Oppo Pad Air review: A low-budget beauty - MrLiambi's blog


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Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Oppo Pad Air review: A low-budget beauty

Oppo unveiled the Pad Air alongside its Reno 8 series smartphones earlier this year. It's not the brand's first tablet, but it's the first one to launch in the UK and Europe.

It's a budget option, coming in at around £239 / €300, but despite the price tag, it features a premium design and a large high-resolution display.

This means that the Pad Air is a pretty appealing option for those seeking a low-cost Android tablet.

We were keen to find out how it performs in the real world, so we've been testing it out over the past few weeks.


  • Dimensions: 245.08 x 154.84 x 6.94 mm
  • Weight: 440 grams
  • Grey finish with 3D dune texture

As we mentioned up top, this is an extremely affordable device, but you wouldn't be able to tell by just looking at it. The design looks and feels premium throughout.

It's a very Apple-inspired design, with its angular aluminium edges, but it does feature a textured panel along one side, which helps to set it apart. Oppo calls this a 3D dune texture, and we quite like it. It looks nice when the light hits it from different angles, and it feels nice on your fingertips when you aren't using a case.

The design is also very similar to the Realme Pad, but we think the Oppo has a little more personality, thanks to the textured finish.

It's pretty lightweight and portable, but still has enough screen space to present an advantage over larger smartphones. With a 10.3-inch display and a weight of 440 grams, it's just marginally smaller than the iPad Air, and a touch lighter.


There's no case included, but our review unit was sent with the optional Flip Cover, which can be purchased separately for around £30. This case snaps over the rear of the device and has a cover that magnetically closes over the front to protect the display. It can be used as a kickstand and has two levels of height adjustability. We thought the case was pretty unremarkable, but it does what it needs to and comes at a reasonable cost.

On the edges, you'll find a power button and volume controls, along with plenty of cut-outs for the speakers. There's a USB-C port and a microSD card slot, which comes in the form of a SIM tray requiring an ejection tool to open. 

There's no headphone socket and no LTE version, you're stuck with Wi-Fi and hotspots when you need to get online.

Display, speakers and cameras

  • 10.3-inch 60Hz 2K IPS display
  • Quad-speakers with Dolby Atmos support
  • 1080p 30fps front and rear cameras

The display is large and sharp with good contrast levels, which makes it a pretty great companion for watching YouTube or Netflix at home and on the go. It's not the brightest panel, at 360 nits, so it'll struggle to contend with bright sunlight but it's more than bright enough indoors. There's no HDR support, but that's not surprising on a device in this price range.

The 60Hz display means that swiping around the home screen is less fluid than we're used to. It works fine, it just looks a lot less smooth than the 120Hz panels found on the majority of modern smartphones. When it comes to content consumption, this never caused any issues.

There's a small degree of configurability with the colour rendering, you can choose between cooler, standard and warmer colour temperatures. This is nice to have, but it won't satisfy the more discerning users. 

Overall we were very satisfied with the display, our only major complaint is that it attracts fingerprint smudges like crazy. You'll definitely find yourself wiping it down a lot if you're bothered by such things. We wondered if matters might be helped by a decent screen protector, but unfortunately, this wasn't something we were able to test.

The speakers are very impressive on this device, there's lots of clarity and good stereo separation (when held in landscape mode). It's great for watching movies and TV shows, dialogue comes through clean and clear, and you get a good sense of spaciousness. As usual, there's not a whole lot of low-end, but the Pad Air outperforms most laptops and we were pleasantly surprised with the performance.

The tablet has a front and rear camera, both of which are capable of 1080p 30fps video. Neither is particularly remarkable, but they'll get the job done nicely for video calls and the occasional snap. For the most part, you'll likely want to stick with your smartphone's cameras, as they will almost certainly outperform the Pad Air's modest snappers.

Performance and battery life

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 7100 mAh battery, 18W charging

The Oppo Pad Air utilises the Snapdragon 680 SoC, so it's by no means a performance machine. This is the same chip found in budget-oriented smartphones like the Redmi Note 11 and its performance has never quite amazed us.

So, if you're a multi-tasking power user, this definitely isn't the tablet for you. However, if you have a more basic set of needs, the humble 680 gets the job done nicely. It's ideal for the kind of person that just wants something affordable with a nice big display to browse the web and watch videos on.

We were pleased to find that the tablet had no issues playing back high-resolution videos on YouTube and from streaming services. It's pretty great for web browsing, too, so long as you keep the number of tabs under control.

We were also pleased to see that the Pad Air comes with a very clean Android installation, free from the bloatware that often accompanies budget Android devices. It runs ColorOS 12, based on Android 12, at the time of writing. It's a fairly lightweight skin, with some useful features, and it doesn't stray too far from the stock Android experience.

Gaming is possible, but you'd be best sticking to less demanding titles. More intensive games like PUBG Mobile will require you to select the lowest graphics settings in order to get playable framerates. 

Battery life was excellent throughout our testing, easily getting us a few days of average use. Oppo says the Pad Air can last for up to 10 hours of straight video calls, that's not something we fancied trying ourselves, but we reckon its claims are fairly accurate.

When it comes time to charge, the Pad Air supports 18W fast charging, and the power adapter is included in the box. This will juice the device up from flat in under three hours. Not the fastest, by today's standards, but not too painful to live with, either.

Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/tablets/reviews/oppo/163577-oppo-pad-air-review

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