Oppo A9 review: Fast processor, great selfie camera & excellent battery life
In low light, Oppo A9 selfies suffer from visible noise and lack of details.
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Price: Rs 15,490
Specifications: 6.53-inch IPS, 2340 x 1080 pixels, octa core Helio P70 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, hybrid dual SIM slot, expandable storage, dual rear camera (16MP + 2MP), 16MP front camera, dual band WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, rear fingerprint scanner, 4,020mAh battery, Android 9.0, 190 grams
Oppo’s claims that their A series has been amongst the best-selling devices in their lineup. The latest offering in this range is the A9 – a successor to the Oppo A7 that was launched last year. The A9 continues with a waterdrop notch style display but comes with upgrades across the board to match up to the growing competition.
The most visible upgrade on the Oppo A9 is its display. While you get the waterdrop style notch, you get a large 6.53-inch size display. Even with the large display, the phone does not feel unwieldy which is a good thing in our opinion. However, one hand use is not possible for most use case scenarios with this screen size. We liked the sleek bezels and the slim bottom chin of the screen. Brightness level is good, and we had no issues viewing the screen under direct sunlight as well. As with other Oppo phones, this one also gives you options to adjust font size, display size, color temperature, a night shield mode and option to adjust apps to use the notch area display.
It has a plastic back but with a glass like finish. Our review unit was the marble green colour which looks majestic. However, without a cover, it is prone to scratches – even with careful usage, our device picked up various small scratches and a large scratch in a week’s usage. The rear camera module is placed in the center with the fingerprint scanner below it. The position of the fingerprint scanner is ergonomic for ease of use. We liked the curved rounded edges of the phone as they helped provide a good fit in the hand.
Hardware specifications include an octa-core Helio P70 processor combined with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. In day to day usage we faced no issues with the phone – multi-tasking is smooth; apps launch fast and even with around 20 apps running in the background there is no sluggishness. It even works well in gaming as long as you are fine with not running everything on high settings. PUBG ran on medium settings smoothly and so did Asphalt 9. Battery life is excellent – the 4,020mAh battery regularly lasted one full day with medium to heavy usage. The only thing missing is the support for vooc fast charge – you get a standard 10W charger in the box.
In the camera department, you get a dual rear camera setup (16MP f1.8 + 2MP f2.4 depth sensor). In camera interface you get option of 2x zoom, Chroma boost, HDR and various filters. For shooting modes, there is portrait mode, pano, expert mode and a night mode. Daylight photos were impressive with vibrant colours and good amount of details. Indoor photos as well as low-light photos are well-lit but are soft on details – good enough to view on phone as well as share with friends/family over social media. Portrait mode delivered photos with good amount of bokeh, but the edge detection was not up to the mark in our opinion. Video recording is limited to 1080p resolution but there is no image stabilization option which is a letdown. The A9’s front 16MP camera proved to be a capable shooter and fared slightly better than the rear camera in portrait photos. The edge detection was visibly superior in portrait shots in daylight. In low light, selfies suffered from visible noise and lack of details.
Up till a few months ago, the Oppo A9 would have been counted as well priced for the features it offers. Trouble is that the competition has become really aggressive and now have the option of phones with all-screen display and pop-up front camera in the same price (Huawei Y9 Prime 2019). If you expand your budget to Rs 17k, you can also look at the Realme X or the Oppo K3 with better specifications, all-screen display and motorized pop-up front cameras.