Still a Good Option: OPPO A39 Review

OPPO has always been big with its selfie cameras, and with the A39, it tries is best to stick to its guns even with only a 5MP snapper. At Php10,990, it costs less than some of its competitors, but comes out only a few thousand pesos cheaper that the 16MP front-snapping 32G F1s, which currently retails at P12,499 in Lazada. So why would you get a A39? Hopefully, this review will help you answer that.

OPPO A39 SPECS

FeaturesSpecifications
ProcessorMT6750 Octa-core 64-bit
Camera/s:13MP f/2.2 rear camera; 5MP f/2.4 front camera
Battery:2900 mAh
Memory:32GB ROM (up to 256GB); 3GB RAM
Wireless Connection/s:GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
WCDMA: 850/900/2100MHz
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/5/7/8
TD-LTE: Bands 38/40/41
Display5.2-inch IPS TFT HD Display (1280 by 720 pixels), Corning Gorilla Glass 4 with support for gloved and wet touch input
SIM Card Slots:Dual Nano-SIM Cards
OSColorOS 3.0, based on Android 5.1
Price: Php10,990

THE UNBOXING

The OPPO A39 package includes the unit, a USB charger head and cable, earphones, a sim ejector, and a rubber casing, which is already being used in the above photo.

LOOK AND FEEL

Like many OPPO models, the A39 borrows aesthetics from several sources, most notably from the iPhone. The curves on the body make it easy to hold, very similar to sister company Vivo’s V5 Lite.

OPPO’s orientation for physical buttons follows a standard, so it wasn’t really hard to adjust to them: SIM tray and power button on the right side, volume rocker on the left side. The top edge has a microphone hole and antenna bands while the bottom is where most of the business is at: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB charging port, another microphone, and speaker grill.

The unibody system makes everything look sleek and the package is completed with the transparent rubber case the phone comes with; slip it in for added grip without sacrificing a lot of its looks.

DISPLAY

The A39 features a modest 5.2 inch display at 1280 x 720 pixels. It also comes stock with eye protection software that makes the display a little warmer in hue and lessens the bluish light from traditional displays. It’s said that warmer hues are better for the eyes as opposed to harsher blue light. This setup is protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4, so you can mix the phone in your purse with your keys and coins without fear of scratches. Overall, the display is relatively good–images are sharp and vibrant, and looking at the phone under the sun is no problem.

OS and UI

Because this is not OPPO’s flagship model, the A39 runs on Android 5.1 with a ColorOS 3.0 overlay out of the box. Like with all OPPO phones on ColorOS, do not expect an app tray as it mimics the iOS setup. All apps are in folders. When you first get the phone, just update all the stock apps (as you should) and you’re good to go with downloading your preferred apps.

 

PERFORMANCE

The MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor does a great job at handling day-to-day app tasks you do on your phone, like checking inboxes (personal and for work), making calls, browsing social media, and taking a few food photos.

When it comes to games, the device loads our game of choice, Mobile Legends, without lagging. However, we noticed that running a lot of resource-intensive apps at the same time will cause the phone to have skips in its steps. Another issue we encountered was heat. Just one game of Mobile Legends (around 15-20 minutes) caused the phone to be noticeably warm to the touch, but not enough for you to drop it. We recommend taking breaks in between matches.

CAMERA/S

The 13MP rear snapper of the A39 is excels in natural light, producing relatively sharp shots.

However, shooting in dimly-lit interiors may come as a bit of a challenge, as pixels begin to show.

On the other hand, the 5MP front camera continues to prove that Oppo is still at the top of its selfie game.

Yes, the A39 is no means in the same league as the devices of the F series, but it’s still better than many front-facing cameras out there with a lens that adjusts well to lighting, giving you images that are clean and bright.

BATTERY LIFE

The ultimate gamer test for battery life is to play a graphics-heavy and sound-heavy game nonstop. We spent an afternoon of doing nothing but play Mobile Legends and after 3 hours of straight playing (with quick breaks in between matches), the A39 was left with 15% in the tank. The 2,900mAh battery pack can last you two to three days with data and WiFi off, and tops off at around 10 hours of use with data or WiFi.

If you completely finish the juice, you’ll have to give it a couple of hours to fully charge. The A39 does not sport fast charging, so it’s recommended that you bring a power bank with you, or plug it in as often as you can.

 CONCLUSION

All in all the A39 is still a good option, in spite of the fact that anyone coming from the high of the F series may find it a little lacking. If this were to be your introductory phone to the brand, you’d find that it does deliver with what it promises–good selfies, even with only a 5MP camera. Should you opt for the A39 over the 32G F1? If your sticking to a budget and you’re not too big on counting your front camera’s megapixels, then do so (and to reiterate, the 5MP snapper works better than most). The A39 is reliable daily driver, and yes, it’s worth a second glance.

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