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Oppo A54s review

Lagging behind but very inexpensive

The Oppo A54s
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The Oppo A54s is a bit slow and it lacks 5G, but a reasonable camera and decent battery life help it seem better value. Still, this isn't a phone that stands out.

For

  • Reasonable camera
  • Good battery life
  • Inexpensive

Against

  • Slow performance
  • Unexceptional in most ways
  • No 5G support

TechRadar Verdict

The Oppo A54s is a bit slow and it lacks 5G, but a reasonable camera and decent battery life help it seem better value. Still, this isn't a phone that stands out.

Pros

  • +

    Reasonable camera

  • +

    Good battery life

  • +

    Inexpensive

Cons

  • -

    Slow performance

  • -

    Unexceptional in most ways

  • -

    No 5G support

Two-minute review

With so many Oppo phones now out there, you can't help but wonder who the Oppo A54s is really meant to appeal to. It's fine. Just fine.

Cheap at around $190/£179/AU$299, it might seem appealing at first, but for not much more you could have the Oppo A54 5G with 5G support and better performance. That leaves you wondering just why the Oppo A54s is worth anyone's time.

It is at least helped by its camera. With a triple-lens rear snapper, its main sensor is 50MP and fairly competent. Quicker to use than most other parts of the phone, it's ideal for those on a tight budget desperate to have okay photography at their disposal. Even if it does overexpose a tad.

Predictably though, the extra lenses - macro and depth - aren't so great. They're not awful and at this price, you probably don't have high expectations, but they're not special either. As an all-purpose camera though, the Oppo A54s is reasonable enough.

Available in pearl blue, space silver, or crystal black, it's fairly stylish too. It doesn't have the obvious color changing effect of something like the Oppo A54 5G, but there's a certain change when you manipulate it.

It's smooth and comfortable to hold too. Even in this reviewer's small hands, there's a reasonable grip to it, while the 6.52-inch screen still means you have a sizable phone at your disposal. As is customary for the brand, to the left are volume controls while the right edge has the power/unlock button which doubles as a fingerprint reader.

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The screen - by the way - is fine. Again, just fine. A resolution of 720 x 1600 is adequate and it's suitably bright, but it's not exactly awe-inspiring.

There's no wireless charging functionality, but the Oppo A54s recharges reasonably swiftly thanks to USB-C. It also lasts for well over a day's regular use without a problem. That could well be because its performance is fairly mediocre. Powered by a MediaTek Helio G35 processor and 4GB of RAM, even just multitasking can feel slightly sluggish.

It all feels like business-as-usual, kind of like a phone you rush out and buy when your existing Oppo has just had a tragic encounter with concrete, and you simply need something that will do the job for now.

So, the Oppo A54s isn't the best then. Far from it, but it does the job. If you're on the tightest of budgets, it'll do but this is no surprise bargain. The lack of 5G and wireless charging is far from the main issue here. Instead, it's the sluggish performance that will infuriate you. If you're in a bind though, at least it looks good, and the camera is not bad at all.

Oppo A54s price and availability

  • Available now in the UK and Australia
  • Out in the US soon
  • Retails at about $190/£179/AU$299

The Oppo A54s is available in the UK and Australia, priced at £179/AU$299. It's not yet available in the US but it's expected soon, with an anticipated price of about $190. The Oppo A54s is available from all third-party retailers as well as direct from Oppo.

As it's only been recently launched at the time of writing, there are no discounts yet, but it seems likely we could see some modest price cuts down the line. With a choice of three color schemes, it's likely one of the three will end up discounted if nothing else.

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Plastic finish
  • No water or dust resistance
  • Smooth grip

The Oppo A54s feels like a lot of Oppo phones. The company has mastered the knack of offering a budget phone that still feels suitably weighty in your hands. We had time with the pearl blue model, and it looks pretty nice. Bright yet smart, it doesn't quite show up as many fingerprints as phones often do either.

In typical Oppo fashion, the display is punctuated by a notch for the selfie camera. It's placed in the center of the screen but it's reasonably small and easy to overlook.

The fingerprint sensor is placed on the power button on the right-hand side of the phone rather than on the back of the device. It's not as convenient as if it was embedded under the display, but we found it easier to use than one on the back would be.

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The back has the rear camera array of three lenses. These stick out a bit (so you may want to budget for a case to keep them safe) but it's not a huge issue. There's also the ever-present Oppo logo tucked away in the bottom right-hand corner, still stealing a bit more focus than we'd like.

On the bottom there's a 3.5mm headphone jack and a speaker. Don't count on great performance from the speaker but we'll come to that later. Dimensions wise, the Oppo A54s measures 163.8 x 75.6 x 8.4mm and weighs 190g. It's slightly longer and wider than the Oppo A54 5G but that's barely perceptible and it still feels easy enough to hold.

