move by OPPO to include a high refresh rate for its mid-range device such as the OPPO A98 5G. I’m sure many OPPO fans welcome this feature.
The display also comes with up to 680 nits of brightness with a resolution of 2400×1080 (1080p). Based on what I have experienced during my review, I find that the display manages to produce bright and vibrant colour while maintaining a well balanced contrast especially when I watch a video content on YouTube. For an LCD display, the overall display quality is satisfactory.
There is also a 32-MP selfie camera located near the top in the middle and the earpiece speaker right above it. This earpiece speaker also doubles up as one of the two stereo speakers available on the OPPO A98 5G.
As on all OPPO devices, the power button is located on the right side of the phone. The power button also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner for quick unlocking. It is quite responsive and pretty much accurate. I didn’t have to reposition my finger whenever I’m unlocking the phone. It also comes with a face recognition for unlocking the phone. I find that this method works better and quicker.
On the left side of the phone, there’s the volume rocker buttons and also a SIM/MicroSD tray right above it. Nothing else can be found at the top except for the tiny microphone hole. As for the bottom side, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-C charging/data port, a bottom firing speaker and another tiny microphone hole. This is pretty much a standard layout for OPPO A series devices.
Moving on to the back, there’s a long shiny oblong shaped panel that depicts streams of pearls flowing down the cover like a meteor showering breaking through the sky, as described by the good people at OPPO. I have also said that the back cover is 3D curved for better grip all around the sides. The camera bump is inspired by the fluted bezel of luxury watches with decorative rings around the camera to enhance the premium aesthetic of the camera bump.
Nevertheless, the camera bump looks good in my opinion. But it is somewhat common. The new and improved 64-MP camera is located at the top while the depth and microscopic camera sits in the bottom ring along with the LED flash. We will talk more about the camera later on in this post.
The OPPO A98 5G is also equipped with a large 5000mAh battery with SuperVOOC charging. With just 30 minutes of charging, you will be out and about the whole day. The battery endurance is said to be the longest battery lifespan among all the OPPO A series. With this, you don’t have to worry about your battery drain, ever.
Performance and Daily Use
Now to get to the good part. The OPPO A98 5G comes with a Snapdragon 695 SoC with 8GB of RAM but you can add-on more RAM by using the RAM expansion feature. You can add up to 8GB of extra RAM, leaving you to have a total of 16GB of RAM. To support all that, the OPPO A98 5G comes with 256GB of internal storage which is ample enough to keep your photos and videos in one device.
The OPPO A98 5G is also powered by the latest Android 13 with OPPO’s own ColorOS 13.1 fully ready right out-of-the-box. The ColorOS have improved quite a lot over the years and I find it to be very customisable with lots of options to mix and match your own app icon and font face. You will also find an abundance of ready to use themes in the Themes Store and I had a hard time deciding which one I’m going to use. So if you like to personalise your phone, this is the place you go.
Since the OPPO A98 5G is capable of going the distance, multitasking is a no brainer. The extra RAM you get will aid the memory usage on the device thus opening many apps all at once doesn’t seem to show any lags. I will usually have a few apps open at any given time such as WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, Microsoft Teams and many others. I would refrain myself from closing the apps (swiping it out in the multitasking window) just to see how the device can perform when I have many apps open. Still no lag. I guess the new Android 13 does have better memory management.
And then I set the phone to run a benchmarking task. I use Antutu 3D for this. From start to the end of the benchmarking process, the OPPO A98 5G doesn’t seem to run hot. And I am quite impressed with the benchmark score as well. It scored 412785 points, which is higher than another device that I have using the same Snapdragon 695 chipset. In order to play games smoothly, most of the time we need to use any device that can score above 400k mark. And the OPPO A98 5G does exactly that.
Speaking of gaming, I have also installed PUBG Mobile in the OPPO A98 5G. I will always install this particular game whenever I review any new smartphones because I am very familiar with it and able to gauge the overall performance just by playing a few games. Now, the OPPO A98 5G comes with Game Mode so whenever I run PUBG Mobile, I will have the option to select Low Power Mode, Balanced Mode or Pro Gamer Mode. Turning on Pro Gamer Mode will enable the device to go full throttle to utilise all its power for the game. This will reduce lags in the game so that I can have an uninterrupted gameplay.
