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OPPO F9 Pro First Impressions: Design and camera stands out
Black, White and Gold colored phones will start looking dull if you take a look at the new selfie-centered smartphones from OPPO. The Chinese smartphone maker's latest product- the OPPO F9/ F9 Pro brings never before seen color schemes to the Indian smartphone space. OPPO F9 Pro is a mid-range Android smartphone that will be available in gradient color combinations- Sunrise Red, Twilight Blue and Starry Purple. The smartphone is designed to target young tech-savvy Indian mobile phone users who would not mind flaunting colorful cell phones.
Besides, the interesting color schemes, OPPO F9 Pro comes equipped with some notable features such as- VOOC charging that promises two hours of talk-time with just 5 minutes of charge, a 25MP selfie camera and industry's first waterdrop shaped notch display. OPPO F9 and F9 Pro will go on sale from 31st August 2018 across OPPO's offline and online partner stores. You can also pre-order the handset on 21st August 2018 exclusively on Flipkart. We spent some time with the new OPPO F9 to understand what the new selfie smartphone has to offer to Indian consumers. Let's find out.
Colors that can make or break a deal
Thanks to Chinese smartphone makers like Huawei, OnePlus and OPPO, the Indian smartphone market is gradually adopting new Color schemes and designs. The new OPPO F9 series is yet another colorful addition that brings something new to the table and might become a trend in the coming days. Contrary to plain Black, White, Red and Golden unicolor schemes, OPPO has introduced the new F9 series with gradient color combinations - Sunrise Red, Twilight Blue, and Starry Purple. I got the Twilight Blue variant that shows a diamond-shaped pattern when light reflects off it at specific angles. The pattern looks good and might appeal to a lot of users out there. However, to some, it might just look too much and can become a reason to not invest in the new OPPO devices.
Gradient colors or standard colors?
I also conducted a survey on my Instagram stories to understand what users think about the new gradient Color schemes on OPPO phones. 50 percent of people opted for ‘No' while the other 50 percent showed interest in the new gradient colored devices. I think OPPO should have also introduced standard colored variants of the F9 series to leave the decision on consumers. After all, it comes down to personal choice at the end but it's always better to have extra options when it comes down to a product like a phone, which reflects your personality.
Talking about other designs elements, OPPO F9 feels compact and lightweight. The smartphone does not feel slippery despite sporting a glass back. OPPO F9 does not ship with a Type C port, which is a letdown. Overall, OPPO F9 and F9 Pro are appealing handsets with some unique color schemes that will find its audience in the Indian market.
Crisp and Vibrant display with waterdrop shaped notch
Notch displays are here to stay, at least for another 12 months. OPPO F9 series also has a notch at top of the screen but it is added in a non-conventional way. The notch on the OPPO F9/F9 Pro is tiny and only takes a fraction of display's space to house the massive 25MP selfie camera. OPPO calls it a waterdrop-like notch and it helps the handset achieve a respectable 90.8 percent screen-to-body ratio. Resultant, OPPO F9 series offers a lot of screen for media consumption.
Talking about the numbers, the screen measures 6.3 inches and comes with a Full-HD+ resolution. It is vibrant and has decent viewing angles. We will evaluate the screen outdoors for a better understanding of its sunlight visibility and color reproduction. Another thing to highlight here is the earpiece that OPPO Has added for incoming and outgoing calls. The F9 and F9 Pro come equipped with a sound conduction plate to let you hear the voice of the person on call. It's a pretty neat trick to achieve bezel-less screen form-factor without compromising on audio during calls.
25MP AI Selfie camera and a dual-lens rear camera
To keep the selfie game up, OPPO F9 series features a massive 25MP front-facing shooter. The selfie camera comes with OPPO's AI Beauty 2.1 mode and a suite of filters, AR stickers to add variety to your selfies. The selfie camera is impressive and can also deliver software-driven bokeh shots. It also comes fitted with HDR mode to capture images in challenging lighting. The mode works quite effectively and you will be pleased by the final output.
As far as the rear camera is concerned, OPPO F9 series features a dual-lens camera setup that comprises of a 16MP main camera and a 2MP secondary camera to capture depth-of-field effects. The rear camera performed well in our brief testing. Stay tuned for full camera review of OPPO F9 series.
VOOC fast charging is effective
OPPO F9 and F9 Pro also ship with the company's effective VOOC charging support, which is largely associated with OPPO's flagship Find series devices. As per OPPO, five minutes of power supply with VOOC charging can give you two hours talk-time. We tested the phone with the bundled charger and the 3,500mAh battery unit was refueled quickly, something we have experienced with OnePlus Dash charging. The fast charging technology by OPPO will come really handy in everyday usage.
Dated hardware but latest Software
The choice of CPU for the latest OPPO F9 and F9 Pro can be a deal-breaker for some end-users who like to push their devices to limits. The smartphone runs on the old Helio P60 SoC that was previously seen in the OPPO F7. It's a snappy CPU and is paired with ample RAM for smooth processing and multitasking; however, don't expect a true flagship performance from the combination. The handset works without any issues for most of the part and can also run most games without any performance issues. The phone is available in two RAM variants to match your usage requirements. There is 64GB internal memory and a triple slot SIM card slot to help you use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time. We are yet to test the handset's full potential to give a comprehensive overview of its performance, so stay tuned.
Talking about the software, OPPO F9 series runs on the latest ColorOS 5.2, based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The new UI is colorful and offers a number of useful features for smooth and intuitive everyday mobile user experience. OPPO has added a ‘Smart Bar' that places important shortcut icons like camera, frequently used apps, clock, etc. The smart bar works as a floating window to enhance the multitasking experience for a big screen experience. Besides, you also get AR stickers, Face scanner, gestures and even a smart assistant.
If design and a good selfie camera top your list, OPPO F9/ F9 Pro can be good options in mid-range price segment. The VOOC charging will also come handy in everyday usage to give a quick boost to your handset's battery. Besides, the new Color OS UI looks good and feels responsive. The screen is not entirely immersive but does a better job than the regular notch shaped display phones out there. For a comprehensive review of OPPO F9 Pro, stay tuned on Gizbot.com.