Oppo R5 review

One of the thinnest smartphones in the world

Oppo R5 review
High five for the R5

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Despite launching as the "world's thinnest smartphone" and still being among the slimmest, Oppo is keen to show that the R5 has more up its sleeve. Having built a sizeable user base, the Oppo R5 is one of the firm's first handsets to make it out of its native China.

The OnePlus One has already proven how good Chinese handsets can be, as well as how cheap they can be too, so here's my final verdict.

We liked

It seems odd to say it, but one of the best features about the Oppo R5 is its keyboard. One of the beautiful things about Android is that it is almost infinitely customisable, so Swype is available on nigh on every Android handset.

There are many that will not think to look for a third party alternative, so having a decent stock keyboard is vital and Swype ranks amongst the best.

The quick charge feature is also something that will prove to be vital for the Oppo R5. My tests didn't achieve the same level of charge as Oppo claim, but a 58% charge in half an hour is still very impressive. Given the smaller battery inside to maintain the slim frame, quick charging before you leave work is even more important.

The AMOLED screen of the Oppo R5 is also brilliant. Not only does it help eke out extra power from the battery, but allows for the use of windowed smart cases, and offers very decent colour reproduction. Viewing angles are also very impressive, so you can show off the screen to a large group.

We disliked

The super thin design might look great, but it is less than ideal for holding the R5. The hard industrial edges coupled with the wider footprint mean the R5 digs into the hand a little, making a tight grip uncomfortable. This was somewhat negated by putting the R5 in a case, but that also negates the point of it being so slim.

The lack of a 3.5mm headphone port is also completely baffling. I'm sure that it helps keep the frame so narrow but that is something that I would sacrifice to be able to use whatever headphones I choose. The supplied adaptor is a big help, but adding extra parts makes it easier to lose or break.

Battery life is also somewhat questionable. The 2000mAh pack is less than even the 2100mAh of the relatively tiny Galaxy S5 Mini, and is a lot smaller than the 2550mAh of the full fat Galaxy S6 and the 3100mAh of the OnePlus One. It manages to stumble through an average day's use, but I'd always keep the quick charger in my bag.


There is no doubt that Chinese firms are going to provide more established firms like Sony, HTC and Samsung a run for their money. With the R5, Oppo is making a serious statement of intent and people will take notice of the "world's thinnest smartphone", though it's since lost that title to the Vivo X5 Max.

Even while it lasted that title would have meant nothing if the R5 couldn't back it up with impressive hardware. Thankfully the R5 comes with some decent specs that mean it performs amongst the very best phones of 2014, if only for a shorter period thanks to a smaller battery pack.

If the R5 is a sign of things to come from Oppo and other Chinese manufacturers, 2015 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for the mobile world.

First reviewed: December 2014