Gaming on the OPPO A98 5G is surprisingly fun. Since it comes with a stereo speaker, I can have a loud and immersive audio experience during the game. The speakers are loud enough that I don’t really need to wear earphones. And having a stereo speaker setup, I can tell if the sound is coming from the left or right. I am also able to set the graphics to the max level on the OPPO A98 5G, which is a good thing.
The game starts a little slow at first but when everything is loaded, the whole gameplay is quite smooth. It is also very responsive to the touches and swipes, which I am very grateful for. And my whole gaming session can last about 3+ hours continuously before the battery drains out. All I have to do is plug in the charger for about 10 minutes and I can continue gaming for another hour or so. The SuperVOOC charging speed is awesome.
So the OPPO A98 5G is able to handle anything you throw at it. From simple daily tasks like chatting and using the social media apps to a little more graphic demanding tasks like gaming, the OPPO A98 5G is able to retain its performance throughout. And what about photography? That’s coming up next.
Camera and Imaging
The OPPO A98 5G comes with a good camera setup. The main 64-MP AI camera works well in almost any lighting conditions. The 32-MP front facing selfie camera worked well too. Both the main rear camera and the front facing camera has the ability to capture portrait shots, with a nice bokeh (blurry) background that looks good. The depth camera at the back does well to scan the depth of any subject thus helping the main camera to shoot a perfect portrait all the time.
The third camera at the back is a microscopic camera. With this, I can capture images from the Quantum Realm, so to speak. Never have I come across a smartphone that is able to capture sharp and clear macro (or micro) shots, up to 40x magnification. That is insane. I have a few photos below to show you if you don’t believe me.
The camera app itself is very easy and straightforward. There are many modes to choose from and most of the time I end up using the normal photo mode and the portrait mode. There is an option to use Pro mode and Extra HD but I usually end up with the simplest one. But when I want to take photos of the Quantum Realm, I will choose the Microscope mode
If you want to know how the sample photos that I took looks like, please see below:
Outdoor photos is always easy to shoot. You will not be able to get bad smartphone camera shots nowadays even with the entry level devices. But what separates a good photo to a not so good ones is the ability for the camera to balance the dark and bright area of a photo. Thank to AI, the camera app is able to determine the dark areas to make it bright and the bright areas to be balanced so that the sky doesn’t look too washed out.
Same can be said with this series of photos. Colours are punchy and the HDR balance is on point. The photos look like it was taken with a pro DSLR camera.
Indoor shots are good too. If you see the photos above, I can get the details from the sky with the clouds while still able to get the details of the indoor areas. The AI processing worked really well here.
Using the front facing selfie camera is fun too. I am able to get good details on my face while the shadow area from the hat can still be seen without over exposing the background. These photos are also to show the difference between a normal photo and a portrait photo. With the portrait mode, you will get a seamless blurred background.
Photo of this pebble walkway is very clear and full of detail. Colours are accurate too. But let’s take a closer look at these pebbles.
When I said take a closer look, this is what I meant. Welcome to the Quantum Realm. These photos are taken with the OPPO A98’s microscopic camera at 20x magnification on the left photo and 40x magnification on the right. What do you think of it?
Here are two more samples from the microscopic camera.
Getting up close and personal a piece of leaf on the right and the skin of my palm on the right. I don’t know what that black thing is, it has been there since I was a kid.
There you have it. The OPPO A98 5G’s camera features are something else. You don’t get to see that everyday especially with the microscopic camera. How can a mid-range smartphone product such good photos? I guess we have to thank AI for that. Or maybe I’m a good photographer? Whatever it is, I am very pleased with the results.
Truly, the newly launched OPPO A98 5G is a capable smartphone. Powered by Snapdragon 695 and 8GB + 8GB of RAM, it is defined by its performance in gaming and entertainment. I really like the thin feel of the device in my hands and the nice 3D curved back cover feel. The large screen is bright and vibrant as well. It is a fun device to use overall.
Best of all, it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. You can get a phone that is capable of multitasking, photography and gaming. All that without breaking your wallet. I am quite surprised at the price. It is an affordable mid-range device that is ready for anything. I love the ColorOS by OPPO with all its customisation options and the snappy, responsive feel to it.
If you’re thinking of getting the new OPPO A98 5G, you can head over to the nearest My OPPO Space or OPPO Brand Stores and if you want to pre-order the device, head over to OPPO Official Online Store. The retail price for the new OPPO A98 5G is RM1,399.00.
That is a good buy in my opinion.