A smartly-priced premium handset that costs fifty percent the cost of the telephone demigods
Flashy design and build
Big, bold screen
CPU and primary camera are ‘only’ mid-range performers
Uses old Android
ColorOS 3.0 appears excellent, but has some quirks
The Oppo R9 is some an eye-opener. For S$649 you get yourself a 5.5in, all-metal mobile phone with a style the iPhone 6s Plus follow-up could have a few tips from.
There are some quirks to put on with plus some components that are aren’t really top-end, but if you need a phone that feels as though S$1000 and costs S$649, you can’t do far better.
LOOK FAMILIAR? Oppo R9
Let’s get this one out of the way early: yes, I know the Oppo R9 looks like the iPhone 6s Plus. The colour, the lines, the 5.5in screen, and curves are all pretty familiar, with just a slightly different character to them.
Apple 1, Oppo 0? Not quite. This design is actually more advanced than the iPhone 6s Plus in some ways.
Apple’s big ’un is a lovely phone, but it isn’t half, well, big. The Oppo R9 slims down the screen surround and the bulk of the phone, avoiding the ‘cor blimey, no more skinny jeans, eh?’ effect that comes with buying a 6s Plus. All told, the R9 is usually more than 6mm shorter, 3.5mm narrower and 0.7mm thinner than Apple’s phablet.
Before you tell me I’m making a point of nothing, one of the commonest mobile complaints I’ve heard over the last year or two has been people moaning that while they enjoy the iPhone Pluses, they see them just a little too large. The Oppo neatly sidesteps that complaint.
There’s hardly any to dislike about the Oppo R9 design if you don’t really will need to have originality. It appears great, feels brilliant and isn’t too large taking into consideration the screen size.
NERD CULTURE Oppo R9
Thinking Oppo may have only stuffed the R9 with the least expensive memory it might find, We revved its engine a little to observe how fast it will go: it reads in 164MB/s and writes in 138MB/s. For individuals who don’t sit around viewing how fast their USB stay are (and if that’s you, you’re really missing out), that is quite nippy, and similar with some top-end phones. Actual cheap phones’ storage is as slow as a tenth of this.
The Oppo R9 is starting to sound like a sweet deal, and we’ve not finished yet. It also has a fingerprint scanner. Like the Galaxy S7, it sits on a clickable Home button down below the screen. You need actually to click the button to unlock the phone from sleep, but it’s virtually instant in doing so. The times of crummy scanners really are over.
Unlike its smaller, cheaper brother the Oppo F1, the R9 has tiny light-up soft keys too. Their style is spot-on: they are invisible you should lit-up, subtle if they are.
For pure appear and feel, this phone may sidle up to any in the world. And even though you do contact it an iPhone 6s Plus rip-off, you’d need to admit it’s a good one.
A BRUTE OF AN OLED
The first point of which you notice the littlest hint of a crack in the Oppo R9’s glossy S$1000-a-like coating is its screen. It’s big; it’s bold, and it’s sharp. However, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge’s is way better: no great shock.
On the nice side, the Oppo R9 includes a 5.5in 1920 x 1080 AMOLED display screen. And it’s mainly lovely to check out: I possibly could watch movies and play video games on this point all-day-long. Well, on a long airline flight at least.
One obvious benefit of using an OLED screen rather than an LCD one is that it still looks amazing in dark rooms, where LCDs can end up looking a little greyed-out. For those who indulge in a bit of pre-sleep Instagram-crawling or late-night Netflix binges, the R9 even has an Eye Protection mode. This is comparable to Night Shift in iOS (itself far from the first to do this), cutting out a lot of the blue light wavelengths that may disrupt your sleepy-bye-byes pattern.
It’s not automatic in the Oppo, but could be accessed from the drop-straight down menu pretty quickly. Plenty of people are likely to disregard the feature entirely, but I love the manual strategy as Eye Security will make the Oppo R9 display screen look a little orangey. A little like when you soak a bit of paper in tea to create it look previous.
