OPPO has pursued a year-long strategy of launching two new F-series smartphones – the mid-range product line aimed at younger users. Therefore, the OPPO F7 has just introduced the successor model – the OPPO F9.
Probably, half a year is not long enough, so the Oppo F9 inherit many points from older products such as a processor, front camera to the design material. So the experience of the product has many similarities with its predecessor, especially in terms of performance, camera and battery life. OPPO has deftly made some of the new features, such as the water-drop notch, fancy back color, extra rear camera, and the VOOC. This is also OPPO’s first mid-range smartphone equipped with this fast charging technology.
Will such changes have made OPPO F9 a good choice in the mid-range segment that has so many noteworthy products? Let us see in the full review.
OPPO F9 specs:
- 6.3-inch FHD+ LTPS IPS LCD display (1080 x 2340) 19.5:9 aspect ratio
- MediaTek Helio P60 processor, 64-bit quad-core
- Mali-G72 graphics
- Android 8.1 Oreo, ColorOS 5.2
- 64GB internal memory
- Expandable storage up to 256GB via microSD
- 6GB RAM
- 16MP + 2MP rear camera, phase detection auto-focus, LED flash
- 25MP front camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, micro-USB 2.0 connector
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- FM Radio
- 3,500 mAh battery, VOOC flash charge
- Price: P17,990
What’s in the box:
- OPPO F9 unit
- Jelly case
- Wall adapter
- charging cable
- SIM ejector tool
BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN
Once you unboxed, OPPO F9 will immediately catch your attention. First, because it carries a notch screen and both glossy touches on its back that look shiny when exposed to light.
It is still made of plastic material, but it doesn’t matter because the quality is good. It doesn’t look cheap at all, but it was not as premium as metal or glass.
The position of the 16MP and 2MP dual camera is located in the upper left corner, accompanied by the LED flash that is right next to it. Slightly lower, there is an oval-shaped fingerprint sensor at the top center and the OPPO logo just below it.
Then around the body, the volume buttons and SIM tray are on the left. It’s a relief because there are three slots, two for nano-SIM and one microSD slot.
The power button is on the right, then at the top, there is a secondary microphone. The bottom is very crowded, there’s a speaker, microUSB port, the primary microphone, and 3.5 mm audio jack.
The notch of the OPPO F9 is very small, which OPPO calls “waterdrop”. This type of notch is not new, and it is quite similar to the Essential PH-1 last year.
It consists of only two components: a front camera and two very small proximity sensors located just above the camera. Speakers are placed on the edge of the smartphone. Often, the notch on other Android phones contains more components including the earpiece, front cameras, light and proximity sensors, and some infrared sensors on fewer devices.
This “waterdrop” notch actually minimize the screen border, as the screen ratio reaches 90.8% and creates a fancy glimpse at a glance.
The second most significant detail in the OPPO F9 is the design on the back with a color transition effect that looks strange but eye-catching. Prior to that, another OPPO smartphone, the Find X, had a different color effect, but it was different from the OPPO F9. The back of the F9 is lightly colored at the bottom and darker at the top, while the Find X backdrops turn from the edges of the smartphone. In addition, the back of the F9 also has the shape of the diamond when tilted nearly the same as the black version of the previous OPPO F7. The OPPO F9 is available in two colors: blue and red, both of which have an attractive back.
The OPPO F9 is one of the smartest mid-range smartphones with the most compact displays. It features a 6.3-inch Full HD display, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. When watching a movie on YouTube, we can zoom up to fill the surrounding black borders, creating a sense of overflowing.
In real life, the screen has a good quality display with high brightness and high visibility even in bright sunlight. Color temperature is slightly blue, while deep black and color display slightly darker compared to the standard Android smartphone. The viewing angle is quite wide. The color and brightness only change slightly when viewed from the corners.
Also, the screen is sharp with pretty good details. Sometimes, the colors and contrasts will automatically change depending on the environment, even if the auto-adjustment function is turned off, so in some situations, the screen will become over-saturated.
