OPPO A18 4G – a basic smartphone at a great price (review)

The OPPO A18 4G is a basic smartphone with pretty much everything you need at a price you can afford. Add OPPO’s 2-year warranty, two Android OS updates and three years of quarterly security patches, and it is a class-leading low-cost phone.

OPPO is a master ‘cookie-cutter’, turning our bright, colourful, and well-made phones using a mix of components from other models. The OPPO A18 4G is part A17 and part A58, blended with no quality compromises. At $219, it is a great entry-level phone for city and suburban use.

Congratulations to OPPO. In the 2024 Canstar Blue Smartphone Awards, OPPO was the only brand to score a perfect five stars on ‘Best Value For Money,’ as voted on by Australians.

Australian Review: OPPO A18, CHP2591, 4G, 4/128GB, dual-sim and dedicated micro-SD

WebsiteProduct page
ColoursGlowing Black | Glowing Blue
FromAuthorised retailers JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys,
Warranty2-years ACL
Made inChina
CompanyOPPO is now #2 in Australia for Android smartphone market share. It has achieved that through excellent product and after-sales service.
MoreCyberShack OPPO news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below.  You can click on most images for an enlargement.

This is a mini-review. We still do over 70 tests but only mention relevant items. Entry-level phones should at least score a pass mark against each category.

First Impression – another low-cost, well-made phone – Pass

It is OPPO’s typical sandwich build – square sides, PMMA back and glass front, now with IP54 dust and water resistance. It has a 3.5mm 4-pole earphone/mic jack, dual SIM, dedicated microSD to 1TB and a new 60/90Hz 720 nits High Brightness Mode for better sunlight readability.

Screen – Pass

It is a 1612 x 720 (720p), 269ppi, 60/90 Hz stepped refresh, 8-bit/16.7m colour LCD screen. It is 720p to extend battery life.

Brightness is 720nit in high brightness mode (tested 700) when set to automatic high brightness mode and up to 500nit when off. The screen has good colour accuracy and plays 720p SDR streaming content. It is more daylight-readable than most.

Processor – Pass

The MediaTek Helio 85 is not going to win any speed awards. It is very similar in speed to the Qualcomm SD 662, UNISOC T610 and Samsung Exynos 9611. You get adequate speed to do email, browse, and play browser-based, low-frame-rate games.

It has 4GB RAM with a 4GB virtual swap space, effectively 4G fast and 4GB slow RAM. The 128GB is more than the 32 and 64GB competitors.

Comms – Pass – no NFC

Wi-Fi 5 AC, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, and USB-C 2.0 with OTG cut and paste. It is missing NFC for Google Pay, but that is not expected at this price.

Wi-Fi Tests – Pass

We measure at <2m from the TP-Link Deco BE85 Wi-Fi 7 BE22000 tri-band mesh router, 5m and 10m.

Below: Internet download and upload speeds reflect the NBN 100/20Mbps service – excellent.

5GHz Tx speeds (to router) are a maximum of 433Mbps full-duplex. The unusual reading for 2m (370Mbps@2m and 415Mbps at 5m) is due to the router antenna design that creates a kind of blackspot around it. That is no issue. The Rx speeds (from the router) are excellent reaching 433Mbps.

4G – Pass

It finds the first tower at good signal strength.

  • -74dBm (lower is better) 39.8pW
  • -78dBm 15.8pW
  • -84dBm 4pW
  • -85dBm 3.2pW
  • -87dBm 2pW

This is a good strong signal. While it peaked once at 39.8pW it typically was -84 to -87 and 2-4pW.

As usual, the MediaTek modem cannot find the adjacent three towers, so this phone is only for city and suburban use or areas with good tower coverage.

Download/Upload/ping speeds are typical of the 3-bar test location

Battery – 5000mAh – Pass

The 5000mAh battery has a 5V/2A/10W charger inbox.


  • Video loop: 13 hours 48 minutes
  • PC Mark battery test (Modern office): 18.75 hours
  • Charge: 2 hours 52 minutes

With typical use, it will last two days between charges. Other tests show that the processor chews up battery life when under load.

