Oppo A79 5G review
Image: supplied.

Oppo A79 5G review: a day in the sun

With a large, ultra-bright display that is easy to read in direct sunlight, the Oppo A79 5G is easy on the eyes when you’re out and about.

Considering how useful smartphones can be when you leave the house, it’s incredibly frustrating when you can’t read the screen while you’re outside. Most handsets will adjust the brightness in an attempt to compensate for direct sunshine, but you’re still often left standing in the street squinting at your supposedly “smart” phone.

Of course, even the cheapest of smartphones promises in its marketing spiel that it has a bright display, but the Oppo A79 5G – even though it’s only an entry-level A Series smartphone – actually delivers on that promise with its “Sunlight Display“.

Oppo A79 5G review

OPPO A79 5G (Dual Sim, 128GB/4GB, CPH2557AU) – Black
  • Glowing Feather Design
  • 6.72″ FHD+ Sunlight Display
  • 33W SUPERVOOCTM Flash Charging
  • 5000mAh Large Battery 5000mAh Large Battery

Oppo A79 5G first impressions

Out of the box, the Oppo A79 5G feels a bit heavy and bulky, although that’s perhaps forgivable when you’re presented with a very generous 6.72-inch display.

Less impressive is the 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution, which perhaps matches the price tag but seems a little low considering the screen size.

To be fair, for some people, the benefit of an extremely large display isn’t about a super-sharp resolution and the ability to cram more onto the screen. Instead, the benefit is the ability to bump up the font size, so text is larger and easier to read, while still being able to fit plenty of text on the screen.

The Oppo A79 5G’s combination of an extra-large screen and extra-bright “Sunlight Display” is certainly an attractive proposition for anyone (like me) who finds their eyes aren’t quite as sharp as they once were.

The 20:9 aspect ratio ensures the handset is tall but not too wide. “Holdability” is helped by placing the power button in the middle of the handset on the right, below the volume buttons, so it sits comfortably under your thumb (or pointer finger if you’re a southpaw). The fingerprint reader is built into the power button, rather than the bottom of the screen where it can be difficult to reach on a large handset. 

Turn the handset over and you’re immediately struck by the Oppo A79 5G’s hefty rear camera array. It features a 50 MP main camera alongside a 2 MP secondary depth camera, accompanied by an 8 MP punch-hole selfie camera on the front. You don’t get telephoto, ultrawide or macro lenses, or even optical zoom.

The handset features stereo speakers (using the earpiece speaker) with an ultra-boost volume setting, along with supporting an impressive range of Bluetooth audio codecs in AAC, aptx, aptx-HD, LDAC and LHDC.

At the bottom of the handset, you’ve got a USB-C port, alongside an old-school headphone jack.

Oppo A79 5G specifications

Display size6.72 inches
Display resolution1080 × 2400 pixel, 20:9 ratio
Display technologyLTPS LCD, 680 nit peak brightness
Bands2G, 3G, 4G, 5G sub-6
SIMHybrid dual SIM or SIM/MicroSD slot
ChipsetMediatek Dimensity 6020 (7 nm)
CPUMT6833 Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPUMali-G57 MC2@950MHz
Rear cameras50MP Main Camera: f/1.8; FOV 77°; 5P lens; supports AF and uses open-loop motor
2MP Secondary camera: f/2.4; FOV 89°; 3P lens; supports FF
Front camera8MP; f/2.0; FOV 80°; 4P lens
RAM4 GB LPDDR4x
Onboard storage128 GB UFS2.2
microSD slotmicroSDXC
ChargingUSB-C
33W SUPERVOOC fast charging
Battery5000mAh/19.55Wh
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
BluetoothBluetooth 5.3, Bluetooth Low Energy
SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC
Operating systemAndroid 13 (with Oppo’s ColorOS 13)
SecurityFingerprint and Face ID
RuggednessIPX4 splash resistant
Dimensions165.6 x 76 x 7.99 mm
Weight193 gm
ColoursGlowing Green and Mystery Black
Price (RRP)$369
Warranty2 years
Official websiteOppo Australia

Features

The Oppo A79 5G runs Android 13, customised with Oppo’s own ColorOS UI. It’s rather bright and cheerful without being too over the top or intrusive. ColorOS adds a range of tweaks including a shelf of dropdown widgets, a reconfigured quick settings menu and extra options on the always-on display. 

