It wasn’t that long ago that we reviewed the OPPO Reno10 5G and although we loved the Reno10, its pricing at $749 is out of a lot of peoples’ budgets.  Luckily OPPO offer phones across every single price range such that whatever your price range is, they have something to cater to you.

Although you may not agree with their definitions of the entry and mid market segment price ranges (I know I don’t but ….. inflation?) you can find something based on price. OPPO state that the A98 5G is an entry-level smartphone but at $649 they may be stretching that entry-level segment claim a bit far.


OPPO has always made great looking phones and this one is no different. The rear of the device is a matte “Dreamy Blue” colour that shimmers in the light with the corners curved very slightly offering a very comfortable feel in the hand.

The rear houses the camera island as you would expect and while the cameras look massive they are normal sized (but still decent).

The right side of the device includes the power button that doubles as the fingerprint sensor, as it does on so many of the mid-range OPPO smartphones (no OPPO, $649 is an attractive price for some but still not entry-level in my opinion). The volume buttons are on the opposite side of the device.

The front of the A98 has a 6.72-inch 120Hz display which is smooth and bright at times. I did have issues with the auto-brightness being far too dark — it is possible that OPPO has set this too low to save battery life but no matter what i set the brightness at, auto-brightness would drop it down to a far-too dark level.

Specs and user experience

We used to list all the specs available on Android phones because they made a massive difference to the expected performance but we are at a point in the evolution of smartphones where even the lower specs can offer decent user experiences, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

I will list the specs because they do make some difference and matter to some people but keep in mind that this is a $649 phone and you shouldn’t expect premium specs nor premium performance.

The OPPO A98 is powered by a very decent Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. With these specs I expected better performance. It was good but not great which is unusual for OPPO and this price range.

How this all translates into the user experience is as expected.  There is some sluggishness at times when switching apps and the apps are not the fastest to load.  In sayin ghtta though it is still a relatively consistent performance.  I have certainly experienced a lot worse.  I had very few complaints using this as my daily driver for a week or so given I am currently using a Motorola Razr 40 Ultra that I purchased recently.

Now I did say very few complaints because there was one issue which was incredibly annoying.  OPPO have scaled the task manager on this phone to kill background apps extremly aggressivley.  My day job has me driving from one site to another where I’d spend 20 minutes or so before getting back in my car.  I normally listen to music or podcasts through my phone in the car and it is simple to restart the playlist again when getting back in the car.  

The OPPO A98 though killed the app in the short 15-20 minutes that I was in the facility doing the x-ray so that I had to reopen the app each and every time I got back in the car.  Phones such as the Reno10, the Razr 40 Ultrs and the Pixel 7 XL did not close the app and started playing the playlist automatically again on Bluetooth reconnection. 

Even allowing the app to run in the background and telling the software not to optimise it did not manage to keep it open.  Annoying but not a deal breaker if this is the price range you are shopping in.

Most apps ran smoothly though, and although they don’t open nor have internal transitions as fast as a premium device they are certainly acceptable.  If you want that premium speed you are going to have to pay premium pricing.


Everyone wants flagship quality photos these days and unfortunately you cannot have that on all phones – actually you can only have it on a few phones.  In saying that though, even the entry and mid range smartphones offer decent image quality in their photos.

The OPPO A98 houses a 64MP AI camera, a 2MP depth camera and a 2MP microlens on the rear and a 32MP selfie am on the front. Not the worst specs around and the results were ok.

I used the A98 almost exclusively on my recent trip to Sydney and as you can see in the photos below the images were good.  Good but not great.  At the same time my wife was using a Pixel 7 to take her photos from almost identical locations it was an easy comparison and it was not pretty with the Pixel 7 outpacing the A98 easily.

Zooming in on the A98 offered a noisier image but still decent quality.  Unless you are viewing them on a 50-inch TV you should be fine showing off photos of your latest trip taken on this phone.

Night mode images suffered but then night mode is often a mixture of hardware and software more than any other type of photo.  Most cameras can take great photos with enough light but struggle when the light levels are low.  The A98 did struggle at times when the light was low and it is something to keep in mind.  

Extremely low light

Not many of us take all that many photos at night is very low light conditions so this is certainly not a deal breaker.  

Battery life and charging

The 5,000mAh battery lasts all day, even with heavy usage — for me, I consider a battery good if I can get a full day of use out of it given I have a heavy user.

The good thing is that OPPO has included their 67W SuperVOOC charging technology so you can quickly top up the battery if you do run low. The charging speeds on OPPO devices are the best on our Aussie market and to me a massive selling point in their favour.

Even with these charging speeds, the battery is rated to last 1,600 charging cycles. Obviously I fell a bit short of this 1,600 charging cycles in this review but I’ve never had an issue in any of the OPPO smartphones I’ve used long term so can confidently say this one will last too.


I’m not going to go over the software yet again.  We’ve covered enough OPPO phones over the last year or two to easily be able to refer you to another article and just have you read that.  It really has not changed much in the last year or so, aside from the full Android updates which OPPO are getting a lot better at.

I was once a big time hater of the OPPO ColorOS software but now the only thing I miss when using it is Google’s Assistant Voice typing (which, for those who use their phone a lot while on the road is a godsend) but they have included nearly everything else I could realistically wish for.

I say nearly, and I’m only putting this in here in the hope that OPPO read it and implement it in future software editions (OnePlus have it so it shouldn’t be much of a stretch for them to add it in), is a double tap of the power button to open the camera.

You can have a lockscreen off shortcut to launch the camera but if you have lift to wake on that “screen off gesture” is useless as the screen won’t be off.  You can  also have a lockscreen shortcut to launch the camera but if you have face unlock on it will unlock your phone before you have a chance to launch it.  That leaves a homescreen shortcut and you may have to go and find it if you are already in an app etc.

If you have fast moving dogs or kids they are well gone by the time the camera launches.  Double tap the power button to launch the camera fixes this (Motorola has a shake phone to launch the camera app which also works well).  

So, OPPO if you are reading this, you have everything else including the kitchen sink available as an option, how about this?

Who buys this?

The OPPO A98 5G offers some decent specs with a decent display but at $649 it is a tough sell given the aggressive task manager and the occasional sluggishness. It is a great looking phone with a decent camera though.

OPPO make some great phones across nearly every single price point. Having reviewed the Reno10 5G, also from OPPO, I can say that if you are considering the A98 5G you should most definitely go and look at the Reno10 VERY closely.

If your budget can extend to $749 ($100 more than the A98 5G) the Reno10 5G offers a much better bang for your buck. I’m also seeing the Google Pixel 7a coming in around the $700 at many stores online making the case for the $649 A98 5G near impossible to make.

If $649 is your absolute highest price limit then you would definitely be happy with the OPPO A98 5G and the experience it delivers.

The OPPO A98 5G, RRP $649, is available in Dreamy Blue and Cool Black at Office Works, JB Hi-Fi and OPPO Australia’s Online Store.