Creating the R5, Oppo was obviously laser focused on delivering exquisite design and build quality, and making a sizzling first impression. And well, they delivered that in spades.
The Oppo R5 is one of those few smartphones you can fall in love with at first sight. And its metal frame is as tough as nails and as resilient as a suspension bridge.
And that beauty is not skin deep. The Snapdragon 615 chipset inside turned out quite capable, the camera samples are great and the overall camera performance is rather promising. The AMOLED display is near perfect too.
The phone sure does have its flaws though. Its battery life scraped the bottom of our battery charts, audio quality is nothing to write home about, and you can't listen to music and charge the phone at the same time. It's also got a price tag worthy of a flagship with offering as much oomph in the graphics department, if not elsewhere.
Here are the key test findings that we noted down in the course of our review.
As you can see, the Oppo R5 is far from perfect, except for looks, and the high-end price tag isn't helping its case either. There are no prisoners taken in this price range.
What we mean is that the Oppo R5 can hardly hold a candle to the water-proof Samsung Galaxy S5 or the metal-clad HTC One (M8 Eye). Even the water-proof glass-and-metal Sony Xperia Z3 costs around the same. All three flagships offer, well, flagship performance, along with better imaging skills and battery performance.
The LG G3 and the Oppo R5 have one thing in common that neither of them would like to acknowledge - the questionable battery backup. Maybe that's exactly the reason why the G3 has seen a significant price drop - which in turn spells bad news for the ambitious Oppo R5. And that's if the QHD screen wasn't enough of an advantage. Great couple otherwise, the super slim and the almost bezel-free.
In the super-slim league, the Vivo X5 Max has just got its hands on the world's thinnest smartphone title. It comes with a slightly bigger Super AMOLED, it has even found room for a 3.5mm audio jack and a second slot, which can either accommodate a second SIM or a microSD card.
The battery is a 2,000mAh unit though and its endurance may as well turn even worse than the Oppo R5. The good news is the Vivo X5 Max costs less than Oppo R5, though its availability is rather limited to just a few markets.
The HTC Desire 820 runs on the same Snapdragon 615 chip with an octa-core processor as the Oppo R5, and offers even snappier graphics performance because of its lower-res 5.5" 720p display.
The HTC Desire 820 is quite slim itself at 7.7mm and comes with a 13MP rear and an 8MP selfie cam. It has a microSD card slot, and front stereo speakers - an HTC staple. This attractive package costs about €120 less than the Oppo R5.
Finally, the 5.1mm Gionee Elife S5.1 is almost as thin as the Oppo R5, betting on a dual-glass design instead of brushed aluminum. There is no camera hump, but nor is there a microSD slot or LTE connectivity. Its hardware department (and durability) is inferior to Oppo R5's, but the price reflects it.
So, the Oppo R5 certainly knows its limitations and these are well masked behind a beautiful, luxurious facade. Priced like a flagship but not quite performing like one. More beautiful than most. A hard one to admire from a distance.