There’s no doubt that the entry-level smartphone segment is majorly dominated by the likes of Xiaomi, Realme, and Asus in India. However, the smartphone giant Oppo, which usually plays in the upper mid-range segment, is now trying to dominate the sub-10K bracket with the introduction of devices like Oppo A5s and Oppo A1k in the country.
Launched at Rs. 8,490, the Oppo A1k is currently retailing for Rs. 7,999 on Amazon. And at that price point, the phone is directly competing with the lately launched Realme 3i (review) and Xiaomi Redmi 7 (review). So is it worth buying now? Let us check out the same in our full Oppo A1k review.
Oppo A1k Specifications
Before starting with the Oppo A1k review, let’s have a glance at the device’s specifications, pricing and things we get inside the retail box.
- Display: 6.1-inch IPS LCD display, HD+ (1280 x 720 pixels resolution), 19:5:9 ratio, 282 PPI density
- CPU: 12nm-based octa-core Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 processor (Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: PowerVR GE8320
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 32GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD (dedicated slot)
- Software: Android 9 Pie (ColorOS 6)
- Main Camera: 8MP single shooter (f/2.2, 1/3.2″, 1.4µm, AF)
- Selfie Camera: 5MP (f/2.0, 1/5″, 1.12µm)
- Connectivity: Dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, FM radio, micro USB 2.0
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: No
- Battery: 4,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
- Charging: Standard 10W
Price: Rs. 7,990 for 2/32GB
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Oppo A1k
- 5V 2A Charger
- micro-USB cable
- Silicon Case
- Sim Ejector Tool
Oppo A1k Review
Design & Display
Does the Oppo A1k look familiar to you? Well, that’s because the device shares most of its aesthetics with the Realme C2. The phone itself, at first glance, looks quite generic with a simple design on a plastic body and matte finish. While we have the Black variant here, you can also opt for the Red colour option.
Now, there are no funky patterns or graphics like the one on C2, which looks quite dull in our opinion. Also, the phone lacks a dual-camera setup, and there’s no fingerprint scanner either, so you need to rely on the face unlock instead. Overall, there’s nothing much to talk about the rear of the phone. Nevertheless, it feels solid in hands and is not slippery at all, so you don’t have to worry about using a case.
At the front, the Oppo A1k gets a full view display with a waterdrop notch, accompanied by thin side bezels and a bottom chin. The screen used here is a 6.1-inch panel that boasts of an HD+ resolution. Overall, the quality of the panel is satisfactorily good with accurate colours, right viewing angles and decent contrast ratio. It, however, is quite hard to view under direct sunlight.
Performance & Software
Under the hood, the Oppo A1k gets powered by octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which is quite disappointing when compared to the competition.
The phone runs fine in day to day use, including calling, using social media apps, listening to music, watching videos and more. However, it starts to struggle once you start pushing it to the limits. The underpowered chipset, coupled with a cumbersome software skin, further bottlenecked by less amount of RAM, tends to choke the device. So if you are a heavy multi-tasker or need something to game on, we’d suggest looking somewhere else.
As noted, the phone runs the company’s custom ColorOS 6.0 on top of Android 9 Pie. Despite being akin to the iOS, it luckily gets an App drawer which can be revealed by a simple swipe on the home screen. Furthermore, you get to choose between Pixel-styled pill gestures or the new full-screen gestures for a more immersive experience.
The UI also includes several motion and screen gestures to play around. However, there’s a good amount of bloatware like DailyHunt, Opera, UC Browser, ShareChat, Web novel, etc. which, fortunately, can be uninstalled in the settings. Amongst other features, it gets Hyper Boost and Game Space modes grounded on AI. Furthermore, there’s a dedicated Riding Mode to manage calls and notifications while riding, followed by a Smart Assistant, which proactively provides you with information you need, similar to the Google Assistant.
All-inclusive, ColorOS is a highly skinned and customizable version of Android. So, if you’re someone like me who loves stock Android, then you’re definitely going to have a hard time getting used to the ColorOS.
The Oppo A1k gets a single 8MP camera at the rear with f/2.2 aperture. For selfies, there’s a 5MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture housed in the water-drop notch. It is equipped with features like Panorama, Time-lapse, Portrait, HDR and more.
As you’d expect, the camera performance is average at its best. The rear camera yields usable pictures in ideal lighting situations and offers a decent amount of details. However, the low light performance is poor and below average. Even images shot on front camera lack detail and turn out grainy as the light levels drop. Overall, nothing fancy to talk about cameras, and it’s just there to get the job done.
Battery & More
Indeed, the battery life is one of the strongest points of the Oppo A1k. The built-in 4,000mAh cell efficiently manages to last over a day and half of medium use. And if you are a light user, the phone may even stretch till the end of the second day. For those worried about the charging times, the phone takes around two-and-half hours to go from zero to 100 per cent.
Talking of the different aspects, the call quality is excellent, and we didn’t face any issues while having multiple calls even in weak network areas. Note that the device solely relies on face unlock which works quite well but struggles badly in low light. The audio from the bottom speaker is surprisingly loud but lacks definition.
- Decent Display
- Good build quality
- Comfortable to hold
- Amazing battery life
- Average cameras
- Sluggish performance
- Annoying ColorOS
- No fingerprint scanner
Oppo A1k Review Verdict- Should you buy it?
Overall, the Oppo A1k seems to be a reliable phone but feels a bit overpriced at INR 7990. But again, if we talk about the phone, it has enough for one’s basic necessities. Hence, it could be a decent choice for those looking for an Android smartphone with a modern design, durable chassis, and long-lasting battery life.
However, if we compare this offering from Oppo with the competition, you can get most of its specs in the Realme C2 which costs less in comparison. Or else you can go for the Xiaomi Redmi 7 which offers much better cameras, performance and a fingerprint scanner for the exact same price.