Oppo Pad Air Review: Best in its segment
Oppo Pad Air is here and this is our Short Review; Should you buy it?
You either love a tablet or you don't see its point. For many, tablets are simply unnecessary weights you lug around in your backpack, or have one thrown in your bedroom – why buy them when you have a smartphone in your pocket? For brands, these people are difficult to convince and hence, they have to innovate to bring more eyeballs! Apple does it for the well-heeled crowd with its iPad range while Oppo wants to do the same with its Pad Air, its first tablet in India.
It may seem an exaggeration but the Oppo Pad Air is more than simply an affordable Android tablet that looks good from the back. Hence, other than its large display, the Pad Air has a clean OS at the helm of a fairly good spec sheet, all of which could make many of the anti-tablet establishment have a look at it. Surely, you get these same features on a Galaxy Tab device but Oppo packs it all in a better package.
I have been using the Oppo Pad Air for a few weeks now and here is what I have to say.
Oppo Pad Air Design
The Oppo Pad Air resembles most Android tablets of late with dual-tone designs. This being Oppo though, the narrow plastic section that lets the Wi-Fi antennas do their thing, gets a fancy finish resembling a sand dune texture. The metallic section has a matte grey finish and thanks to Oppo's Glow finish, it keeps fingerprints and smudges off. Kudos to Oppo for keeping the profile as slim as 6.94 mm and the weight down to 440 grams. The front looks fairly modern with uniform and slim bezels. The sides have tactile keys for volume adjustment and power, while there is a quad speaker setup around.
Oppo Pad Air Display
The display makes or breaks the tablet experience! On a budget Android tablet, you cannot expect to have those high quality IPS LCD displays promising colour accuracy and high refresh rate – you get the bare minimum. Oppo has done more than the bare minimum on the Pad Air tablet. You get a 10.3-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2K and 1 billion colours support.
Unlike most tablets at this price, this display looks bright and shows vivid colours. Viewing angles are decent though and despite the 60Hz refresh rate, it keeps everything fairly smooth, thanks to the 120Hz touch sampling rate. That said, the auto brightness is wonky and keeps the display much dull than the ideal levels; hence you need to manually adjust the brightness to get the best out of this display.
Oppo Pad Air Performance
Instead of using a cheap entry-level chipset, Oppo uses a modest Snapdragon 680 chip – a chip that is quite popular with sub- ₹20,000 4G smartphones. I am not a fan of the Snapdragon 680 on phones, considering its lacklustre performance. Oppo, however, managed to tune it nicely for the Pad Air. Hence, compared to other tablets at this price for general tablet use cases, the Oppo Pad Air is a fairly smooth tablet to use. You navigate through YouTube or check your emails, this Pad Air will work just fine. The Snapdragon 680 shows its weakness when opening social media apps or switching between two of such apps – you will see the jitters in the animation and slow loading times. Gaming on this tablet isn't a pleasant experience too, considering that the most basic games run at their lowest settings and still exhibit frame drops.
ColorOS for Pad seems like an optimised version of the ColorOS 12 for Oppo smartphones but only better! Unlike Oppo and Realme smartphones, ColorOS for Pad does away with third-party junkware and ad-infested first party apps. Hence, you get a clean and sorted user experience, much like Xiaomi's MIUI for Pad. Oppo even offers Android 12 out of the box, which is another rarity in this segment. The UI allows for running two apps at once, and even lets you sync it with your Oppo smartphone. Sadly, I did not have an Oppo smartphone to test this.
Continuing on with this impressive streak, the Oppo Pad Air also has a nice set of quad speakers. The total output maybe just 4W but these are loud and they sound decent; they have strong and loud mids, but average highs and negligible bass.
The Oppo Pad Air also gets a serviceable 8MP rear camera for scanning documents and basic photography. The front 5MP camera will do just fine for video calls and online meetings. Note that the Pad Air only comes with Wi-Fi connectivity; you cannot use a SIM card for LTE connectivity.
Oppo Pad Air battery life
With a power efficient Snapdragon 680 chip at the helm, the 7100 mAh battery on the Oppo Pad Air easily outlasts an entire day, or even two. In fact, with generic tablet usage that involves just attending hour-long video meeting, 1-2 hours of YouTube and binge watching, and basic email checking, the Pad Air easily lasted just over 3 days. That's good battery life and kind of makes up for the slow 18W charging, which takes ages to fill up the battery.
The Oppo Pad Air might seem mundane just like its rivals from Samsung and Realme for a sub- ₹20,000 tablet but it delivers where it matters – the overall user experience. I am not a fan of the Snapdragon 680 and its lethargic outlook to the performance but kudos to Oppo for optimising it well enough for doing basic tablet tasks. You also get a good display, a nice set of speakers, great battery life and an overall lightweight as well as fancy design.
The Oppo Pad Air is then a great pick for someone wanting a tablet device for entertainment and educational purposes. We can also recommend it to those who have long wanted to own a tablet at a reasonable price without compromising on the smart software bits, provided you have an Oppo smartphone in your pocket.
- Good build & design
- Great battery life
- Decent display
- Lethargic processor
Display10.3-inch 2K IPS LCD
Battery7100mAh, 18W charging
OSColorOS for Pad, Android 12
Cameras8MP rear, 5MP front