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OPPO A9 2020 First Impressions

On September 19, OPPO will introduce a "2020 phone in 2019" for the Philippine market, the A9 2020.
OPPO A9 2020 First Impressions
Meet OPPO A9 2020

It is a mid-ranger that could appeal to anyone who wants a phone with great looks, capable specs, large battery capacity, stereo speakers, and a LOT of cameras.

Sounds promising right? Let's check it out!

Note: We only have the phone itself for now. We will update this article with the unboxing part once we have the official retail package.

Build Quality/Design

Stylish curved glass-like back

The materials used by OPPO with the A9 2019 is a clear step-up versus previous-generation A series of devices. It is a handset with a similar build to what with the F11 and F11 Pro.

It uses a glasstic curved back with a sturdy polycarbonate frame and a 2.5D curved glass display in front.

The back material of this phone has a glossy finish so expect it to be prone to fingerprint smudges and hairline scratches. In front, it has Gorilla Glass 3+ protection to avoid cracks from accidental light drops and annoying hairline scratches.

There is just no mention of any sort of water protection, a norm at this price point. But, I do feel that it is a pretty well-crafted device for the price.

Really stylish build!

At the back, the glasstic material has a glossy 3D finish which looks really stylish. The color of my unit is Marine Green. It is not gradient, but it has a unique and attractive shine.

The first thing that you will notice is the vertically-aligned triple-camera hump along with the LED flash and another camera on its side.

Underneath the cameras is the fingerprint sensor.

You will also notice that it as this streamlined "Designed for A-Series" texts along with the OPPO logo ala Reno phones.

It looks pretty neat at the back in general. I just wished that its camera hump is a bit smaller considering that the phone is already 9.1 mm thick.
6.5-inch big IPS display
6.5-inch big IPS display

In front, it has a tall 19:5:9 6.5-inch big IPS display with 89 percent of the screen-to-body ratio a noticeably smaller waterdrop notch. OPPO claimed that it is 31.4 percent tinier than the previous generation.
Notch area
Notch area

It has no LED notification in the notch area, but its neatly hidden earspeaker also acts as a loudspeaker.

The phone reasonably small at 163.6 x 75.6 despite its large 6.5-inch screen size.

It should be handy enough for those who have big hands. If you are a small person, the two-handed operation is a must for more comfortable use.

There's nothing on top. Below, you'll see the 3.5mm headphone slot along with the microphone, USB-C port, and a second down-firing speaker.

Yes, you read that part right. USB-C on a mid-range OPPO phone. 

Since it has two speakers, it can create a stereo sound effect with wider soundstage.

At left, you'll find the tiny hole to open the triple slot tray (dual SIM, microSD card) and the volume keys. At right, there's the power button with a shiny green accent in the middle to let you know that it is the power key.

It is quite heavy at 195 grams even if it doesn't have a metal frame. The extra weight is most likely due to its use of a massive 5,000mAh battery.

Initial findings

1. The phone is one of the most stylish around. Moreover, it has a larger 6.5-inch IPS display with a tiny notch. The resolution? HD+ 1600 x 720. While I find its display to be good so far, the resolution is lower than what I expected. It could have been better if it has FHD+. 

But hey, it has Sunlight Screen for easier reading under direct sunlight and Blue Sheild mode.
AnTuTu and Geekbench score of the phone
AnTuTu and Geekbench score of the phone

2. Based on our initial benchmarks, its 11nm 2.0GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 665 AIE octa-core processor and Adreno 610 GPU has similar scores with the 12nm Helio P60 of MediaTek. It even has Game Boost 2.0 with Frame Boost and Touch Boost optimizations for gaming.

What I like is it has a large 8GB RAM, 128GB expandable storage with a dedicated microSD card slot, and 5,000mAh battery with 10W USB-C charging.

This chipset/specs combo should be more than decent for running social media apps, binge-watching videos, and playing some games on medium settings for hours and hours.

3. ColorOS 6 is still Color OS 6 based on Android Pie. As most OPPO fans know, it is a skin that looks better and feels smoother than its previous generation skins. It is not perfect, but at least it looks more modern than ever.

It even has machine learning which will freeze the apps in the background instead of shutting them down. It will analyze your app activity for 2 weeks to learn your habit.

To know more about ColorOS 6, read here.

4. If the price of A9 (2020) is lower than Nova 5T, it will be the most affordable smartphone in the country with a rear quad-camera setup.

It highlights a 48MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF, EIS + 8MP f/2.24 119-degree ultra wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 monochrome + 2MP f/2.4 depth w/ LED flash at the back.

For selfies, there's a 16MP f/2.0 snapper.

Related: OPPO A9 2020: First Camera Samples

5. We like that the phone has WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and dual SIM (nano) connectivity options. It is also one of the rare mid-rangers with a stereo speaker setup.

OPPO A9 2020 Specs

Display: 6.5-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3+ protected IPS screen w/ HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 270 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 665 AIE octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 610
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF, EIS + 8MP f/2.24 119-degree ultra wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 monochrome + 2MP f/2.4 depth w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 10W fast charging
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ ColorOS 6.0.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB-C, dual-mic, Colors: space purple, marine green
Dimensions: 163.6 x 75.6 x 9.1 mm
Weight: 195 g
Price: PHP 15,990

As of the moment

If the price is right, OPPO A9 2020 could be a competitive camera-focused mid-range with exceptional looks, stereo speakers, and respectable mid-range-worthy specs.

Only time will tell. Stay tuned for our review on the 19th!
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