Oppo Mirror 5 Aims High But Doesn’t Shine StrongNovember 20, 2015
Oppo is now a familiar name in the India, so I guess I don’t need to re-introduce it to you. Its Mirror 5 is one of the many smartphones it’s selling in India. It’s a mid-range phone which seats in the same segment as the famous Moto G which currently rules it. There are many phones in the same segment. Let’s see if Oppo Mirror 5 can stand out from the crowd or not.
Every maker boasts about the design of its phones, so does the Oppo. In the case of Mirror 5 the company is emphasizing on, well, the mirror finish. On the website it says Mirror 5’s back has “sparkling diamond-like mirrored surface” but in reality its far from the case. It’s not really as pronounced as Oppo wants you to believe. If you look at it straight, you’ll barely notice it. The plastic back just can’t do it. This remains as a marketing gimmick to me.
The overall design itself is very good. It wasn’t just me, but the people around me also were impressed. The metal ring that runs around the display subtly makes it look premium. On few occasions, people even asked if it’s an iPhone. For me, however, the design is close to Sony’s Xperia series. Except for the back, rest of the phone has the good quality of materials.
Oppo has placed the volume rocker on the left side of the Mirror 5 instead of next to power button which is the trend nowadays. I found it little odd. Another minus point, in my opinion, is the placement of the camera. If you’re not careful, you’d block its view and ruin your photos.
This is probably the crucial part about every phone everyone wants to hear. On the spec sheet, Oppo Mirror 5 has a Snapdragon 410 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. I find it odd that the Oppo decided to use the outdated qHD (960×540) resolution for the 5-inch display on Mirror 5. To put it in the context, even the $100 phones now feature at least the 720p resolution.
The Snapdragon 410 has been used in countless phones because of the fact that it runs smooth. The 2GB RAM is sufficient, too. However, on Mirror 5 the buggy software or the operating system ruins the whole experience. Hiccups and stutters were common and often, throughout the review period. The software part definitely needs fine tuning.
Despite the not so pleasant user experience, the battery returned impressive mileage. I didn’t have high expectations from the tiny 2,420 mAh battery, but it proved me wrong. Even with mobile data and constantly checking emails (three accounts), social feeds, chatting, it could easily last for a day and a half. Of course, you will get different mileage as per your habits.
Oppo Mirror 5 has an 8MP camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front. There’s a single LED flash for the rear camera. This another area where Oppo lags behind the competition. It’s not surprising to see 13MP cameras on phones in its segment. Especially when you’re paying Rs.15,000, there’s nothing to expect the cameras at par with the competition. Surely megapixels isn’t everything so how’s the quality of the photos Mirror 5 clicked?
Pretty impressive. The images it clicked had the good amount of details in them. Colors were vivid but not oversaturated. I wish if it had a better dynamic range.
What totally sucked about the camera is the UI or user interface. It was confusing even for someone like me who keeps switching the phones. Essential settings are buried deep inside the interface. Actually, the icon which Oppo has used to open the various camera modes and settings look more like it is for color effects. It looks like, in an attempt to make it attractive, different, Oppo’s engineers made it confusing. A software update should be enough to fix it. Otherwise, there are lots of useful functions including the Pro mode which lets you set all the parameters manually such as focus.
The Oppo Mirror 5 has the ColorOS. It is still based on the Android Lollipop 5.1. Let’s not go deeper into all the technical stuff. It’s a heavily customized version of Android with almost no hint of the Google’s original themes. While the customization adds new features like gestures.
In case, you feel using the 5-inch display is not convenient, you can just drag from the top corners, and the UI shrinks to the convenient size. Its display recognizes the gestures even when it’s turned off.
For a phone that costs Rs.15,000 ($227), Oppo Mirror 5 is not the best-equipped phone in terms of connectivity features. It has dual SIM support but at this price point it doesn’t have 4G LTE connectivity. The cheapest 4G LTE phone in India costs little less than $80 (Rs.5,000). There’s an IR blaster as well which you can use to control your home equipment.
Another thing it fails to get right is the calling quality. It’s no surprise to me actually. Many phones today are poor performers in this most basic function. The earpiece quality wasn’t up to the mark.
To buy or not to buy?
Oppo Mirror 5 tries all the gimmicks to get your attention, but it’s better you don’t pay heed. Yes, the design is good but the functions matter more. It doesn’t even come close to the Moto G which people are buying blindly. You can buy something as good as or even better than Mirror 5 for less than half its price. Rs.10,000 ($150) can fetch you better stuff. Mirror 5’s feature set doesn’t justify its price.
Unless you (want to) fall for its gimmicky design, Oppo Mirror 5 is not the phone you should be spending your money on.