In the end, the phone is mediocre.
The last and final part (for real, unlike Attack on Titan) of the A18 saga is here! We discussed previously how the phone performs and oh boy it’s a disappointment. Thankfully, the phone isn’t all about negativity, there are some good things coming with it, including the large battery and speaker.
The Oppo A18 came with a 10W charging brick and USB-C cable. Hey, at least, it’s USB-C. Other brands will try to keep costs down by including a MicroUSB port instead. At least, Oppo isn’t that THAT cheap.
The charging brick is smaller than what the Oppo A58 came with. That phone can charge for up to 33W. The A18, being an ultrabudget phone, is stuck at 10W. However, that isn’t an excuse considering there are phones priced similar to it that can charge to at least 15-18W.
The phone charged very slowly. From empty to full, it charged within 2 hours. That’s incredibly slow by today’s standards. However, the phone’s battery is solid and can last almost an entire day of regular use (and this is with the 90Hz refresh rate enabled). To be specific, we used it for messaging and watching video, and we even put it on standby from 50% to dead while Mobile Legends is opened. For 5 hours, there’s still about 2% left. That’s some great battery life right there. It should be noted that the MediaTek Helio G85, despite the 12nm fabrication, is designed to be power efficient. Though most likely the phone throttled during this time and as we saw from the performance review, the phone throttles frequently.
The phone has “ultra volume” mode. This is a new and common feature found on the A-series which has been created as a way to compensate for the series’ lack of stereo speakers. This feature amplifies the sound for up to 300% and activates when the phone is at full 100% volume.
Just like the A58, the phone’s volume did get louder but also at the cost of its bassline. Vocals/mids are emphasized here but there is noticeable distortion. Despite it being raised to 300%, the phone is still quieter than our OnePlus Nord 3. Sure, it has proper stereo speakers and it costs 5x higher than the A18, but that phone lacks this extra volume. To us, this is evidence that this “ultra volume mode” is a gimmick.
Just keep the phone under regular volume so that you can feel and hear the true and immersive sound of the A18. Under regular volume, the sound is still distorted, but it’s less. Again, the frequencies are unbalanced but at least the bassline still exists and is much more noticeable. The A-series’ speakers often emphasize the vocals and they pop out well, so it’s more suitable for audiobooks than music.
The Oppo A18 is beautiful and well-crafted. That has always been a thing and a forte of Oppo. We are also surprised by the phone’s efficient price tag at PHP 5,999 and this comes with 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM. However, we are not able to test that one because the company gave us a unit with half the storage. Today, 64GB just won’t cut it.
The phone’s beautiful design is set back by its lacking camera quality, low storage, slow charging speeds, and uneven performance. It also does not help that the phone has several ads and bloatware to begin with. Thankfully, it uses a USB-C port and its large 5000mAh battery is strong and solid, able to last for almost an entire day on regular use. The UI, we’ve gotten so used to it but if you’re a first-time ColorOS user, it won’t be hard for you to navigate. Plus, the UI is very customizable and you can even change the colour theme of your interface if you want.
Among its good sides are its bright display and 90Hz refresh rate. We find this a bit strange because the A58, a phone that costs higher and has better specs overall, lacks this high refresh rate but has higher resolution at FullHD+. These days, you don’t have to compensate so much to have both. The lower resolution means that the phone can last longer and is more power efficient and that’s probably why the A18 has a 90Hz option while the A58 doesn’t. It’s a fair balance that is understandable.
Overall, we couldn’t recommend the phone to hardcore gamers and photographers but casual users may find a use out of it. We recommend just purchasing the 128GB version and never the 64GB one because you will find it lacking, like us.
- Bright display even under the sun.
- 90Hz refresh rate at a sub-6K price tag
- Solid and long-lasting battery
- Beautifully designed and crafted
- USB-C port is present instead of a MicroUSB port
- Underwhelming Performance
- Mediocre 8MP Camera with narrow field of view and large cropping
- Slow charging at 2 hours
- Throttles frequently and at a short time-frame
- 64GB in 2023 is not enough anymore even for the most casual user
You can get the phone now on Lazada and when you purchase from November 9-11, you can get yourself a voucher that further brings down its price to PHP 4,720 and you can even get a free selfie stick with it. To reiterate, you have two colours to choose from: Glowing Black and Glowing Blue.