Oppo A37 - a switch from Samsung experience

I have been using Samsung Galaxy series since the start of smartphone age, with signing of 2-year contracts. However, I don't make much calls or sms so I have decided to get a no-contract sim when my contract ended. M1 is offering some pretty good SIMs only deals. To get the phones at a even cheaper price, sign a 12 month contract and I can get call, sms, data bundled under $25. Bye Singtel...
Attractive as they are, the new Samsung S7 / S7 edge come with exorbitant prices, especially without a contract. I was looking at functionality and pocket-friendliness, not so much on high-tech fanciness and trend. I thought of getting a Xiaomi note 4 as the reviews were pretty good. But... it's SOLD OUT. =.= (My post is back-dated by 1 month so it could be in stock now.) What caught my attention next was Oppo (hokkien saying 'no fish, prawn also can') with a price well within my budget and of course a sales person to answer my queries. From afar it looked strikingly like an iphone 6, hmm... their tactic for fighting giants and catching eye balls?

I was thinking between Oppo R9 and Oppo A37 but eventually decided on A37, the 'budget' model, just to try out the Oppo experience without making too big a hole in my pocket. It runs on ColorOS android 5.1.1 and the candybar phone is light and sleek for not-so-big palms. The package also comes with a screen-protector (on phone) and a transparent phone casing.
Ease of navigation on screen is similar to Samsung and it supports all my frequently used apps / widgets just as well. Some differences are:

1) It's installed apps all go to the home screen instead of an app drawer. They can be organised into folders by dragging the icons onto each other. But I still think that clutters my screen.

2) To bring up settings, I need to find the '3 dots' in the app screen instead of using the lower left touch button. It's lower left touch button is for bring up and clearing running apps (I will touch on that more later.) The touch buttons won't light up when touched.

3) There is no notification LED. A little annoying when I charge my phone cos I like to see the light turn green when fully charged, also it's easier to get my mom to switch off the charging for me should I be sleeping. To get around that, I downloaded Ecocharger which would sound an alert ringtone when the phone is charged.

4) The dial screen is white instead of black. No big deal but I seemed to be too used to black dial screens.

5) Easy to use Theme store app. Maybe I am not that up to date with Samsung's apps and have never got down to changing its theme. It's quite fun and easy to change themes on Oppo.

6) No choice of resolution on it's 8mp back camera. (I like to set lower resolution when just taking pictures to show people on whatsapp chats.) But I must give credit to its picture quality and some cool camera functions like create GIF, beautify...

7) I am not too pleased with the original photo gallery which does not sort by Albums. So I downloaded an app to help me sort out my numerous pictures.

8) Can take lengthy screenshot by pressing vol up and power button together.
There are 2 tech 'glitch' which greatly reduced my user-experience but fortunately I managed to rectify after some online forum searching:

1) One-handed operation function that shrinks the screen
This is supposed to be a cool feature if the phone has big screen and you have small hand. However, it irks me very much by shrinking the screen when I didn't intend it to and that is quite often. To turn it off, go to Settings --> Gesture and motion feature, tap it then scroll to single hand operation and switch it off.

2) Apps cannot be whitelisted to run in background

I like to rely on apps that have notification features, such as reminder alerts to do certain tasks, Ecocharger, Colornote etc. However, once I closed the apps, the notifications from them would get turned off too so I am unable to get any reminder alerts and McDonald alarm. :( So I was irritated for a few days until I figured out how to 'pin' apps to keep running.

First you must ensure Notification has been enabled for them, you could do so by going to the App Management screen or go Settings --> Notifications.

Make sure those apps are currently running. Then tap the lower left button (square) to bring up the running apps. If you take a look carefully, you can spot a mini white lock icon at the top left corner of some apps. That is the 'pin'.

If the apps do not have the lock icon, it means that when you clear running apps they would get shut down totally (no notifications anymore). How to get the apps pinned? Instead of tapping on the app which would open it up again, touch and pull it downwards. When you released it you should be able to see the lock icon appear or disappear.

You could do that for as many apps as you want but I do not recommend doing so for more than 3 apps. Simply because it would eat into the RAM which slows down your phone's response speed when you are using other apps.

That's all for my 2-cents worth of Oppo review and guide. I would be sticking with my Oppo for the next 12 months at least, perhaps I would discover new things as I get accustomed to it. I have added a new post with tips on mass deleting photos on Oppo here

Please feel free to share if you have other hot tips!


  1. Hi I happened to chance upon your blog and read your Oppo A37 entry.
    How is your experience with this phone so far? Any technical glitches?

    1. Hi Vee,
      There's no glitches so far. The phone's GPS is not very responsive though, so if you play Pokemon Go it may be a bit irritating.
      Hope my review helped. :)

  2. Hi, do you have any issue for your whatsapp to be popped up when you are in your locked screen? Will the incoming msg pop up while you are on locked screen?

    1. Hi Babelicious, I have no issues with msg pop up. The msg pop up setting is to be changed from Whatsapp application itself.

  3. thx..your review is detailed n useful!

  4. Hi, do you have any issue when comes to Straits Times or other news prompt? I realise i will be prompted for straits times when I m connected to wifi. Why is it when I have no wifi but with data, I won't get any prompt? Do you have any idea?

  5. Thanks for your review. It made solve the problem with whitelisting :-)

  6. Great review! Helped to solve my problem with whitelisting. Cheers

  7. You have to download a messaging app. same goes for the contacts interface.


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