Oppo A15

What is it?

One of Oppo’s cheaper smartphones.

It’s powered by the MediaTek Helio P35 processor with 3GB of Ram. You get 32GB of internal storage, with only a measly 17.2GB actually free to use. There is a micro-SD card slot, though, so you can add more.

It has a large 6.5-inch LCD screen and big 4,230mAh battery. There are three rear cameras: a 13Mp wide, 2Mp macro and 2Mp depth lens, plus a 5Mp wide-angle lens on the front.

It’s missing NFC, which means you won’t be able to make contactless payments through this phone. It does have a headphone jack, though, and fingerprint and face scanners to keep it secure.

There’s a protective case included in the box.

What’s it like to use?

You need a fast, powerful processor to make using a phone feel effortless. This one isn’t the best we’ve seen, and it might struggle playing games, but it manages when you’re browsing the internet or running basic apps.

The instructions are too brief to be of much use, but luckily you shouldn’t need to refer to them too often, as this phone is very intuitive to use. The setup assistant is helpful, and the home screen flows logically, with a handy search function for settings if you can’t immediately find the one you’re after.

The LCD screen has good contrast and it gets bright enough to counteract the sun’s glare. However, there are issues with pixel density when you have a screen this big with a fairly low resolution, so content won’t look very smooth or fluid when you’re watching videos or scrolling for a long time. It’s difficult to read when you’re side-on too.

The touchscreen is nicely responsive, making it easy to compose longer emails.

You’ll find the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. It’s comfortable to use and works quickly, as does the face scanner, although it does struggle sometimes when you wear glasses.

How long does the battery last?

A very long time. You’ll get 35 hours of full-brightness battery life, and turning it down slightly buys you an additional six hours.

Results aren’t quite as impressive if you only have time for a 15-minute charge. The battery lasts for five hours before it goes flat, which is around average for the phones we’ve tested.

It takes just over two and a half hours to fully recharge.

How good are the cameras?

Nothing special. The rear lenses do manage to pick up some detail, and the portrait mode works well, separating your subject from the background nicely. It’s best to take pictures in daylight, as low light makes images too dark, the flash loses definition and night mode crops your photo. Also watch out for skin tones coming out too pale and the zoom making the picture blurry.

Front-camera photos aren’t great either. They come out slightly too pale, whatever environment you’re in, and in portraits the head and background separation makes pictures look slightly artificial.

Videos on both the front and rear cameras have nicely contrasted colours, but there are some problems, including jittering, random brightness changes, awkward zoom and inconsistent sound.

Is there anything I should watch out for?

You get a mono, thin and slightly sharp sound out of the built-in speaker, so it isn’t the best choice for playing your music out loud.

Audio on phone calls isn’t great either. You shouldn’t have too many problems when you phone from a quiet room, but background noise makes your voice sound very muffled.

Is there anything else I should know?

The screen doesn’t scratch easily, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep this phone looking pristine.

It’s not waterproof, but it can survive being caught in a sudden burst of rain.

Should I buy it?

No. There are just too many compromises with a phone this cheap.