While Apple dominates the tablet market worldwide, high prices have put the company’s iPad out of reach for most Indian customers. At the same time, the crossover market of the middle segment is almost undeveloped. However, over the past two years, companies have started targeting this segment. As over-the-top platform penetration continues to grow, manufacturers like Realme and OPPO are carving out a sub-Rs 20,000 tablet market. OPPO’s first step is the OPPO Pad Air. Given the small number of devices in the range, the company expects to win a significant market share with its Rs 16,999 offering.
There’s little you can do with the standard tab design, and OPPO thankfully hasn’t experimented much with it. The bezels are prominent, and the camera is mounted on the right side — perfect for shooting landscapes. Like the iPad, there are volume buttons on the right side and a power button on the top. The back of the tablet has a matte finish, and the top panel has a tapered design that runs the width of the bar. A single camera is installed on the back, which provides a slight bump, but it does not make the device unstable on flat surfaces. The matte finish means you can use the clip without a cover. I didn’t like the tapered top panel given the plastic feel, but it did provide a better grip.
Screen and speakers
This is a feature that OPPO can really boast about. Even in the age of 120Hz displays, the 60Hz refresh rate may seem low, but considering the price, it offers a lot. Image quality is good on the 225 pixels per square inch and 2K display. Viewing angles weren’t a problem either, and OPPO does its best to provide the best possible blacks in its price range. Brightness isn’t an issue either, but somehow the auto-brightness didn’t adjust as quickly as expected.
But this can be fixed with software patches. A four-speaker system—two on each side—doesn’t disappoint and complements the display. Although the speakers’ low-frequency response could have been better, the sound was loud enough for a good movie-watching experience. The screen and speakers are the USP of the tab.
Given the quality of OPPO’s mobile devices, one would imagine that an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera would be sufficient, but the setup is disappointing. The rear camera disappoints with its lackluster colors and too many fixes. The front camera, on the other hand, is decent for selfies but not so good for video calls. The picture looked too smooth.
Performance and OS
This has become a problematic issue. The tablet runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 system chip, the performance of which is not known. 4GB of RAM doesn’t help either. The navigation is slow and multitasking is a problem. For casual games it worked well, but heavy games were a problem. On top of that, multitasking was a big problem; open four tabs and the device slows down. For someone trying to navigate social media, this was not an ideal setup. The pop-up window setting worked well, but had the same limited functionality as the dual screen setting. The OS, however, was clean, with as little clutter as possible. I wanted to customize things more, but the setup didn’t disappoint.
This is one area where OPPO doesn’t disappoint, with a 7100mAh battery, the Tab lasted at least a day with heavy use and two with moderate use. For anyone to see, this is an ideal product with enough juice.
However, with performance in mind, I’d still recommend looking at the competition.