With a budget of less than Php10,000, we always want the smartphone that can do everything similar to those flagship phones. Unfortunately, manufacturers have to cut corners to reach the price we desire.
With this kind of mindset, one smartphone that went on a different route is the Oppo A37. Focusing more on beauty based feature rather than performance, we found it a bit of a stand out among the rest of its price range. Though this strategy has its own ups and down, check out our review of the Oppo A37 smartphone.
The Oppo A37 takes the DNA of the F1 Oppo Series, having a 2.5D Arc screen (Gorilla Glass 4) for a more generous and ergonomic touch that is really something you will appreciate. Although made of a metal back, the feel is very premium thanks to a matte finish paint. The white face panel also adds a premium feel as this is quite rare on a smartphone its price.
The screen is an HD IPS screen with zero gap technology. Colors are vibrant and just simply nice to look. Thanks to the Color OS user interface, you won’t notice the HD resolution’s pixelization as compared to other HD resolution smartphones. The brightness level is good with brightness when using it outdoors.
The back is a very clean with simple divider lines that separate the metal back and plastic antennas. Placement of the camera is similar to the iPhone and paired with the Rose Gold color will really fool you that it looks like the popular iPhone 6S. We appreciate the non-reflective back, making it more friendly against stains.
The side is also concaved making the buttons very slim, fortunately, they are still tactile and responsive in pressing.
The Rose Gold color really looks nice
On the other side is the Sim Slot and Power button. Opening the sim tray is a delight, it has dummy glass nano sims to protect the cover. We really liked the two nano sim cards for LTE connection and a MicroSD card for up to 128GB of additional storage.
The bottom places the speaker grills and the USB 2.0 micro usb port. Don’t believe the two speaker grills though, it’s actually only one and sound output is very average and nothing fancy.
The Color OS v3.0 interface paired with the Android 5.1 is the one inside the A37. The inspiration for the OS is most likely iOS as the functionality and even transitions are very similar. But this is something very simple to avoid just in case you don’t like the unified menu screen and you miss the app drawer.
Installing our social media apps, messaging apps and some games includng Pokemon Go of course, leaves us with an ample 7.5GB of free storage. With the overall 16GB of storage, the OS occupies around 5GB and perhaps including the backup, we find it a bit big but still within acceptable conditions.
The main camera is an 8.0mp shooter with an f2.0 appeture. Overall, photos are clear in most photos, we just find some edges are getting soft and perhaps this is more of a lens problem (Not really a problem actually, more of just a nitty grit from us)
Colors are a bit saturated though, this is still appreciated since the details are sharp and matches the overall quality of photos.
The 5mp selfie camera with a 1/4″ sensor size is one of the “Selfie” trait of the Oppo A37. With simple beautification menus of level of beautification and color tone (fair to rosy), the selfie camera is very engaging and simple to take photos. Though the menu is similar to the iOS, we find the menu and settings annoying since you can’t modify the resolution or even some modes like slow motion.
Camera is wide enough to fit eve 6 persons in one frame, although only 4 out of 5 people were only able to get beautification in our tests.
The Qualcomm MSM8196 quad-core or more known as the Snapdragon 410 processor is the heart of the A37. The processor was launch mid 2015 so we are a bit puzzled why this powers this beautiful device. With an Antutu benchmark of 25k to 28k, performance is underwhelming considering the premium feel of the smartphone.
Unfortunately, this reflects the overall experience of the device which encounters hiccups and slow loading time for apps like Pokemon Go or Hungry Sharks. Loading some apps like the camera sometimes is slow but not enough to make you annoyed and test your patience.
After around 2 weeks using the A37, battery life lasts around 10 hours of usage before reaching the low battery indication. The battery is efficient thanks to the Snapdragon 410 processor and playing Pokemon Go for 3 hours drained the device from 94% to 26%, quite good since the condition was under the sun (maximum brightness) and running in mobile data.
The Oppo A37 is a smartphone that is definitely a looker, with a good performing camera and beautiful body. Unfortunately, the underwhelming performance and steep SRP of Php8,990 might be a deal breaker for advanced users in the market. Though it can still manage the most apps today, if you are an android user that is heavy on apps then we suggest you to find another phone that has better performance.
Simple to average smartphone users won’t go wrong with the A37 and with the package already having a screen protector (installed) and jelly case, the search for accessories is one less problem to worry about.