Oppo AX5s Smartphone REVIEW

May 17, 2019
The wallet-friendly Oppo AX5s smartphone
Oppo AX5s Smartphone REVIEW


Oppo AX5s Smartphone REVIEW


It’s a terrific phone for not much money at all, which is why our man PAT PILCHER gives Oppo’s AX5s Witchdoctor’s ultimate accolade.

Oppo AX5s smartphone REVIEW
The wallet-friendly Oppo AX5s smartphone

While Samsung, Huawei and Apple were busy duking it out for supremacy in the flagship smartphone market, Oppo took a punt in the more affordable smartphone space by launching its latest, the AX5s. Having been wowed by the AX5 (see Witchdoctor’s review here) which offered up excellent bang for buck last year, expected outcomes during my Oppo AX5s smartphone review were sky high.

Comfortable Design

Perhaps the first thing you notice about the AX5s is its design. Sporting a curvaceous and shiny chassis, the AX5s felt comfy in my hand. On its curved rear are twin 13MP shooters, and around the front is a surprisingly crisp and vivid 6.2-inch IPS LCD display that boasts a 19:9 aspect ratio and 1520×720 resolution.

An interesting point to note is that the earpiece, camera, and the light sensor are all housed in the waterdrop at the top of the screen. Because of this, the AX5s has an impressive 89.35 percent screen-to-body ratio. So there’s no chunky bezels (which are the norm on smartphones at this price point).

Oppo AX5s smartphone REVIEW
The wallet-friendly Oppo AX5s smartphone

Any Colour You Want, So Long As It’s…

Where the original AX5 was available in several colours, the AX5s can be had in any colour you want. As long as it is black. While the black finish is not terribly exciting (when reflective crystalline colours and designs are available elsewhere) its shiny black finish reminds me of the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Thanks to a generous 4230 mAh battery, you’ll also get a day and bit of life with moderate to heavy use. And much, much longer with standby.

On the camera front, the AX5s boxes well above its bantamweight status. While the 8MP front-facing camera with f2.0 aperture does a passable job, the standouts are the 13MP+2PM dual rear cameras. These capture crisp images and do a reasonable job in less than ideal lighting conditions.

The wallet-friendly Oppo AX5s smartphone

Using machine learning, the front and rear shooters also offer up a portrait mode. This offers beautification features and a surprisingly good bokeh effect, which blurs the background and helps photographed subjects stand out.

Photo quality

While I am living proof that there are limits to what beautification can do to fix the unfixable, photos that I got taken … impressed me. Further assisting shutterbugs is image stabilisation technology. Which really comes into its own when shooting video. There are also a bunch of other tricks such as an AR mode that responds to facial movements, and a bevy of other modes.

As with previous Oppo hardware, the AX5s runs ColorOS 5.2.1. Like earlier iterations, it looks very IOS-like, but this time it incorporates a few ingenious wrinkles. Such as Smart Bar, Smart Scan – which reads business cards and applies OCR; transforming them into contacts data. Image language translation is also there, which could be a real boon for travellers.

The wallet-friendly Oppo AX5s smartphone

Given the extremely affordable $299 sticker price, compromises are inevitable. Under the hood, there is only 3GB RAM. Which could, in theory, result in slow-downs if several demanding apps are run simultaneously.

CPU Swap

This isn’t helped by the fact the AX5s swaps out the original AX5’s Snapdragon 450 for the considerably more affordable (but less powerful) MTK6765 MediaTek SoC). That said, the MTK6765 CPU runs on the smell of an oily lithium-ion battery. And goes surprisingly smoothly. Furthermore, there’s also a reasonable 64GB of internal storage on offer. And it takes a micro SD card.

Last (but by no means least) is the addition of an ‘all too rare’ 3.5mm headphone socket. Meaning no annoying dongles. No stressing about flat Bluetooth headphones.

Oppo AX5s smartphone REVIEW
The wallet-friendly Oppo AX5s smartphone

Summary: Oppo AX5s Smartphone Review

So …our thoughts?

Given that the AX5s sells for less than $300, and its features are not half bad, we’re impressed. For this sort of price, not so very long ago at all you would have been confined to a plastic feature phone and little else. The Ax5s continues the tradition started by last year’s AX5 by offering excellent value for not very much money at all.



Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you. I have been looking at buying an Oppo Ax5s but didn’t know that brand. Reading your review has made up my mind and I am off to purchase one!

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