Oppo is only just beginning to make their presence felt in India and looking at the success Gionee has had, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to establish themselves as a serious contender. We’ve already taken a look at their debut launch in India – the Oppo N1. This unique offering in the high-end segment broke all the norms and added a bit of fun to the otherwise, serious crop of smartphones.
Since then, the company has launched a bunch of different variants spanning across price segments and today, we’ll be taking a look at the other end of the spectrum. The Oppo Joy is the company’s cheapest offering yet. The phone competes with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S Duos 2, Sony Xperia E1 and the HTC Desire 210, given its pricing. We’ll also see how it stacks up against the proven champion, which is the Moto E.
Design and Build
The Oppo Joy conforms to a simple candy bar form factor with a surprisingly good attention to detail. The phone has a certain premium feeling to it and is put together very well. The phone feels sturdy and durable despite its dainty looks. The chrome trim running along the front saves it from looking dull.
The 4-inch, 480 x 800 resolution display is flanked by relatively narrow bezels on the sides. We have three capacitive buttons at the bottom which aren’t backlit sadly. You do however, get a front facing camera along with the necessary sensors like proximity and ambient light sensor.
Button placement is ergonomic and the headphone and charging ports take their respective places at the top and bottom. The rear cover comes off very easily to reveal the two SIM slots and a microSD card slot. Oppo’s fine craftsmanship can be seen under the hood as well as the chassis is very neatly bolted together without looking untidy.
Overall, the Oppo Joy scores high marks for design execution. It might not break new ground when it comes to design but the attention to detail is what and craftsmanship is what really impressed us. This goes to show that the company isn’t cutting corners when it comes to their budget handsets and are maintaining the same level of fineness we first witnessed on the N1.
The 4-inch display uses a standard TFT panel, due to which, the colours aren’t very vivid and viewing angles are just about average. This also doesn’t bode too well under direct sunlight either. However, colour reproduction is pretty good and images and video look quite pleasing.
Despite the heavy skinning of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and 512MB of RAM, we generally had a very smooth experience. It got noticeably better in fact, after an update which downloaded not too long before we got down to writing this review. Oppo’s Colour OS is miles better than what Gionee uses on their phones. The interface is easy to navigate through and the icon set is recognisable to make your way around the apps you want. The interface and features is exactly the same as the N1.
You can choose between a variety of themes and customisations to the home screen. There are convenient toggle switches in the notification bar as well. The Joy also packs in many gestures for activating the camera or taking a screenshot for instance.
The Oppo Joy is powered by a MediaTek MT6572 dual-core chipset. This consists of two ARM Cortex-A7 CPU cores running at 1.3GHz and a Mali-400MP GPU. Don’t let the dual-core fool you as the Joy puts up an impressive score on AnTuTu and delivers good performance in games like Rayman: Jungle Run as well.
Oppo’s music player is quite feature-rich and we like the presentation. You can sort you music in multiple ways, including a folder view. There’s 4GB of onboard storage, out of which 1.3GB is available to the user. The custom video player lets you loop videos as well. You also get FM radio. The loud speaker volume is actually very good for a phone of its size.
The Oppo Joy is a dual SIM smartphone with quad-band GSM and single-band 3G support. You also get Wi-Fi ‘n’, Wi-Fi Display, Bluetooth and GPS. Oppo also bundles a bunch of apps like Files, Backup and Restore, O-Cloud, Power Manager, Flashlight, Kingsoft Office suite as well as features like Data Saving, Guest Mode and Quite Time.
The Joy is fitted with a 3MP fixed focus camera in the back and a 0.3MP camera in the front. You even get modes like Face Detection and Burst mode. The quality of the pictures is pretty mediocre at best. You get some decent shots given ideal conditions but that’s about it. The camera will record 720p video though. The interface is easy to navigate through and fairly snappy as well.
Battery life is one of the biggest highlights of the Joy. The 1,700mAh battery will easily last you a day and half or even more. After breezing through our 8-hour battery test, we had about 44 percent remaining, which is quite amazing considering we went through two hours each of calls, video, music and YouTube streaming.
Verdict and price in India
Priced at Rs 9,000, the Oppo Joy feels a little under spec’d for its launch price. It’s certainly one of the best built phones in that price range and as far as 512MB RAM Androids go, definitely offers the best experience. The Lava Iris X1 is another such option but the inconsistent user experience is what worried us about that phone. With the Moto E coming and going out of stock as quickly as you blink, the Joy is a good alternative if Oppo can adjust the price a bit.
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