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OPPO A94 Review

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OPPO A94 is one of the cheapest OPPO phones to have an AMOLED screen. But obviously, there’s more to this phone than its display.

It’s a cheaper alternative to the Reno 5 4G and Reno 5 5G, which came out in the same quarter. So, is it the one you should get? Should you go with the Reno 5 series? Or look somewhere else entirely? We find out in our OPPO A94 review.

OPPO Reno A94 Specs

  • Android 11, ColorOS 11.1
  • Dual SIM, Dual stand-by
  • 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 409ppi
  • 60Hz refresh rate, 135Hz (normal) / 180Hz (Game Mode) touch sampling rate
  • 2.2GHz MediaTek Helio P95 octa-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • IMG PowerVR GM 9446 GPU
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 32-megapixel front camera
  • 48-megapixel (f/1.8, PDAF) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide) + 2-megapixel (macro) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
  • Headphone jack
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BDS
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 160.1 x 73.2 x 7.8mm
  • Weight: 172g
  • Colors: Fantastic Purple, Fluid Black
  • 4310mAh non-removable battery, 30W VOOC Charge

Design and Build Quality

We were immediately stunned by how light and thin the OPPO A94 is the first time we held it. It sure is large since it has a 6.43-inch screen, but with a weight of 172g and a thinness of 7.8mm, the A94 is really comfortable to hold.

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The design is also quite a stunner. The back panel has a glass-like material that shines with light but is inevitably prone to fingerprint marks and smudges.

What we really like was how this Fantastic Purple has this unique color gradient tone to it. It looks really flashy while also being subtle. The color also carries through the sides and physical buttons. But if you want a cleaner look, there’s a Crystal Silver and Fluid Black option for you.

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Taking a tour, we have the aforementioned 6.43-inch AMOLED screen on the front, with a punch-hole on the top left and the earpiece on the top bezels — bezels that are ultra-thin for a good screen-to-body ratio.

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On the left, we have the SIM tray for two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. Below are the volume controls. On the other side, there’s the lock/power switch with OPPO’s signature green accent.

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Despite the plastic material, the buttons are firm, tactile, and subtle but audible click when pressed.

The top only has the secondary microphone for noise isolation. While at the bottom, we have the primary microphone, USB Type-C port, loudspeaker, and headphone jack.

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Around the back, there’s a large Galaxy S20 Ultra-like glass that houses all four cameras, with a chin for the AI and 48MP Camera logo. A vertical dual-tone LED flash is on the side.

Display and Sound Quality

The OPPO A94 has a 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen,with 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 409ppi, 8-bit color, 92% DCI-P3 coverage, 100% sRGB, 1000000:1 contrast ratio, and 600-nits peak brightness.

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Like all OLED screens, it has vibrant colors and deep contrast. Albeit, the lack of official HDR support is a missed opportunity.

The lack of a 90Hz refresh rate is also a little disappointing. But considering the image quality of its AMOLED panel, we’ll cut it some slack.

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It also lacks stereo speakers, but the impressive bottom-firing loudspeaker makes up for it. The lone speaker has a loud volume with good clarity. For a more immersive experience, there are earphones in the box if you need them.

Hardware and Performance

Powering the OPPO A94 features a 2.2GHz MediaTek Helio P95 octa-core processor. It may not be from the Helio G-series, but it’s still powerful enough to handle small and basic tasks.

OPPO A94 benchmark scores

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The A94 has 8GB of RAM, which is great for multitasking, while the 128GB of storage is enough to house all your apps. You can still add more via the microSD card slot if it’s not enough.

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CODM on OPPO A94

It also has capable gaming performance. Call of Duty Mobile was playable at High graphics quality and frame rate. League of Legends Wild Rift, Genshin Impact, and other demanding games should run fine, too.

Software and User Interface

The OPPO A94 runs on the latest Android 11-based ColorOS 11.1. Long-time OPPO fans should feel right at home on this one. Stock-Android lovers may not, but it’s clean enough to be not too overwhelming.

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On the farthest left of the home screen has the Google tab that houses the Google Search tab, news, weather, and other relevant information to you.

Android’s signature App Drawer is disabled out of the box for a minimalistic, iOS-like home screen layout where all your apps are laid out right away. You can enable App Drawer in the settings menu.

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Software features dedicated to improving the gaming experience are also here. While in-game, you can swipe on the top left to launch the Game Assistant, where you can enable performance modes, game news, messenger, and others.

