The Oppo A78 5G is another budget phone that boasts great battery life and decent performance even if the 720p display is a little soft. Much like the TCL 40R 5G, it shows that you don’t have to break the bank for a solid phone, even one with 5G connectivity.
- All-day battery life
- 90Hz refresh rate
- 33W fast charging
- 720p resolution
- Lots of bloatware
- Greaet battery lifeThe Oppo A78 5G will power through the day and then some with some ease.
- Smooth displayThe scrolling is smooth with the addition of a 90Hz refresh rate.
- 5G connectivity5G connectivity at such a cheap price point is always a welcome feature.
If you’re looking for a cheap phone with 5G that won’t break the bank, then the £219 Oppo A78 is a solid option – dependable and unforgettable.
It may seem strange to start a review with such a definitive verdict, but while there’s little about the Oppo A78 5G that wows, there’s also not a great deal it does wrong.
Sure, I’d have liked a brighter, sharper display and punchier cameras, but for the most part, there’s little I’d change. It’s not bad for a phone that’ll set you back just over £200.
It’s got great battery life, too, which may just be what puts it over similar devices, and its performance isn’t bad either – further putting paid to the notion that you need to stifle a phone’s power to add 5G.
So, while the Oppo A78 5G isn’t the most exciting phone, it’s still a good budget-focused phone.
Design and screen
- Plasticky feel
- But it is lightweight
- Black, purple, and blue colour options
The Oppo A78 5G won’t win any design awards, but while it doesn’t feel premium (largely thanks to a plastic construction), it is at least a very lightweight device that’s easily pocketable.
The toughened display is 6.56 inches in size, meaning it’s a pretty sizeable panel, with a small notch at the top to hold the front-facing camera. It is an LCD display, though, so it’s not as vibrant as you’d get from an OLED panel, and the resolution caps out at 720p, too.
It’s not bad, of course, and it’s still HD, but between the resolution and the panel technology, it’s tough to get excited about watching a Netflix show or a YouTube video on it. For a FHD+ experience, you’ll have to opt for the similarly-priced Samsung Galaxy A14 5G. The 90Hz refresh rate at least helps make everything feel that little bit smoother.
On the bottom edge of the phone, you’ll find a USB-C port and a headphone jack, with Oppo being one of few manufacturers still giving consumers that option – and more power to them.
On the right-hand side, you’ll find the power button and a volume rocker, with the former doubling as a fingerprint scanner for easy unlocking – although facial recognition is still possible. Having the best of both worlds means you never have to remove your mask or gloves, though, which is handy.
On the back, Oppo has stacked the various modules of the A78 5G’s cameras on top of one another, with two circles stacked vertically. It certainly looks nice, but it does lead to a bit of a wobble when you use the phone when laid flat on a table or desk.
All in all, the Oppo A78 5G’s design is neatly packaged, but I’d struggle to pick it out of a lineup of similar phones – save for that rear camera design.
- Main 50MP sensor
- Zoom struggles after 4-5x
- Portrait mode is a little overkill
With budget phones, the corners cut to hit a certain price point tend to be found on both the display and the cameras, and while the former is true with the A78 5G, its camera specs are pretty impressive on paper.
There are a pair of cameras comprised of a 50MP main and a 2MP black-and-white camera to aid focus. Sadly, specs aren’t everything, and rather than giving darker or lighter areas equal attention, it tends to just normalise everything into a flatter image.
That’s no bad thing, and it’s hardly any different to the multitudes of other budget-focused camera sensors, but if you’re a budding shutterbug I’d look to spend a little more on something with more nuance to its sensors like the Pixel 6a.
Still, an Extra HD mode is intended to add more detail, but it’s difficult to tell on the 720p display, and using it removes zoom capabilities.
That brings me to the zoom, which hits up to 10x digital. As you may expect, though, you should really dial it back to around 4-5x in practice, with significant object blur on anything further than that.
As for the front 8MP camera, it suffers from the same problem – washed-out colour. That makes my natural olive complexion look much more pale.
On both front and back cameras, it’s worth noting that the portrait mode is a little overbearing at times. Check out the photo of a statue below – some of the background is perhaps too blurred, while the rest of it feels sharper than arguably it needs to be.
Performance and software
- 128GB of storage
- Solid performance at best
- 90Hz display helps things feel fluid
As with my recent TCL 40R 5G review, it seems budget phones don’t have to sacrifice their souls for that 5G modem anymore – and the Oppo A78 5G follows in line with that, albeit with slightly lower benchmark scores from its MediaTek 6833 chipset and 4GB of RAM.
Catching up on some Hearthstone and Marvel Snap was fun, and while I’d have liked a brighter, higher-resolution display, I was impressed by how quickly I could move between apps and games.
Social media fans will no doubt appreciate the 90Hz refresh rate, too, and I found scrolling through my Gmail inbox nice and smooth.
One of the biggest irritants with the Oppo A78 5G, though, is its bloatware. I logged into my Google Account and sat back to let it finalise setup when the device was received, feeling quite smug that it had added a couple of shopping apps and little more.
When I returned 5 minutes later, my second Android home screen was almost fully engulfed by games, social media apps, and more. It’s one of the worst offenders for bloatware I’ve seen, and while it can always be removed, it’s a small hassle that feels very unnecessary in this day and age.
I’ve alluded to it a few times in this review, but the 5,000mAh battery in the Oppo A78 5G is great, and around comparable to the same battery in the TCL 40 R 5G.
What gives the Oppo the advantage, however, is 33W fast charging and the inclusion of a power brick. It rapidly outpaces its TCL counterpart for charging, and since it drains similarly slowly, too, that makes it a great deal more practical for multi-day usage.
Playing some games on the A78 5G saw similar drain to the TCL, too, with 18% for half an hour of gaming, while watching Netflix for an hour drained 12% of battery.
Should you buy it?
You want a long-lasting battery: The Oppo A78 can easily hit a day and a half of regular use.
You want a better display or camera: Sadly, the flat display and unexciting cameras combine to make the Oppo A78 5G a tough recommendation for media fans. See our best camera phones for better options.
The Oppo A78 5G isn’t the kind of phone to get excited about, but it arguably doesn’t need to be at this price point.
It’s a series of small trade-offs (although I’d consider a 720p-plus resolution a must in this day and age) that ultimately do little to change the fact that this is an extremely affordable phone for the average consumer that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of flagship alternatives.
For more budget inspiration, take a look at our selection of the best cheap smartphones.
How we test
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as a main phone for a week
Thorough camera testing in well-lit and low-light conditions
Tested and benchmarked using respected industry tests
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Does the Oppo A78 5G have an IP rating?
No, there’s no official IP rating for the Oppo A78 5G.
Does the Oppo A78 5G have a charger in the box?
Unlike much of the budget competition, you’ll get a 33W fast charger in the box.
Trusted Reviews test data
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (light)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
3D Mark – Wild Life
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase
Oppo A78 5G
First Reviewed Date
Oppo A78 5G
50MP + 50MP
75.1 x 8 x 163.8 MM
1612 x 719
USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Glowing Black, Glowing Purple, Glowing Blue
An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a way to express the capacity of batteries, especially smaller ones in phones. In most cases the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last but this isn’t always the case.
The type of display usually used on cheaper and mid-range devices. Lacks the punch on an OLED panel.
The number of times the screen refreshes itself per second.