“First they hate, then they copy” is what we have come to expect when an iPhone is released, but soon after competitors follow suit. The S$649 OPPO R9, also known as the F1 Plus in some countries, is a sleek and delectable smart phone that has drawn most of its design elements from the iPhone 6s that might pass off as a clone if it were not for some minor changes.
The phone measures in at 6.6mm and has slim side bezels that give the impression of having an edge-to-edge screen without compromising on comfort or the need for a curved display. Your fingers might touch the edge of the screen, depending on how big our hands are, but thankfully it does not result in accidental touch registration.
Speaking of the display, the OPPO R9 has a 5.5-inch 1080p full HD AMOLED display, which has vivid colour reproduction and good levels of brightness. It has a front facing physical home button which functions as a finger print scanner as well. The New ColourOS has seen a face lift and yet again, users will see where OPPO gets its ideas for their app logos. Its smooth metallic body tops it off with a premium look and feel as it comes in either Gold or Rose Gold with 64GB worth of storage with an microSD card slot.
When it comes to performing minimal tasks such as using the Internet, checking your email or using YouTube on the new ColourOS (based off Android 5.1), the R9 is certainly snappy as it makes full us of its 4GB of RAM. The fingerprint sensor is accurate all the time. However, due to having a single speaker at the bottom of the phone, the R9 produces an average sound quality. The only time performance takes a heavy hit is when you play a graphically intensive game. Only then would lag and screen stuttering is apparent.
The best features on this phone are the front and back facing camera that outshines the competition and dare I say it, its inspiration. OPPO did not skimp when it decided to have a whooping 16-megapixel camera for a front facing camera. It is the selfie king.
Selfies taken under natural lighting are sharp and vivid. However, picture quality dips slightly under low light conditions. The 13-megapixel back facing camera is great as well. It captures some detailed landscapes and macros in 1080p with little over saturation of the colours.
The camera app has been redesigned to be taken advantage of portrait mode. There are fewer camera modes in the current ColourOS however it retains all the important ones so that you can play around with the settings with features that actually matter. It also has really fast auto focus if you need to take a quick click.
However, it was the ‘Expert Mode’, which gives you manual control over your shooting parameters, that made me sit up a little. You get to choose between 7 white balance presets, exposure compensation interval in half-stop increments, and ISO can be manually set anywhere between 100 and 1600 as well as manual shutter speeds. You can also choose to record Rin AW format or not.
Despite its slim form, a 2850mAh battery is still able to fit into the phone. Under regular use, the battery life can last the day. If you ever need a quick charge, the R9 supports OPPO’s VOOC fast charge.
Does the R9 look and feel too much like an iPhone or iOS? Yes. Is that bad? No. Its smartphones like the R9 that help bridge the gap of having the design, performance and build quality of High end phone at the a much more affordable mid-range price point.
The R9 seems to be aimed primarily at female customers, as its 2 base colours are more appealing to females than they are to males. It would be a shame to jug the phone purely on the basis of its colour. With 64GB of expandable storage, a serial Selfier does not need to worry of deleting photos any time soon. The R9 is certainly the phone you should go for if you’re a shutterbug as it works well as a handy replacement camera as well.