As we started to dip our toes in the waters of mobile gaming, we ended up playing a few very recent titles with OPPO’s new A77. Time for a closer look at this affordable-yet-viable option if you’re looking to jump in as well.
It seems like the norm in the world of smart phones to launch one or more new models several times in any given year, so it can be hard to figure out what’s the right choice. That’s especially true when it comes to “gaming models”, because many of them are positioned at premium price points – you know, the ones that can also get you a brand new PlayStation 5, or a decent gaming PC. With a bit of work it’s possible to start gaming in a more budget-friendly way though, and to this end we recently published our guide on what to look for when looking for mobile gaming performance. The OPPO A77 was our device of choice at the time, so we figured we’d share more about why that was.
What’s under the hood?
Firstly, the OPPO A77 was only released this summer and comes pre-installed with Android 12 – that’s a good sign in terms of being able to make your gaming last longer. Anyone who’s ever kept a phone for over three years can attest to the fact that apps will eventually start needing an Android version that’s higher than what your phone supports, and it’s no different for gaming apps. In other words, having Android 12 as a base line is going to typically make sure your phone lasts a year longer than phones that launched in the Android 11 era. And OPPO might even upgrade the A77 to Android 13 as well, as they’ll be offering support for at least two years.
And while we’re on the topic of long-lasting phones, another plus for the OPPO A77 is its battery. Its 5000mAh battery capacity is fairly common within its price range, but OPPO’s new model has another ace up its sleeve when it comes to its battery. It comes equipped with 33W SuperVOOC charging technology, and while that may sound like technical mumbo-jumbo to you it means that it can draw a lot of power towards its battery quickly, meaning it fully charged in just over an hour (68 minutes, to be precise). That may not sound like it’s super fast, but consider that this is a battery that can last for 27 hours during regular use and you’re looking at 5 minutes of charging being enough to watch a feature length film – or two episodes of your favorite show. It may not impact the phone’s performance in gaming, but everyone’s lost track of time while playing, and getting rid of that ‘low battery” warning in the time it takes you to grab a drink and a snack is a comforting feeling.
Another feature that drew us to the OPPO A77 was its CPU, which is a MediaTek Dimensity 810 whereas OPPO’s previous model (the A76) launched with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 on board. And even though the Snapdragon is often used a benchmark, the Dimensity 810 easily outperforms it across the board, without draining more battery life. Benchmark tools like AnTuTu typically list the 810 as having 40% more performance, and the in-game performance shows this. Call of Duty Mobile runs smoothly even at its “high” quality setting, with a smooth framerate that rarely dips below 40 frames per second. Less demanding but popular games like World of Tanks can even be run at Ultra settings at a smooth 60 frames per second. The most demanding (or is it poorly optimized?) titles will require you to downgrade the graphics a little, but with a little tweaking we ran Fortnite well and even played Genshin Impact at a stable 30+ frames per second. You’re not going to squeeze Xbox-like performance out of this one, but you shouldn’t expect to either – no phone in this price range can do that.
Camera and other features
A more subtle upgrade from OPPO’s A76 is the A77’s (dual-lens) camera, which we see as a major bonus for those also wanting to use the phone as a lifestyle product, snapping pictures whenever the opportunity arises. The new 48MP camera (an upgrade from the previous 13MP) has better light sensitivity as well, resulting in clearer images in low light situations. While this is great for a party or early evening stroll, it also translates to better gaming experiences for titles that use AR technology that blend real world imagery with gaming elements. Pokémon Go is a great example of this, and the difference was like night and day when we compared our previous experience in the game with how it looked on the A77. Granted – that previous experience was upon the game’s launch on a phone that was a few years old, but it’s nice to see more lively images when heading out into the world.
The OPPO A77 has a few other features that might also interest you if you’re looking at a gaming phone, even though we didn’t mention them in our guide. Unlike the A76, this one has 5G support, which will help you in situations where you’re not connected to WiFi – especially in games that frequently connect to the internet, like the ones with online multiplayer. That connection can also help you with streaming, and for that purpose it’s good to know that the glass screen can display bright colors through images that it renders at a 90Hz refresh rate. Nice for gaming, but especially lovely if you also plan on watching films of series – which you can do in HD.
Outside of gaming, NFC capability (another nice and not too common feature at this price range) is nice if you plan on adding wallets to your phone, and having Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 5 AC Dual-band ensure plenty of connectivity options. And Bluetooth might be a bit of norm, but can be used in gaming environments as well – especially if you want to dabble in emulation and use your OPPO A77 as a PC or retro console with a gameboard of gamepad attached to it. It’s a bit of a hobbyist scenario, but the phone can certainly do it.
When it comes to value for money in a mobile gaming content, the OPPO A77 more than delivers. You’re not going to get the same performance you get with a gaming phone that costs three to four times more, but if (like us) you’re a little more budget-conscious you’ll realize that you’re getting a lot of gaming bang for your buck here. OPPO’s new model represents a great entry into mobile gaming that will last you for years and opens to the door to an enormous library of games to explore. And if later on you get a taste of things and fancy that upgrade after all, then OPPO also has their premium Find range for you to explore. If you want to see if mobile gaming is for you, however, then the A77 will find that answer with you.
For more on the availability and pricing of OPPO’s excellent A77 in your region, check out OPPO online.