Game Focus mode disables any distracting notifications. Bullet Notification floats messages so you can still see them without getting too distracted.

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FlexDrop has a floating window mode. You can have one app continuously running while using another. You can easily adjust its position and size.

App Lock lets you secure certain apps like the Messenger and Files Manager with your fingerprint.

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A couple of software tricks take full advantage of the OLED panel. There’s the always-on display (AOD) that can display the time, date, and notifications. Sadly, the customization is not as vast as what the Reno 5 series have.

You can also adjust how the dark mode settings depending on how dark you want it to look.

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The OPPO A94 uses Google Keyboard, which has large keys that are easy to type on, easily accessible word suggestions, and more. The camera app is easy to use and familiar with quick access to its features.

Camera Quality

The OPPO A94 has a quad-camera setup on the back. We have a 48-megapixel main shooter, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, we have a 32-megapixel selfie snapper.

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Besides the hardware, the OPPO A94 also has other camera software features like AI Color Portrait Video that separates the subject by making the background black and white. Dual-View video that can record the front and rear cameras simultaneously.

AI Scene Detection is also present. As well as Dynamic Bokeh.

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The image quality is fine. The colors are slightly on the warm side but do have some depth thanks to the deep contrast. The dynamic range is passable, and sharpness and details are enough.

Low-light images are expectedly not great but still usable. The long-exposure shot from the Night mode should provide a helping hand, but the improvement is not substantial.

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48-megapixel
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48-megapixel | AI Scene Detection: On
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48-megapixel
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48-megapixel
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48-megapixel
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48-megapixel | Low-light

The 8-megapixel ultra-wide doesn’t have the best quality in terms of colors and details. Distortion is present, too. But, the wide field-of-view it provides is great for cramming large views, architectures, and other subjects on a single frame.

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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide

We also have the 2-megapixel macro camera that has a 4cm focusing distance. Like on everything else, having a 2-megapixel macro lens is just added to up the numbers. It doesn’t let you get close enough to small subjects, and the sensor it uses is not sharp enough.

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2-megapixel macro
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2-megapixel macro

Thankfully, the 2-megapixel depth sensor is actually useful. It does a decent job of separating the foreground from the background, enabling the device’s tons of portrait mode features.

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Portrait Mode

The 32-megapixel front-facing camera also delivers okay images, but nothing to brag about. It takes selfies with sharp details, but the skin tones and colors are kind of all over the place.

Like its cousins, the OPPO A94 has AI Face Beauty features that let you alter your skin softness and even make your nose smaller, chin narrower, eyes bigger, and whatnot. We’re not a fan of it, but if you are, the pixel-packed sensor gives enough room for the AI Face Beauty to work with without making the image look too soft and fake.

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32-megapixel front camera
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32-megapixel front camera | AI Face Beauty
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32-megapixel front camera | Portrait Mode

Battery

OPPO went with a smaller 4,310mAh battery instead of a standard 5,000mAh battery for the OPPO A94. We’re fine with that, considering how they were able to make the device light and weight.

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Actually, the battery life is not bad at all. It got a screen-on time of 13 hours and 37 minutes on PCMark’s battery test. The test loops synthetic workloads and tasks until the battery drops to 20%. We ran that test with the WiFi and Bluetooth off and the screen brightness and volume set to 50%.

In translation, you’d be charging this device every night like what you’d do on most smartphones. It may last for two days if you’re a very conservative user, but day-to-day tasks, gaming, and binge-watching may require daily charging.

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Speaking of which, the OPPO A94 comes with a 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0. It may not be the fastest charger around, but due to its smaller battery, a full charge will only take an hour or less.

Verdict

The OPPO A94 has the title of being the company’s full-featured, budget AMOLED phone. It has a capable processor for games and multitasking, fast charging, and a fancy in-display fingerprint scanner — all packed in a device that’s noticeably thin and light and has an attractive paint job on the back.

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However, there are definitely options out there that have a more powerful processor, high refresh rate screen, and even a stereo speaker — features that these devices have.

Still, for what it offers for the price, the OPPO A94 earned its right to be on the market.

OPPO A94 price and availability in the Philippines

The OPPO A94 has an official price of Php13,999 and is now available in tons of OPPO physical and online stores and partner retailers across the Philippines.

Pros

  • Noticeably thin and light design
  • AMOLED display
  • Capable processor
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • No stereo speaker
  • No high refresh rate screen

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