While Apple has dominated the tablet market across the world, high prices have kept the company’s iPad out of reach for most Indian customers. Meanwhile, the mid-segment tab market has barely developed. However, over the last two years, companies have started targeting this segment. As the proliferation of over-the-top platform grows, makers like Realme and OPPO are making a beeline for the sub-Rs 20,000 tablet market. OPPO’s first foray is its OPPO Pad Air. The company expects to win a considerable market share with its Rs 16,999 offering, given the paucity of devices in the range.
There is little you can do with a standard tab design, and OPPO thankfully has not experimented much with it. The bezels are prominent with a camera placed on the right—suited for landscape operation. Like the iPad, there are volume buttons on the right and power button on the top. The back of the tablet has a matte finish, with a tapered design on the top panel stretching the width of the tab. There is a single camera set-up at the back, which provides a slight bump, but that does not make the device unstable on flat surfaces. The matte finish means that you can use the tab without a cover. I did not like the tapered top panel, given the plastic feel, but it did provide better grip.
Screen and speakers
This is the feature that OPPO can really boast about. Although in an era of 120Hz displays, a 60Hz refresh rate may seem underwhelming, but given the price it offers a lot. At a 225 pixels-per-square inch and a 2K display, the picture quality is good. The viewing angles were not a problem either and OPPO does its best to provide as enhanced blacks as possible within the price range. The brightness is also not an issue, but for some reason the auto-brightness did not adapt as fast as one expects.
But that can be resolved with a software patch. The four-speaker system—two on each side—does not disappoint either and complements the display. Although the speakers’ low frequency response could have been better, the volume was loud enough for a good movie watching experience. Screen and speakers are the tab’s USP.
One would imagine the 8MP camera at the back and 5MP front camera would be enough, given OPPO’s quality with its mobile devices, but the setup disappoints. The back camera disappoints with its dull colours and too much correction. The front camera, on the other hand, is ok for selfies, but not too great for video calls. The picture seemed too smoothened out.
Productivity and OS
This has been a problematic issue. The tab is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 system-on-chip, which is not known for its performance. The 4GB RAM does not help matters either. The tab is slow and multi-tasking is a problem. For casual gaming it worked fine, but heavier games were an issue. Moreover, multi-tasking was an even bigger problem; open up four tabs and the device slows down. For someone, trying to navigate social media, this was not an ideal setup. The floating window setup worked well but had limited functionality, as did the dual screen setting. The OS, however, was clean, with as little clutter as possible. I wanted things to be more customisable, but the setup did not disappoint.
This is one area where OPPO does not disappoint, with a 7100mAh battery, the tab ran good for at least a day with heavy use and two with moderate use. For someone binge watching, this is the ideal product with enough juice.
However, given the performance, I would still recommend giving competition a glance.