Oppo keeps on pumping out those smart phones, concentrating mostly in two segments. One is the higher end, but lowish cost area. The other is far closer to entry level, with models that really look much more expensive than they actually are. See, for example, the $328 Oppo A57.
The A77 is rather like the A57, but more so.
The biggest difference is that A77 bumps up the display size and resolution. It’s a full HD – 1080 by 1920 pixel – model, with 5.5 inches for a decent amount of screen real estate. But lots of other stuff is different too, including the CPU and the construction.
Indeed, this phone features a metal body. The review unit was finished in an attractive gold-look back, with a white front. Styling was clearly modelled on the iPhone. It’s also available in black. The screen uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5, so the whole thing ought to be fairly robust. It comes with a thin, transparent back-and-sides case. It also comes with a screen protector in place. Oppo doesn’t claim any waterproofing, so be safe: don’t mix with water.
The processor is a Mediatek MT6750T system on a chip. Released last year, this has four 1.5GHz cores and four 1.0GHz cores. It’s a 64 bit chip and supports the usual communications standards, up to Cat 6 LTE (Oppo claims speeds of up to 150Mbps with data downloads, although Cat 6 LTE actually supports up to 300Mbps). There’s 4GB of RAM.
The phone has room for two SIMs, plus a microSD card of up to 128GB. And yes, this is not an either/or case. You can have two SIMs and the memory installed all at the same time.
The phone use a 3200mAh battery, but it lacks the VOOC fast charge system available with Oppo’s more expensive models. The charge and communications port is Micro-B USB. The WiFi is dual band with support for 802.11a/b/g/n, but not ac.
The user interface is Oppo’s ColorOS 3.0 and it overlays Android 6.0. The soft back and apps keys don’t use up screen space. They are on the body to either side of the combo fingerprint scanner and home key. That key in turn doesn’t move. Like the one on a current iPhone, it looks like a mechanical key but is actually just a soft one. It vibrates briefly when touched so that you know it has worked. The back and apps keys are the Samsung way around rather than the standard Android way. That is, apps to the left, back to the right. I like it that way, but I’m a righty.
The rear camera is a 13 megapixel f/2.2 unit, while the front has 16 megapixels and a maximum aperture of f/2.0. As usual, Oppo is pushing the camera somewhat as ideal for selfies.
There’s no NFC with this phone, so transferring from an old one took a step or two more than just touching phone backs. Nonetheless, a wizard guided me through the process, and within thirty seconds my Google credentials had been transferred. Then a quick check revealed that a system update was available, so I set that going. It takes a little while to get a 123MB update downloaded. Quite a short “little while”. Say, about as long as taken by me to write this paragraph.
While my Google ID went through okay, the phone did not seek to find and install the apps I use, so had to go to the Play Store and add the important ones myself.
Also, part of the setup was teaching it my fingerprint. It only wanted one at this point, without an option for more. I had to add more later through “Settings”. There wasn’t an option for associating particular fingers with particular actions on apps.