OPPO F9 Review – Stunning Good Looks Don’t Come Cheap

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OPPO is well-known for their camera phones and their latest mid-range device, the OPPO F9 upholds this nature. Despite being just a camera phone, the F9 tries to take it a notch higher – I promise that was not intentional, with the whole design of the phone and even bringing flagship features to this lovely mid-ranger.

Having spent quality time with the OPPO F9, I am ready to tell you about my relationship with the device. First, she’s beautiful. You have to agree. Denying that the F9 has the looks is like denying that the sky is blue. The device is beautiful from every angle. Especially the gradient colour, we have to appreciate OPPO’s efforts in trying to make the F9 stand out from the crowd and a similar story continues on the front. Yes, there’s a notch but not your traditional notch. OPPO has shrunk the notch into the size of a waterdrop and this inspired them to name the display, a water drop display.

OPPO has shrunk the notch into the size of a waterdrop

The display stretches out to occupy 6.3 inches of space but despite the large number, the size of the phone remains manageable thanks to the shrunk bezels as has been the storyline in 2018. The downside of this phone’s design? It is made entirely out of plastic and the shiny back scratches really easily. You could use the included case to protect it, at least OPPO thought of that.

OPPO F9 camera

Second to this, we are going straight to the camera. Like every other OPPO phone, this is a camera phone. Clad with a dual setup on the back, comprising of 16MP and 2MP and a 25MP selfie shooter, the output on this phone is very impressive but you will not lack the occasional, “yikes, what is that?” photos. Within the camera software, you will get various shooting modes such as Snapchat-like 3D stickers and an AI mode that automatically detects scenes and adjusts settings accordingly, does it work? Well, see for yourself:

Usability

OPPO F9 selfie

The Achilles hill of OPPO smartphones has always been the software but I am slowly learning that this could be a niche problem with geeks preferring stock Android. OPPO’s ColorOS 5.2 comes loaded with features to complement the usage of the phone, features that one would otherwise miss with stock Android. These features include things like, scanning QR codes and even an option to switch between navigation gestures and buttons.

Performance of the device is handled by a Helio P60 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage as standard. So far, I have not had any issues with how the device runs apps and also gameplay, everything is handled smoothly and for the extended period I have had this phone, I am confident to say that lags will not be showing up any time soon.

OPPO F9 waterdrop screen

My aim was to keep this review relatively short and straight to the point. So to wrap things up, I commend OPPO for including VOOC charge as this is a huge deal! Despite having a sizeable 3500mAh battery that can easily pull through the day, VOOC charge ensures that charging up the phone is done in around an hour, from zero to a hundred. The issue comes in with the use of a traditional USB port. I believe it is time for OPPO to switch.

The OPPO F9 does include a fingerprint scanner on the back that works magically fast, complimented by a face unlock feature that’s faster but less secure.

Another tough pill to swallow will be the price of the phone. With the competition, in the form of Infinix Note 5 and even the Huawei Y9 (2019) asking for less, the Kes.35,000 asking price of the OPPO F9 is a little too much but then again, the F9 stands out of the crowd with its unique features, a waterdrop notch and beautiful colours, so maybe, just maybe, coughing up more means something.

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