The new notch doesn’t look annoying, as it will only get caught up in gaming and full-screen video because it’s going to get in the way.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
The OPPO F9 is available with a customizable version of Color OS 5.2, based on the Android 8.1 Oreo. The F7 Red version has a default theme in red, while the Blue version has its own interface with the corresponding color scheme.
Honestly, we do not really like the default theme, so we often go to the theme store to select other interfaces after the initial installation process. The icon set of Color OS 5.2 is still pretty good, with a bit of flamboyance and lack of ingenuity in the flat material design of Android Oreo. Fortunately, OPPO’s theme store offers quite a few free themes.
The main screen also has a hub information center that gives users quick access to favorite applications, weather information, reminders, or favorite contacts. This feature is quite similar to MIUI or EMUI.
In addition to these new features, OPPO’s familiar software features continue to be inherited, such as gaming performance enhancements, cloning apps, a phone security app that lets you set passwords for security applications and gesture controls instead of basic navigation keys.
For security options, we can use the fingerprint sensor up to a maximum of five fingers. As well, face recognition or face unlock that is capable of capturing 120 recognition points and Al assistance does make the unlock process relatively fast.
The OPPO F9 still uses the MediaTek Helio P60 chip from F7, with 4GB RAM and 64GB memory. Compared to competitors in the segment, such as Honor Play with Kirin 970 or Pocophone F1 with Snapdragon 845, the configuration of F9 is significantly lower.
The Helio P60 is powered by a 12nm process that is more energy-efficient than the 16nm process on the Helio P23. Other components in the SoC, such as graphics processing unit (GPU), chip caching and image processor (ISP) is also significantly stronger. In addition, the Helio P60 is equipped with a dedicated chip to handle artificial intelligence (Al) tasks.
However, based on what we’ve been experienced, F9 is not too bad, with the basic applications such as messaging, calendar, web surfing, the speed of response is very fast. We tried to play some heavy games such as Rules of Survival and PUBG mobile. The result is that the OPPO F9 is still showing smoothly and no lag at all times.
The F9’s front camera still inherits the same from the predecessor. This time, the OPPO F9 did not upgrade the selfie camera resolution with the 25MP, similar to the F7. The changes focus on Al technology, which helps the camera automatically adjust the light color to suit different users.
If you are female, the smartphone will make the skin becomes whiter and smoother, while the male is adjusted for strength with the skin is done just right.
In low light conditions or at night, the camera’s selfie still gives good shooting ability, and quite no noise situation while the subject is naturally beautiful. This is due to the large aperture of f/2.0, for better illumination.
There’s also a dual Al enhanced 16MP +2MP camera with electronic image stabilization. It can recognize up to 16 scenes taken during shooting. The Super Vivid Mode enabled for the boldness of images that require stunning colors such as scenery or photos in low light.
The device can use up to two SIM cards and supporting the Internet via 4G LTE and 3G, including Voice over 4G (Voice over LTE) technology and most importantly, the Dual 4G technology.
The OPPO F9 is powered by a 3,500 mAh battery, with an Al system that manages the battery management system. To use effectively and with the help of a 64-bit Helio P60 processor, you can save energy.
This is the first F-series to support the VOOC Flash Charge which 5 minutes charging that can use for 2 hours of talk time. It also ensures safety using low voltage charging, but with high power. From empty to full 100%, we got only 60 minutes of charging time, pretty impressive!
When tested using the PCMark application, the OPPO F9 lasted at about 9 hours AND 12 hours.
The OPPO F9 is one of the best smartphones in the mid-range segment and has a premium taste and contemporary features. At least not only capitalize on the looks and selfie capabilities, the main camera can also be considered sufficient and also the overall performance of the OPPO F9 does not disappoint.
The MediaTek Helio P60 chipset turns out to be quite powerful for gaming activities, even when compared to Snapdragon 636 though. The features offered also cannot be underestimated.
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