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OPPO F9 Review - Greater F7?

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Two weeks after its local launch, many have speculated that the OPPO F9 is just a refinement of the OPPO F7 which was released just a few months back.
OPPO F9 Review - Greater F7?
Petal-shaped gradient design

In our unboxing and first impressions article, the few things that it upgraded to with are the design, cameras, larger RAM, and bigger battery. 

But how does it differ from its predecessor? Let's find out!

Display Quality

90.8 percent screen-to-body ratio!
90.8 percent screen-to-body ratio!

It is safe to say that the OPPO F9 was able to make more room for display due to its small notch versus other smartphones we have today. OPPO made it a drop-shaped notch enough to house the phone's single selfie camera.

Much immersive display!

OPPO F9 features a 6.3-inch LTPS TFT screen with 2340 x 1080 resolution at 409 ppi. The droplet-like notch made the display even larger without increasing the chassis size. The screen-to-body ratio is now 90.8 percent.

The result? A more immersive and huge screen display! OPPO made sure that it has a sharp display with vibrant colors and good contrast plus a very good sunlight legibility.

We find the drop-shaped notch very nice but there is no straightforward setting to hide the notch. Although it's nice to note that there's this so-called "Notch Area Display Control" where you can manually turn off the notch for each of your app depending on your preference.

The very little notch is noticeable but let's accept that this is the trend and future of smartphones.

Other features of the display are color temperature adjustment and Night Mode to reduce eye strain. Just like the OPPO F7, the F9 also has a black and white display feature to further reduce eye strain for a more comfortable nighttime reading.

As expected, it has 10 points of multitouch.

Audio Quality

OPPO F9 is equipped with a single speaker located at the bottom of the phone. Just like the F7, it is one of the better speakers at this price point. The loudness is just enough for casual listening. The speaker produces nice sounds with clear vocals that resulted to a good handsfree loudspeaker calls. 

But we noticed that its loudspeaker is not that loud when compared with other smartphones. 

It's nice that OPPO still retained the 3.5mm headphone jack for in-ear listening. The audio quality is nice with mostly clear and bright sounds. OPPO F9 still features the "Real Original Sound Technology" wherein in our experience, it artificially expands the soundstage of the earphones. 

The F9 has two microphones placed on the top and bottom of the phone. It has respectable quality and can record voice with minimal noise. It is also on stereo mode too that makes nice calls and casual recordings.

Battery Life

Long-lasting battery!
Long-lasting battery!

OPPO F9 is packed with 3,500mAh, a 100mAh bigger with the OPPO F7's battery. It is big enough for the 6.3-inch screen display and a powerful MediaTek Helio P60 processor. 

But surprisingly, it just lasted for a total of 10 hours and 10 minutes on our battery test. This is something odd because the OPPO F7's 3,400mAh battery lasted for a total of 10 hours and 46 minutes on our battery test.

However, the OPPO F9 can last up to 2 days on a single charge under light to moderate usage. While under a heavy usage, it can manage to last up to a whole day.

The 5-minute charge, 2 hours of talk was too impossible to think of but we tried to test it for a Facebook Messenger call and it lasted for almost an hour which is not so bad!

The VOOC charger is blazing fast! We were able to fill up the OPPO F9 to 100 percent in just one hour!

Camera

16MP + 2MP rear cameras
16MP + 2MP rear cameras

Finally, OPPO equipped their very first "F" series with a dual rear camera setup. For us, this is not "necessary" since they've been rocking photos even with a single rear camera setup. But still, as the saying goes, two is better than one. And the effect of the F9 carrying a dual camera setup is evident in the camera samples below.

OPPO F9 is equipped with 16MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras with PDAF and LED flash. It features time-lapse, slo-mo, portrait, stickers, pano, expert, filters, and AI face beauty. 

Sharper details, more vivid colors!

Its dual rear camera setup resulted to photos with more vivid colors, sharper details, better contrast, and nicer quality over its predecessor. 

The F9 captures nice photos under daylight and indoor. For lowlight, it takes decent and respectable photos as well. You can opt for the LED flash if the photo has noise you want to eliminate. You may also use the expert mode.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
Indoor
Indoor
Indoor close-up
Indoor close-up
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Indoor lowlight
Indoor lowlight
Lowlight

For the front camera, OPPO F9 sports 25MP f/2.0 camera with AI beauty recognition and screen flash. The same with the main shooter, it has auto HDR, super vivid, bokeh, AI face beauty, and AR stickers.
25MP selfie camera
25MP selfie camera
Overall, the selfie camera captures nice photos with sharp details and nice colors. The photos are comparable with the shots of the OPPO F7.

Selfie Camera Samples

Well-lighted selfie
Well-lighted selfie
Outdoor almost lowlighted selfie
Outdoor almost lowlighted selfie
AR Sticker!
AR Sticker! 
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie

For videos, OPPO F9 can shoot 1080p at 30fps on both rear and front cameras. The main camera can shoot videos with great stabilization even on handheld shooting which is the same with the selfie camera.

Video Samples


Performance

Great scores!
Great scores!

The OPPO F9 is a bit better than its predecessor because it is equipped with a larger 6GB RAM. The processor is still It is still equipped with the trusty 2.0GHz 64-bit MediaTek Helio P60 octa-core processor plus dual-core AI processor!

More RAM, better performance!

The MediaTek Helio P60 processor remains to be one of the better chipset we've tested for under PHP 18K smartphones.


When compared with the OPPO F7, the performance of OPPO F9 is a bit smoother. It's better for handling more tasks because of its bigger RAM count.

We were able to play heavy games and run most of the tasks without any issues even when set on the highest settings. We ran the heavy 3D games on the F9 with ease.

Even though we play for hours, the OPPO F9 will not get to the point of an alarming hot.
OPPO Color OS 5.2
OPPO Colors OS 5.2

Meanwhile, the OPPO F9 runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with Colors OS version 5.2. It's pre-installed with Google apps, Facebook, Lazada and other essential apps. 

We consider some of the Google Apps like Google Duo, Google Play Music and TV and Opera as bloatware apps since we've never used them for the entire review, and we bet the consumers doesn't take advantage of those as well.

Fortunately, most of them are removable.

We're very happy that OPPO still retained the fingerprint scanner despite having a face unlock. Both of these security options are speedy has no issues. Face unlock works under lowlight most of the time.

The rest of the telephony experience are good. It has 700MHz 4G LTE Cat 7 connectivity, dual SIM slots GPS, OTG, and gyroscope for VR and AR applications. The GSM signal is strong and the rest of connectivity is great.

Pros - Smaller droplet notch, dedicated microSD slot, good performance for the price, better cameras, face unlock, fingerprint scanner, and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box
Cons - Still not on USB Type-C, no 4K video recording, no LED notification light

Verdict

Overall, the OPPO F9 can be called as a greater F7 but it can place itself apart from its predecessor with its larger RAM, better cameras, bigger battery, and an industry-first smartphone design.

You can get this for PHP 17,990 in the Philippines.

Build/Design - 4.25
Display - 4.25
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.5
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.29/5
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