We thought that was funny and tried it with a few different styles of headphones, and what we found was this: if you plugged in a pair of regular headphones that were probably made for the iPhone, the headphones wouldn’t play back audio, but if you plugged in a pair of specifically Android headphones, they did.
That means if you want a working 3.5mm jack on the Oppo R5, you need to either use Oppo’s included headphones, a pair of Android-specific headphones (of which there aren’t many), or a standard audio cable with no remote whatsoever. Most headphones don’t come with these anymore, though HiFi ones obviously do, and so you might have a hard time getting a pair of headphones to work with the Oppo R5 unless you do some research.
And even when you do find them, the Android remote will not work, except for causing every button to do the same thing: pause and play, with double clicks skipping tracks. You may as well not have the remote at all.
It’s not just the headphone remotes that are impacted by the microUSB converter, either, as we found USB thumbdrives with microUSB dongles were picked up as headphones, making backup a little problematic if you plan on using one of the many dual-mode thumbdrives out there.
We have to assume Oppo did this unintentionally, and that this is the microUSB jack playing silly buggers, but if you’re shopping for a pair of headphones to work with the R5, make sure they’re Bluetooth. At least you can be certain Bluetooth headphones will work.
Battery life could also be better, especially since you’re likely going to be depending on those Bluetooth cans.
With Bluetooth switched on and using wireless headphones, you’ll find a battery life of less than a day. In fact, it’s not just less than a day, it is half a day. Starting at 8am, we found our test saw us drop to a worryingly low of 32% by 5P.30M, three hours why of 12 hours.
It didn’t last much longer, either, and we killed the rundown test at 7.42 that evening when the battery hit 4%.
That is astonishingly low — not even 12 hours — and tells us that if you’re reliant on smart devices working on Bluetooth — like a fitness gadget and smartwatch — as well as Bluetooth headphones, this is not the phone to trust with your day.
Switching Bluetooth off and relying on the 3.5mm breakout cable with Android specific headphones fares a little better, reaching that day from home to work and back, but that’s all you’re going to get here, and the more phone calls you make, and the more often you switch on that screen, the worse the life of the Oppo R5 fares.
We guess you could call this an experimental phone, and we can only imagine that the battery had to be reduced in size because of this uber-slim design, with a 2000mAh battery found in this phone.
We’re not sure how much more battery life Oppo could have pumped into this handset, but it definitely needs more, because no matter how thin a smartphone this is, escaping with less than 12 hours of life when you’ve skipped out on the 3.5mm jack does feel like a bit of a failure.
Storage is a bit of a concern, too, and you can’t bring much to this phone. Only 16GB can be found in here with roughly 12GB available to you, and there is no way of expanding this at all.
It’s a little surprising that Oppo went with a microSIM slot instead of a nanoSIM, and we have to wonder if we had seen the smaller SIM card slot, the company might have been able to throw in room for both a microSD and the nanoSIM.
We’ll always wonder, though, and this phone will be stuck at 16GB only. Not great news when you consider that the images out of this camera translate to roughly 3MB per image, not to mention just how little audio you can store on the phone.
Oppo’s R5 is a very interesting smartphone, and it doesn’t come from its style, which kind of resembles a flattened iPhone 5 with a slightly extruded camera. It’s not interesting for its version of Android, either, which again takes a page from Apple and tries to Androidify it up.
What it does do exceedingly well, however, is to take a page from what Apple used to do more of: chances. Yes, the Oppo R5 takes a chance in a way you’d half expect out of Apple, a company that often leads the way in bringing in changes before others, with an attention to different ports and slots in the various devices it produces.
But Oppo has managed to challenge Apple in this way, ditching the 3.5mm jack first with a super slim design that no one else has tried, even though we expected that out of Apple a few years ago.
One question has to be asked of the R5, though: is it a success?
Yes and no.
On the one hand, the Oppo R5 makes some successful strides with regards to keeping things clean and simple, building a handset that could be from the future thanks to that missing 3.5mm jack, one of the things we’ve said for years will stop the phone from getting slimmer.
Yet on the other hand, the processor needs a slight increase, the battery could do with a bump, and while the Oppo R5 is a fairly good looking phone, it’s still a fairly heavy little box that is a wee bit too angular for us.
Oppo does get the screen right and at least is using the right materials from our point of view, as the R5 appears to be lovingly crafted from durable metal and glass, but not all hands will love it, and while it is amazingly thin and jeans and pants will adore it, your hands may disagree.
But it’s a great start and something the company should work on, because version two of this concept could be even better, especially if you’re already using Bluetooth headphones. Be aware, the battery isn’t particularly smashing, though, so make sure you have a battery pack nearby or a USB charger, because you’ll need it.
Consider the Oppo R5 worth checking out if every phone is just a little too thick for your body, and you’re looking for something that barely makes an impression, because right now, that’s exactly what this phone caters for.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Super slim; Very sturdy and surprisingly well made; Bright screen; Decent camera;
Uninspiring battery life; No microSD slot, and the memory is fixed to a lowly 16GB, with only around 12GB of that available to you; Soft buttons have no backlighting, making it difficult to operate in the dark; Operating system feels like a clunky version of iOS; No 3.5mm jack except without cable hanging out; Headphone convertor cable does not work with MFi cables, alienating a good portion of the headphones out there;