Sound – clear voice only – Pass

It has a single amplifier that drives the mono earpiece in phone mode, or if in hand-free or music mode and a down-firing bottom speaker.

The maximum volume is 80dB (average). It has no low-mid-high bass, late mid and treble, making this Analytical: (bass/mid recessed; treble boosted) – crisp but unpleasant as it makes most music sound tiny or hollow.

Bluetooth 5.3 has 16-bit/44,100/48,000Hz SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD (royalty-free versions) and LDAC. Music over earphones is good, with decent left/right stereo separation.

Build – better than many and 2-year warranty – Pass+

IP54 water and dust resistance, toughened glass front, plastic back and frame are well made and have a nice feel in hand.

OPPO’s strength is its two-year warranty and excellent after-sales support.

Android 13 – unusual at this price – Pass+

It gets two IS upgrades and three years of quarterly security patches. ColorOS is a light touch over Android and is easy to use. There are OPPO alternatives to Google Apps, but we recommend you use Google as it makes upgrading to a new phone easier.

OPPO has now put all the bloatware into an optional install – thank goodness. Fear not – there are still OPPO variants of Google apps (use Google where possible), an App market, Booking.com, Facebook, Linkedin, TijTok and more that you can remove and reclaim storage space.

OPPO A18 4G Camera – good in daylight – Pass

OPPO appears to have taken a step back with an 8MP main sensor and a 2MP mono sensor. But the reality is that you need a far more powerful processor and some AI to bin a larger sensor (32MP bins to 8MP). OPPO DOES the best job with what it has. The 2MP mono sensor is used for depth and to enhance the 8MP results.

The front camera is 5MP and again reflects OPPO’s camera prowess, doing a reasonable job without the AI fakery.

Think of it as a good point-and-shoot camera for day and office light.

OPPO A18 4G Camera Comments

  • 1X – Excellent point-and-shoot with some HDR highlights and definition. Natural colour.
  • 2X – Reasonable representation but missing a lot of detail, and the background is quite noisy.
  • 5X – Don’t go there.
  • Macro: None
  • Office Light: Decent shot of dog with good blacks and natural colours
  • Office Light Bokeh: The AI cannot define a face, so it cannot take a bokeh shot.
  • <40 lumens: Quite bright but no details and blown out monitor screen.
  • Night Mode: Minor improvement but not enough to justify using.

CyberShack’s view – The OPPO A18 4G rocks for not much roll

While we would all like a $1000+ phone, the reality is that most sub-$200 phones make a few too many compromises on things like very low power processors, smaller batteries, less RAM, smaller storage, use of 32-bit Android, etc.

OPPO has not compromised – 4+4GB RAM, 128GB storage, decent (if older) processor, 90Hz/720p screen, 64-bit Android 13 and 5000mAh battery. The only thing missing is NFC.

It gets our recommendation for the price.


The $200-300 segment has OPPO A38 ($259), OPPO A58 ($299), OPPO A76 ($299) and OPPO A78 ($329 but $299 on run-out). These all have NFC. The pick is the A78 runout with a Qualcomm SOC and better phone signal strength. Still, that is $80 more.

Motorola has the G14 ($229), G54 ($249). The Motorola G54 – Under $300 for a 5G smartphone has a MediaTek processor, NFC. And 5G is the pick from this brand.

OPPO A18 rating

Rated as an entry-level device.

  • Features: 85 – everything except NFC for Google Pay
  • Value: 90 – excellent value with a 2-year warranty, good OS upgrade, and security patch policy.
  • Performance: 80 – Adequate – certainly a cut about the UNISOC.
  • Ease of Use: 90 – Anrdoid 13 with an upgrade to 15 and ColorOS 13.1 is easy to use.
  • Design: 85 – glass slab









Ease of Use





  • Features punch above price
  • Respectable day and office point-and-shoot camera
  • 2+2+3 Warranty, OS upgrades, and quarterly security patches
  • Decent two-day battery life
  • 720p screen has 90Hz refresh and great colour


  • No NFC (not expected at this price)