Just screen snobs should worry concerning this, and turbo-charging color appears to be the ‘in’ thing right now in any case. The R9 also doesn’t provide turbo-brightest of the greatest Samsungs. I dug out a screen-measuring gadget to see exactly how bright these displays go, then put the R9 and the Galaxy S7 next to an 1800-lumen light to roughly simulate a daytime stroll out on the surface of the sun.
Where the Oppo R9 can go to 348cd/m brightness, the S7 goes up to 470cd/m. The Oppo will be good out on a sunny day, but the top Samsungs will become better. Are these checks fair when the equivalent Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge costs twice the price? Not exactly, but when this telephone seems to promise all of the equipment at 50% of the purchase price, you should know what you’re obtaining.
Still, up to now I’m impressed. Non-E of the little display screen bits need the place you off. That is still a top-quality display.
COLOR ME AMBIVALENT
Last time We reviewed an Oppo phone, the ordinary F1, We had a few complaints on the subject of the ColorOS software applied to the top of Google Android. Right, here we get you a new edition, though, 3.0. It sorts out most of the dated visuals of the previous v2.1, no longer feels a little laboured with its screen animations.
ColorOS feels ideal in an important sense: it’s fast. Using it side-by-part with the S7, it also makes TouchWiz look complicated, even though Samsung offers spent the last two years pruning back some of its software extras.
What many of you might not like is that the Android apps menu has gone. Vanished. So while your apps get put on a home screen, there’s no automatic arranging. I tend to touch barely my home screens, therefore, like to depend on the alphabetic apps menu entirely on most Google Android phones to avoid the handset learning to be a digital thrift store. But I can’t do this here.
ColorOS 3.0 also runs on the comically poor lock-screen design by default, displaying a random picture from a range whenever you convert the R9 on. You can find an image of a sofa, accompanied by a half-naked model, accompanied by BoJack Horseman. Just as much as we like BoJack, it’s all faintly embarrassing.
Still, We find general performance to be on-par with the more costly phones, despite the fact that the Oppo R9 has a deceptively humble CPU: it uses the MediaTek P10, not a processor we see around much.
While the P10’s eight cores help to make it sound like a beast, the fact remains that they’re all lower-power Cortex-A53 cores. It’s a mid-range processor rather than a true high-end one, comparable with the Snapdragon 616 used in the Oppo F1.
While the CPU brain has similar power to Oppo’s own Snapdragon-powered F1, the GPU here is significantly better. 3D Mark’s Unlimited test proves it: the F1 scores 8992, the R9 11079. I’d call this sort of spec ‘enough for 1080p,’ especially when it’s matched with fast storage space and an enormous 4GB RAM. Want evidence? It operates high-end 3D flying video game Storm Raiders at Ultra High images configurations at totally playable speeds.
Of training course, I’d get very miffed if Oppo tried to manage with the MediaTek P10 in a S$1000 phone. No, there’s not just a big difference at this time, but there could be two years down the road. However in a S$649 phone, it’s a lot more than acceptable.
MAKE SOME NOISE
The Oppo R9’s primary camera is like the CPU: it’s good, however, not on the same level as real top-end mobiles such as the Galaxy S7 and LG G5. This is something I’ve seen first-hand, after taking both the R9 and Samsung Galaxy S7 out on a shoot.
The Oppo R9 feels fast to shoot, which is a big part of making using a phone camera fun. It slows down a bit in a bad lighting but doesn’t all of a sudden become a shutter lag-y mess. It may not be the very greatest video camera in the universe, but I’ve loved using it.
The camera app is solid too. Like the design, it’s fundamentally nicked from Apple but includes a couple of worthwhile extras including a complete manual setting (that just lacks correct granular shutter quickness controls)
FRONT AND BACK
Acquiring the Oppo R9 out in to the real life, it shoots generally great pictures, maintaining get the direct exposure and white balance more-or-less right. Nevertheless, though it includes a 13MP sensor, some details and sound isn’t quite as effective as that of the most recent 12-megapixel phones. That’s as the R9 includes a quite regular mid-range sensor, whereas the brand new era of 12MP phones makes use of their lower quality to provide better low-light efficiency and powerful range.
