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The mid-range Android segment is one of the most competitive in the Indian market. With smartphones that are touching flagship territory in terms of performance and features, the mid-range buyer these days is spoilt for choice amid so many options to pick from. Now, there are several brands that have a strong foothold in this market. For example, Xiaomi, iQOO, Realme, OnePlus, and even Samsung are some of the most popular brands in the sub-Rs 30,000 or sub-Rs 25,000 price bracket. Then, there are brands like Infinix, Tecno, and the likes that don’t share the same level of popularity.
Oppo is a brand that comes in the former category, but the company hasn’t really made too much noise in the mid-range segment, despite being a prominent player in the market. While Oppo doesn’t offer the most high-performance devices in the segment, the company’s focus is more on the overall look and feel and unique features that intrigue a lot of people. The company’s latest mid-ranger, the Oppo F23 5G also comes with a similar aim in mind. I tested the Oppo F23 5G here at Digit’s test lab in Noida for a couple of weeks, and here is what I think about this smartphone:
Oppo F23 5G: Design
Design-wise, the Oppo F23 5G is very similar to its smaller cousin, the Oppo A78 5G that was launched earlier this year. We get a polycarbonate back panel with an oval-shaped camera module. We also get a glossy strip running down from the camera module, which adds a bit of contrast to the back panel design. The polycarbonate back panel, however, doesn’t feel very sturdy and the in-hand feel isn’t very premium. We get two colours with the Oppo F23 5G – a cool black and a bold gold colour, both with a similar-coloured gloss strip running down from the camera module.
Up front, things are rather simple. We get a hole punch display with thin bezels, but the chin is a bit thick. The Oppo F23 5G has flat edges, but the back panel curves around the edges. The display also doesn’t merge into the frame as seamlessly as I would have liked, but that is a very minor design detail. Apart from this, the Oppo F23 5G is quite lightweight. We measured the weight of the smartphone and it came out to be 192 grams, which is exactly what Oppo claims with the smartphone.
Overall, the Oppo F23 5G’s design is very basic. It’s lightweight and looks quite nice with the two-tone gloss strip, but the build quality is not very good. We get a 6.7-inch display, so the size is big, but not too unbearable. The orientation is more on the tall side rather than wide, and the front is also pretty basic with the hole-punch display, which is something we see on pretty much every smartphone in this range.
Oppo F23 5G: Display
The Oppo F23 5G has a 6.7-inch IPS LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The display on the smartphone is just average. We get an IPS LCD display, and the colours seem a bit too saturated. While watching content on YouTube, I found the Oppo F23 5G’s display to have a bit too many highlights, which is not too good. It also doesn’t support HDR content on apps like YouTube and Netflix.
In terms of responsiveness, however, this display is pretty good. We get a 120Hz refresh rate, which just makes scrolling through the menus and other things on this device absolutely slick and smooth. The display is also bright enough. We put the luminance to test using a Lux Meter, and the Oppo F23 5G showed a maximum luminance of 576 nits, and a minimum of 6 nits on a plain white screen. This is not too bad, and I didn’t face any problems with the smartphone’s sunlight visibility.
Oppo F23 5G: Performance
Coming to performance, the Oppo F23 5G has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC paired with 8GB of RAM. Now, this smartphone is priced at Rs 24,999 in India, and for that money, a Snapdragon 695 chip isn’t really considered worth it. For example, you can get the same chip on smartphones under Rs 20,000 easily. Further, smartphones in this range offer far more powerful processors.
We did test these numbers, and the benchmark scores are pretty average. On AnTuTu, the Oppo F23 5G scored 412,540 points, which is good for a smartphone overall, but not for a mid-range device priced around ₹25,000. There are similar-priced products in the market that offer almost double the score, so this feels a bit low for the Oppo F23 5G. On Geekbench also, the scores are just average. The Oppo F23 5G gave us a pretty decent single-core score of 899 points, while on the multi-core front, the Oppo F23 5G was again behind most rivals with a score of 2080 points. In another CPU-based benchmark, the Oppo F23 5G lagged behind many rivals. For example, in the PC Mark Work 3.0 benchmark, the Oppo F23 5G scored 9,720 points. This score, however, is close to what many rivals put out.
Coming to GPU-based tests, here also the Oppo F23 5G didn’t show anything impressive. In the 3D Mark Wildlife test, the Oppo F23 5G scored 1,211 points, which is way less than some of the other devices in this range were able to put out.
The storage used on the Oppo F23 5G is of UFS 2.2 standard. Now, this is not the latest storage standard, even in this range and the numbers show. The read and write speeds are similar to other smartphones that use UFS 2.2, but since this is an older storage standard, it falls behind the ones that use UFS 3.1 or above.
Oppo F23 5G: Battery
The battery on the Oppo F23 5G is a 5,000mAh unit with support for 67W fast charging. Now, the smartphone uses a 6nm chip and so the battery consumption is not all that bad. Over and above, we get 67W fast charging which takes just over 45 minutes or something to charge from 0 to 100. The battery backup on the Oppo F23 5G is great. We played games, watched videos, used the camera, GPS, and pretty much everything to test the battery drain, and the smartphone’s battery backup was impressive throughout. For example, a 15-minute Call of Duty: Mobile session only drained 4 percent of the smartphone’s battery and 30 minutes of watching videos on YouTube on the highest resolution and full brightness also drained only 4 percent of the battery.
Oppo F23 5G: Camera
Coming to the camera, there are a lot of things going on in the Oppo F23 5G. For starters, we get a triple rear camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary shooter, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel microscope shooter. This third 2-megapixel microscope shooter is probably the coolest feature on the Oppo F23 5G. What it does is convert your Oppo F23 5G into a handheld microscope. The results from this look straight out of a microscope. During my time with the Oppo F23 5G, I clicked several things like leafs, leather, metal, wood, and even human skin. Every time, the camera showed details that are just not visible with a naked eye.
Apart from the microscope camera, the Oppo F23 5G’s primary camera performs pretty well. The 64-megapixel sensor takes nice and sharp photos, and even focuses on the subject nicely, in order to give it a nice depth effect. In challenging light, the images are a bit grainy and lack detail, but that is managed well by turning on the night mode, where the camera takes in light from the closest sources, in order to make for a vibrant image.
We also get a 2-megapixel depth sensor for portraits. The portraits also aren’t great. The smartphone smoothens the skins a bit too much, and the details are also not the best. Further, I found the colours to be a bit dull in portraits and the edge detection is also not the best we have seen. At times, the Oppo F23 5G messed up with detecting the edge.
The front camera on the Oppo F23 5G is good. The images are crisp, sharp and vibrant in terms of the colour profile.
Oppo F23 5G: Verdict
So that was our review of the Oppo F23 5G. It is a pretty basic Android device, but comes with some interesting features like the microscope camera. We get a basic build with a polycarbonate back, a hole-punch display up front, and flat edges. The camera is also not all that great, and we get very basic performance, which a sub-Rs 20,000 smartphones can easily put out.
Overall, it is not a smartphone that I can recommend for a ₹24,999 price tag since there are a lot of better options available in the same range. However, if you are not concerned about performance or camera, and want something that offers you a good party trick, then the Oppo F23 5G is a good option