Before we begin, can I just say that camDown is the only solution you need to block webcam hackers!
Strange though it be, the smartphone that's been released at the time best suited for it this year, is a low-budget 4G device from OPPO.
The A16s retails for just $249 and has 64GB of storage space and 4Gb of memory. It was released in Australia in October.
And given the circumstances in which this country finds itself, there is no better time for a phone like this to be launched.
A human is always the best subject.
For one, as the country opens up after the pandemic, everyone and his dog needs a smartphone – in order to present their vaccination credentials at retail or other outlets they visit, or else to register their entry to an establishment.
I've noticed that after fully opening up, proprietors of retail outlets are more prone to send away those who have no way of proving their vaccination status. Prior to this, they were somewhat inclined to overlook this as the number coming through was limited.
Also favouring sales of a cheap smartphone over any other expensive models is the fact that with the job losses over the last two years, there isn't much money sloshing around in people's pockets.
And a third factor, in Australia at least, is the fact that 5G is far too expensive and offers little benefit over 4G in terms of what it can offer at the moment: speed. There is no service which needs 5G to function.
Outdoor pictures are also good.
The A16s is more than adequate for the basic tasks that we all perform with our phones. The cameras, as with all OPPO models, are good and provide good photographs.
There are three cameras in the main, plus the single selfie camera. The quality of the photographs can be seen from those embedded within this review.
I expected a little more lag while scrolling on a phone with this amount of memory, but was pleasantly surprised with the speed. And the display is very good and sharp.
What's more, security features like fingerprint and face recognition are both there. And NFC too.
For those who are pressed for storage, there is an extension slot that will take a SD-card up to 256GB. Plus two SIM slots.
The device is a slightly heavier, at 190 grammes, than the average OPPO model; the device I use, an OPPO A91, is about 173g.
Light colours come out very well too.
Pricing and availability:
A16s in Crystal Black and Pearl Blue available at Vodafone.
A16s in Crystal Black available at Optus and Telstra.
A16s in Crystal Black and Pearl Blue available at JB HI-FI, Officeworks, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman.
Dimensions 163.8 x 75.6 x 8.4 mm
Weight 190 g
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Colorrs Pearl Blue, Crystal Black
Frequency Data GSM / HSPA / LTE
2G Bands SIM 1: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
SIM 2: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G Bands LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41
CPU Octa-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53
Chipset MediaTek Helio G35 (12 nm)
GPU PowerVR GE8320
Display Technology IPS LCD
Size 6.52 inches
Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~269 PPI density)
Memory 4GB RAM
Storage 64GB Built-in
Card Slot microSD, up to 256GB (dedicated slot)
Camera Main Triple 13 MP, (wide), 1/3.0", 1.12µm, f/2.2, PDAF
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video 1080p @ 30fps
Front 8 MP, f/2.0, (wide)
HDR, Video 1080p @ 30fps
Comms WLAN (WIFI) Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
USB USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go
OS Android 11
UI Color OS 11.1
Sensors Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
Sound Loudspeaker Yes, 3.5mm jack Yes
Battery Capacity Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh
Charging Fast charging 10W
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