Oppo says the handset will receive two Android OS updates and three years of security patches, which is less generous than what you get with some of the more expensive Oppo handset like the Oppo Reno 10 5G.

Under the bonnet you’ll find a low to mid-range octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 6020, accompanied by an underwhelming 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Sadly, A79 5G models with extra memory and storage aren’t coming to Australia.

Thankfully, you can add another 4 GB of virtual RAM thanks to Oppo’s Memory Expansion Technology, which lets you temporarily convert some of the onboard storage into RAM.

As the name suggests, it’s a 5G handset so you can take advantage of Australia’s newest high-speed mobile networks. Keep in mind that, like most handsets, it only supports sub-6 5G bands and not the faster millimetre wave 5G networks.

The Oppo A79 5G packs a generous 5000 mAh battery, but the extra large and bright screen will take a toll. Even so, you should easily get through a day if you don’t push it too hard.

When it needs a top-up, the handset can take advantage of 33-watt SuperVOOC wired fast charging. At least, it could if Oppo included a SuperVOOC-compatible AC adapter in the box. But it doesn’t, instead, you’ll just find a USB-C cable. This means you’ll go out and buy a special $35 33-watt SuperVOOC adapter to get those speeds. Otherwise, you’ll likely get around 12 watts from a standard AC charger. 

Meanwhile, there’s no support for wireless charging, which perhaps isn’t surprising at this price point.

Quality

That Sunlight Display certainly delivers on its promises, making it easy to read text even in the harsh midday sun. Even better, the Oppo A79 5G’s auto brightness settings aren’t overly aggressive.

These days many devices automatically crank up the brightness in a bright room, but also automatically dim the screen in dark environments. The problem is that they often turn down the brightness so far that it’s very difficult to read the screen if your eyes have a few miles on the clock – Apple’s gadgets and a Tesla’s built-in display are notable culprits. Thankfully, the Oppo A79 5G’s screen still remains bright enough to read even in a darkened room.

The handset also delivers on its promise of decent audio, with the built-in speakers producing a surprisingly wide and detailed sound stage when watching Netflix. Avoid the ultra-boost volume setting though, as the result is certainly louder but also rather distorted.

While all this is great news, elsewhere the Oppo A79 5G isn’t up to the same level.

The GeekBench 6 benchmarks reveal 718 on the CPU single-core test and 1836 on the multi-core, plus 1163 on the GPU test. As such, it’s okay for basic day-to-day tasks but not a lot more, especially when it’s only packing 4G of physical RAM.

DeviceSingle-core CPU scoreMulti-core CPU score
Oppo Reno 10 5G9632444
Motorola Moto G54 5G9212329
Oppo A79 5G7181836
Motorola Moto G144501587
Geekbench 6 results

Camera

As for the camera, the 50 MP main shooter sounds impressive but we all know by now that raw megapixels aren’t everything. Especially when it’s relying on a tiny .64um sensor.

Low-light performance isn’t bad but on a sunny day, images look over-processed and overblown. For example, the blue sky often looks too blue, as if the phone is trying too hard to create the perfect moment.

To be fair to the lens, the problem here is partly Oppo’s overly aggressive AI photography features at work. Unfortunately, even when you kill AI the results are still mediocre, sacrificing contrast and fine details.

Likewise with beauty mode on the selfie camera, set to 30 per cent by default, it insists on “retouching” (destroying the fine details) your face in the pursuit of an Insta-worthy portrait.

Who is the Oppo A79 5G for?

With that big, bright and easy to read screen as its major selling point, the Oppo A79 5G is best-suited to older people who are perhaps frustrated with their ability to easily read other smartphones.

That’s assuming they’re not fussed about the phone’s shortcomings in terms of grunt and photography. If you’re looking for a decent all-rounder with more power, it’s perhaps best to look elsewhere.

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Oppo A79 5G
The Oppo A79 5G's big bright display is a sight for sore eyes, but elsewhere it struggles to make the grade.
Features
7.5
Value for money
7.5
Performance
7.5
Ease of use
8
Design
8
Positives
Large screen
Bright screen easy to read in direct sunlight
Loud speakers
Negatives
Middle-of-the-road grunt
Average photos with no advanced lenses
7.7