OPPO has become one of the leaders in the entry level smartphone market for good reasons.  They have managed to create highly functional phones at the extremely affordable price associated with entry-level smartphones.

Their new addition to this market segment, the A16s looks to be much more of the same and an expected bump up on the previous generation.


The OPPO A16s looks like many of their other entry-level smartphones and the specs are much of the same too. It houses a good-sized 6.52-inch 720P teardrop display with a screen ratio of 88.7%. Don’t expect high-end display performance here with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Although the display is just 720P it is not noticeable most of the time and unless you go straight from a high-end display to this phone the difference will be barely noticeable.

Inside the phone sports 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage — not the highest amount but standard for this segment of the market. There is microSD support for those who need more than 64GB of storage. The 4GB of RAM dos make for a slower than normal experience but it is an entry-level device so to hit that price point something has to give.

The battery is a decent 5,000mAh which resulted in over a day’s usage, even with heavy usage. With such mediocre specs the battery life is always going to be extended, something which is evident here. Other notable specs include a 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC and USB-C charging.


This is not a flagship device so you should not expect flagship performance.  There is a bit of sluggishness associated with the UX on the A16s but that fraction of a second longer that apps take to open or transitions take to occur is not all that bad – especially if you are not coming nor used to using a flagship smartphone.

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor was surprisingly fast and accurate – much more accurate than the in-display one on the Google Pixel 6 (but there is an “update coming soon” to fix that).  No updates required to have the phone perform as it should right out of the box.

Games were certainly acceptable but expect some slowness in faster, more graphics-intensive games such as Asphalt etc.  I was able to play various Galaga games (always a favourite for an old-timer like myself) without any issues at all.  Even though the specs on the A16s are limited OPPO has done a great job optimising them for gaming when required.  To do this they have their Game Assistant/Game Space to help change your phone’s settings and make all the grunt underneath the hood available for gameplay.

In the end though, let’s face it, it’s an entry-level smart phone so we should not expect it to do much – in saying that the A16s outperformed my expectations for the phone with everyday operation not missing a single beat, plodding along through various functions I wanted it to perform.


The rear camera is a triple rear camera setup, albeit a lower-end one. The main camera is a 13MP camera and is joined by a 2MP depth camera and a 2MP macro camera. The depth camera is decent and does add to the portrait images taken — handy when there is less power to run a high-end AI algorithm. Portrait images were ok for human subjects but anything else it struggled — check out the LeBron Funko POP! below. The selfie camera is an 8MP camera and is good enough.

The camera is an entry-level smartphone camera – simple as that.  It is good in decent light but give it a more testing scenario such as low light then it struggles – as every other smartphone in this category does.  

There are no bells and whistles with this camera system, without a dedicated night mode but there is a sticker mode?  OPPO need to get their priorities straight – or maybe they already have, and this is who the phone is aimed at, younger kids?

Don’t get me wrong, the cameras in these phones are improving each and every year as newer tech trickles down to the cheaper phone and as such the decent light image quality in this entry-level smartphone is comparable to something from a flagship maybe 5-6 years ago. For close up photos it is decent but don’t expect any decent landscape shots with this phone — as you can see below the images when zooming were fairly average.

Check out the examples below.


OPPO’s ColorOS has been one of the worst smartphone interfaces in the past but they have improved it immensely over the years and with the A16s running ColorOS 11 on top of Android 11 it gets a relatively up-to-date software version.  ColorOS has a lot of enhancements over stock Android and most of them are present in this entry-level smartphone, allowing the user to customise the phone to their own liking.

Do not expect many/any updates for this phone in the future with OPPO being one of the worst manufacturers for updating their entry-level devices over time.  It *should* receive security updates every few months but do not expect it to ever see Android 12 and if it does consider it a massive bonus (after you pick yourself off the floor after you feint).  

One big bonus for OPPO is the speed of their face unlock – although that is less important with so many of us wearing masks so often now.  OPPO still refuse to add a hardware button shortcut such as a double tap to open the camera app and thus there is no easily-accessible way to quickly open the camera and grab a quick snap – especially if the phone is already unlocked or your face is the unlock method (it unlocks before you have a chance to tap the camera icon on the lock screen).


The OPPO A16s is an entry-level smartphone in every sense of the word. The camera is entry-level and really is only good under near-perfect conditions. The software is decent though and the phone handles most things well, including basic gaming.

This phone is for someone who just needs a basic phone for the most basic of things and occasionally to take photos or play a game or two. For your grandparent (or parent in my case) who isn’t all that tech-savvy or for a younger child who you want to be contactable.

The OPPO A16s is available at a RRP of just $249:

  • A16s in Crystal Black available at Optus
  • A16s in Crystal Black and Pearl Blue available at Vodafone
  • A16s in Crystal Black available at Telstra
  • A16s in Crystal Black and Pearl Blue at leading retailers including JB HI-FI, Officeworks, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman.