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Oppo's new budget phone costs $200, but promises good photos

Budget smartphones seem to get better each year, and Chinese companies are at the forefront of that race. The latest addition to the budget battleground is the Oppo A37, a $200 phone with an emphasis on photography.

Starting with the cameras, the A37 features an 8-megapixel, backside-illuminated selfie camera that packs large 1.4μm pixels. Both features should allow the front camera to take relatively solid selfies in low-light environments. Furthermore, similar to the iPhone 6S and several other phones, the A37’s display lights up when taking a selfie, emulating the effects of an LED flash.

Related: This foldable phone from Oppo will get you excited for flip phones again

Turning the phone around reveals an 8-megapixel sensor. Even though the megapixel count is not all that impressive, the camera software stitches together five pictures to form a 24-megapixel image. In addition to also featuring 1.4μm pixels, the rear camera lets you wave your hand in front of the camera in order to start a countdown.

Elsewhere, the A37 is more of a standard mid-ranger, with the phone packing a 5-inch IPS screen with a 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution. Powering the A37 is a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and 2GB RAM. As our review of the Motorola Moto G (2015) revealed, this processor and RAM combination was more than good enough for everyday use, but that was a year ago, so it’s unknown how well the processor will fare in the future.

The A37 also features two Nano SIM card slots, as well as a separate MicroSD card slot to enlarge the 16GB of native storage. The 2,630mAh battery should be enough to make the phone survive a full day of usage, but probably not much more than that. Finally, the A37 runs Oppo’s ColorOS 3.0, based on the aging Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Related: Check out our review of the Oppo F1

Overall, the A37 does not set out to compete with the big dogs, but with a $200 price tag, it does not need to. However, there are many better budget phones on the market these days, so take a peek at the $200 Huawei Honor 5X or Moto G4 line instead. Both of these phones also officially support U.S. networks and the Oppo A37 does not. As such, it would only be able to manage 3G or 2G speeds, which is pretty terrible. It may, however, be a good option in select markets.