OPPO has become the center of attention these days, providing smartphones that easily win over the hearts of people. With the focus on camera and battery, OPPO hits hammer where the nail is. This same mantra can be found in its recent premium mid-tier device the OPPO F9. The phone packs a dual-camera setup, an AI-powered selfie camera, and a 3500mAh battery. But is all these inclusion worth the asking pricing of Rs 45,590? Is it the best smartphone in its price bracket? Well, let’s find the answers to these questions in this full review.
The OPPO F9 is a gorgeous device which packs a glass-on-glass design. This inclusion helps add a layer of premium-ness to the device. The phone also packs a notch but it is unlike anything we have seen before. The bulky, widespread notch has been reduced to just a tiny drop. OPPO is calling it waterdrop notch, which is fitting of its appearance. The cut out holds just the front camera giving it an impressive 84.0% screen-to-body ratio. If you are wondering about the earpiece, fear not as it resides in the housing itself. This is a clever way to incorporate the notch! That said, the housing holding the earpiece feels rather plasticky. I wish OPPO has used better materials to create this housing.
Although the housing is not that premium, the glass back on other hand is. The phone feels great and has a decent size to it. I also love the diamond pattern gradient finish of the phone. It helps to add a flare to the device! You get an option to choose from two color options- the Sunrise Red and the Twilight Blue. The Sunrise Red color option of the OPPO F9 shifts from a Red to a purplish-pink while the Twilight Blue color shifts from a blue to a black. Among the two, the Twilight Blue looks better in my opinion. If I were buying the phone, I would go with this option.
The OPPO F9 takes on the current trend of using a 19.5:9 aspect ratio display with an almost bezel-less look. This gives OPPO the opportunity to squeeze in a large 6.3 inch Full HD (1080*2340) IPS display in a body that is smaller than that of a phablet. A waterdrop notch sits snug on the top of the phone housing only the front camera. Not only the specification but the actual display is quite good. Text and images on this panel look sharp with accurate colors and optimal brightness. Overall, the display definitely is one of the many strong points of the device.
The phone houses an octa-core MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60 processor backed by 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The OPPO F9 was easily able to handle everything that I threw at it. From the basic tasks like scrolling through Facebook to more demanding tasks like gaming, the phone effortlessly handled it all. Speaking of gaming, the phone was able to bust some graphics intensive games like PUPG, Modern Combat 5 in medium settings with ease. Overall, the performance of the OPPO F9 is highly impressive.
The OPPO F9 runs Color OS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. To be completely honest, I am not a huge fan of this iteration of Color OS. I feel the icons look a bit cartoony with a heavy overlay. The animation also seems a bit choppy and out of place! I am a bit surprised as I was totally in love with the Color OS overlay on the OPPO F7. It was smooth, fast, and looked gorgeous! I don’t know why OPPO decided to change it but I don’t like it one bit. A software update could definitely change that! Android Pie may be?
That said, the UI does have theming capabilities. The phone, by default, has a couple of themes on-board with the ability to download more. I also love some of the features such as the Face Unlock feature, clone feature, and game space. They are pretty useful and work as intended.
In the camera department, the F9 packs a rear dual-camera set up combining a f/1.8 16MP and a f/2.4 2MP lenses. The image quality from the shooters was amazing with great details, sharpness, and vibrancy. The 2MP secondary camera, along with some software tweaks, did wonders to add a layer of bokeh to the photos. I took the phone out for a spin and as expected, I came back with some great looking photos. The portraits from the rear camera were great for the price point. I am markedly impressed with them!
The phone also packs a f/2.0 25MP front camera for all your social media ready selfies. The images from the shooter were as good as the ones from its rear counterpart. Selfies were sharp with an adequate amount of vibrancy and details. Even though the phone doesn’t pack a dual-camera setup at the front, it comes with a depth effect mode. Being emulated by software, the bokeh effect on images from the shooter didn’t work as well as the rear cameras. The background blur effect encroaches the subject around the edges. It is especially noticeable around the hair portion!
That said, the camera of the F9 comes packed to the gills with features. Modes like Photo, Sticker, Panorama, Slow-Mo, and Timelapse make an appearance. A new mode with the phone is the Expert mode aka. the Pro Mode. You can use this mode to make an adjustment to various settings such as white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and focus. It also has an interesting Ulta-HD toggle which can be used to get even crisper photos.
Biometrics and others
The F9 has an active fingerprint scanner embedded into its back panel. It works flawlessly as I was easily able to unlock the phone in a jiffy. Besides the fingerprint reader, the phone offers Face Unlock, combining the front camera and software, for an added layer of security. It works surprisingly well to the point that the phone unlocks at the press of the power button. Indeed, a great feature to have!
Connectivity wise the OPPO F9 offers a dual-sim card slot and a memory card slot combination. The storage of the phone can be upgraded up to 256GB from the already 64GB of inbuilt storage the phone comes with. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 4G and USB 2.0.
The phone packs a 3500mAh non-user removable battery. Battery life on the OPPO F9 has been great! I was able to get 5-6 hours of on-screen time with my medium to heavy usage of the phone. Moderate users will easily be able to get a full day worth of battery life out of this device. That said, one major drawback with the phone is the lack of a USB Type-C port. Oppo instead of opting for the new standard has decided to go old school, which is quite a bummer.
That said, the OPPO F9 comes with VOOC Flash charging, built-in, which is amazing. OPPO has finally listened to their consumers and has offered this feature. Truly amazing on their part!
Verdict – OPPO F9: Nepal Reviews
OPPO F9 is an amazing smartphone that looks and performs great! For a price of Rs 45,590, the phone has a lot to offer like a water drop notch display, capable dual-cameras, VOOC flash charging, and an eye-catching design. Selfie enthusiasts, heavy multimedia consumers, and almost anyone looking for a top of the line premium mid-tier smartphone will find the OPPO F9 most appealing. The phone, however, falls shorts in certain areas like the software, and lack of a USB Type-C port. The price too is a bit more expensive compared to the competition out there.
That said, the phone is still an awesome piece of technology that has a ton to offer. For someone looking for a great premium mid-tier smartphone which performs well, charges fast, and can take some kick-ass selfies, the OPPO F9 is a great choice.
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