This isn't a phone for an active or clumsy lifestyle as there's no water or dust resistance here, alas, but then it is pretty cheap.

Display

  • 6.52-inch 720 x 1600 IPS LCD screen
  • Thin bezels
  • 480-nit brightness

Generally, Oppo phones have fairly bright displays, and that remains the case with the Oppo A54s. Its resolution comes in at 720 x 1600 (for 269 pixels per inch) so it's not the sharpest of screens, but our time watching Netflix didn't leave us too bothered.

There's a typical 60Hz refresh rate here, as expected for a budget phone, so don't count on any extra smoothness while you browse. Still, we didn't notice any lag while watching videos or playing games.

It's reasonably competent to use in bright weather too.

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Camera

  • 50MP + 2MP + 2MP rear camera
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • HDR support

The Oppo A54s has a camera setup consisting of three lenses. Its main camera offers a resolution of 50MP and a digital zoom of up to 5x. It's the highlight of the trio.

There's also a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. Both are fairly weak in use and not really worth your time unless you're desperate.

The front offers an 8MP selfie camera, which is adequate enough for video calls or selfies. Both main and front cameras also provide video at up to 1080p at 30fps.

As expected, the Oppo A54s is fine at point and shoot photography. When taking photos of the local beach, it captured key details reasonably well. The digital zoom is a bit weak though. At 2x zoom, it's competent enough, but any further than that and definition is soon lost.

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Weirdly, the phone's 50MP mode is switched off by default, but flick it on via the options and you'll get a better image from it.

Also, expect some overexposure. The Oppo A54s provides suitably colorful and vibrant imagery but it's a bit over the top at times. It can make green grass look too bright, for instance. For a memorable snap it's not a great issue, but it will bother anyone looking for more authentic photos.

There's a night mode bundled in but it's not the best. It makes some effort to take better photos in low light conditions than the regular camera mode, but results are usually a tad fuzzy or not quite as defined as they should be. It's really a last resort option.

As is the way with other Oppo phones, there are also plenty of software tools here including filters which provide some entertainment. That said, this stuff can all be ignored, and you'll often get reasonable photos even if you just point and shoot.

Camera samples

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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Oppo A54s camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance and specs

  • Powered by the MediaTek Helio G35
  • 128GB of storage
  • Slow performance

The Oppo A54s uses the MediaTek Helio G35 chipset and it's not exactly fast. Backed up by 4GB of RAM, this is far from a speedy phone.

Such a combination means it's not great at multitasking, while heavy-duty gaming is going to be slow and long-winded to get started with.

In our Geekbench 5 tests, the phone achieved a single-core score of just 172 while it managed a multi-core score of 991. That's really low, which explains the hesitancy you'll feel it provides any time you do almost anything.

For comparison, the slightly more expensive Oppo A54 achieved 524 and 1,664 in single-core and multi-core respectively, while the comparably priced Moto G9 Power managed 311 and 1,371.

The Oppo A54s comes with Android 11 as standard, with Oppo's ColorOS working alongside it. It's reasonably lacking in bloat which is something. We're also appreciative of 128GB of storage, meaning you shouldn't run out of space anytime soon.

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • 5,000mAh battery
  • No wireless charging support
  • Decent battery life

The Oppo A54s has a battery of 5,000mAh, which is pretty good going, especially given the specs aren't exactly power hungry here. The phone easily lasts well over a day even with fairly heavy usage.

The downside is there's no wireless charging support, so you'll need to pull out an unsightly cable, but at least you won't have to too often. Combine the decent battery life with the phone's battery saving modes and you're onto a winner here.

Should you buy the Oppo A54s?

The Oppo A54s

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if...

You want cheap and cheerful
The Oppo A54s is fine and nothing more. If you want a competent and reliable device and speed isn't an issue, it'll do the job on a low budget.

You want a simple to use camera
Not fussed about the finer details? This is an easy-to-use point and shoot camera that means you can spend more time taking photos and less time lining things up.

You want reliable battery life
The Oppo A54s's battery life is pretty good, and helped by its sluggish performance. If you're prone to forgetting to recharge, this is massively helpful.

Don't buy it if...

You're impatient
This is far from a speedy phone, and if you like your smartphones to be responsive, you'll soon find the Oppo A54s irritating.

You want the extras
Want 5G or wireless charging? Steer clear. This one sticks to the very basics.

You need a rugged phone
With no water or dust resistance, if you're a bit clumsy or spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, the Oppo A54s won't be able to keep up with you.

First reviewed: December 2021

Jennifer Allen

Jennifer is a roving tech freelancer with over 10 years experience. Her main areas of interest are all things B2B, smart technology, wearables, speakers, headphones, and anything gaming related. Her bylines include T3, FitandWell, Top Ten Reviews, Eurogamer, NME and many more. In her spare time, she enjoys the cinema, walking, and attempting to train her pet guinea pigs. She is yet to succeed.