Contrast isn’t while strong since it is in the higher-end group, either, or the Nexus 5X/6P. It can appear to be better than the main one in the Oppo F1 from the outcomes I’m obtaining, though. For final evidence, this isn’t a genuine high-end set up: video capture tops out at 1080p.
The real eye-opener of the Oppo R9 is that its front camera is higher-resolution than the rear one. Yes, really: round the front, it has a 16-megapixel sensor, the highest-resolution selfie-cam I’ve seen in a phone. In good light, it’ll bring out every little follicle with unforgiving clarity and make you look more exhausted than you’ve ever appeared on the way to function. Its fast f/2 lens can help here, too.
However, I do not really see an enormous difference in length over a few of the great recent 8-megapixel selfie cams. It appears to employ a slightly weird processing algorithm that’s pretty energetic about sharpening some regions of the picture and smushing others. Put simply, it’s an excellent selfie camcorder, but don’t proceed considering it’s the very best in the globe because it offers, even more, megapixels than the feeling.
BACK AGAIN TO PLANET EARTH
The selfie camera is the one area where the Oppo R9 plays specs Top Trumps. Its battery is less of a show-off: you get a 2850mAh unit, which doesn’t sound that big for a phone this size.However, I have noticed the Oppo R9 uses some pretty aggressive techniques to get to this level of stamina. For starters it’s intensely strict about managing backgrounds activities, being slower to pick up on notifications most of the period and going so far as to change my podcast app 5 minutes following the screen’s switched off, like clockwork. You don’t get a lot more irritating than that, which is usually after all the app-specific optimisations have been switched off.
One thing you may see people complain about a bit more is the Oppo R9’s microUSB charging socket, given that 2016 is meant to be the year we all shift over to USB-C. It’s not worth getting too upset over, though, as it means you can also use your old phone charger cables.
If you do use the official R9 charger, you get VOOC fast charging too. This doubles current from 2A to 4A and gets your phone to near-100% charge in half an hour. At this point, I’d rather have that than USB-C. Just having the connection doesn’t mean you get any benefits such as fast charging or loads more bandwidth: a common misconception.
The last small extra Oppo has squeezed into the R9 is an extremely pretty good speaker, as ordinary as it might appear down there on the underneath of the telephone. Like the smaller sized Oppo F1, it’s not likely to problem an iPhone 6s Plus on tone. Nonetheless, it does proceed wonderful and loud.
OPPO R9/F1 PLUS VS. HUAWEI HONOR 5X VS. XIAOMI REDMI 2
|Oppo R9/F1 Plus||Huawei Honor 5X||Xiaomi Redmi 2|
|Display size, resolution||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.98 x 2.93 x 0.26 in||6 x 3 x 0.32 in||5.98 x 2.99 x 0.33 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||151.8 x 74.3 x 6.6 mm||151 x 76 x 8.2 mm||152 x 76 x 8.3 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.11 oz (145 g)||5.6 oz; 158 g||5.64 oz; 160g|
|Mobile software||Android 5.1 Lollipop||Android 5.1 Lollipop||Android 5.0 Lollipop|
|Video capture||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Processor||2.0GHZ octa-core Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10||1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615||2.0GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6795 Helio X10|
|Expandable storage||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 32GB|
|Battery||2,850mAh battery (nonremovable)||3,000mAh (nonremovable)||3,060mAh battery (removable)|
|Fingerprint sensor||Home button||Back cover||None|
|Special features||Fast charging, Dual-SIM||Dual-SIM card slots||Dual-SIM card slot|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$425||$200||$150|
|Price (GBP)||£299||Converts to £135||Converts to £100|
|Price (AUD)||AU$599||Converts to AU$275||Converts to AU$210|
It looks and feels about S$400 more than it actually costs, with more storage and a nicer design than you’d get on a comparable mid-range phone such as the Samsung Galaxy A7. The processor itself is usually mid-range but doesn’t end up being a major turn-off, and from its speakers to its battery life it has plenty of good points choosing it.
As you’d expect as of this cost, it’s not entirely without compromise: its camcorder is right instead of mind-blowing, and its own software, while basic, has a couple of quirks. But once again: it costs S$649.