For those who are not gunning for Oppo’s flagship phone, the Oppo F9 is a solid choice. Its style and priorities are more in line with a younger demographic.
What’s in the box?
Much like the Find X, the F9 came with a charger, a cord, and its own earphones. It also includes a pin for taking out the sim card tray and a clear protective case. The cord included also carries the VOOC Flash Charge label, as the F9 is among Oppo’s latest units to incorporate the quick charge feature.
Design & Construction
As seen in its promotional photos, the F9 is encased in a shiny jewel-like exterior adorned with a geometric pattern and metallic gradient. I simply love how beautiful the back panel looks when the light hits it just right. It’s probably why the protective case that came with it is clear, so you can still see the design. Though the glossy exterior is prone to smudges, I found this phone easier and more comfortable to grip than the Find X, even without the protective case on. It’s lightweight and just the right width that I can use it with just one hand. The F9 feels well-built and is sleek enough to slip into your pocket and carry it everywhere.
Display & Multimedia
The F9’s 6.3” LCD touchscreen displays images and text sharply. With a pixel density of 409ppi, you can enjoy watching movies playing games with amazing clarity. The tiny notch made it possible for the F9 to have a 19.5:9 aspect ratio which is the same proportions as Instagram or Facebook stories. This means that when you take photos and post it in your stories, you wouldn’t need to worry about cropping the image to fit the story ratio. It also boasts a great loudspeaker that can be well heard over the buzz of a busy room.
Though, much like the Find X, its speaker placement can get in the way when you are trying to play a game with a landscape orientation. Another con would be the aspect ratio not being preferable for a lot of games in the market. I tried putting Mortal Kombat X on fullscreen display, and as with the Find X, the game’s screen got cut off because it did not fit the display’s aspect ratio. You might be better off not opting for the fullscreen mode for some games.
Oppo is known for its selfie-friendly phones and the F9 is no different. The dual rear cameras work perfectly in capturing crystal clear images in both outdoor and indoor lighting. There is an expert mode that allows you to manually adjust the settings such as the white balance, exposure and the ISO. The F9 also has numerous shooting modes that enable you to take a wide variety of images. Meanwhile, the front camera is a little restricted. It still retains the AI enhancements and even has the live stickers mode but does not have the expert mode. This means that for taking selfies, you only have the auto adjustments to work with, which is pretty underwhelming for its price point.
Oppo F9’s selfie camera defines the colors well. Even with the Smart Beauty feature turned off, it still manages a flattering adjustment to the lighting and skin tone of the subject. One thing I noticed is that both the front and rear cameras react wildly with shades of red. It has a tendency to oversaturate objects in that color range especially when you turn on the Super Vivid feature. Another con that I took note of was the haziness of pictures taken with the selfie camera. I understand that the Smart Beauty feature is only trying to make our skin look better, but the blur can get out of hand that it makes the image look too cloudy despite the high resolution. A quick remedy to this would be to turn off the Smart Beauty filter completely.
OPPO F9 Sample Camera Photos:
The F9 reminds me of the Find X in terms of performance. Using the same graphics-heavy games, I tested playing a few rounds of Injustice 2, Identity V, and Spider-Man Unlimited and found no issues. Although powered by a Helio P60 chipset (the Find X’s is Snapdragon 845), the F9’s amazing processing power can definitely go toe-to-toe with other phones donning the same hardware such as the Huawei P20. For comparison’s sake, My ASUS Zenfone Selfie which runs on a Snapdragon 615, flat out gives up when booting Injustice 2, or even Injustice 1. It takes around 2-3 minutes to load the game’s assets, and an additional minute and a half to start a match. With the F9, all of this waiting time was cut down to virtually seconds. I was able to have a better overall gaming experience, and I’ve come to appreciate the way it handled graphics really well. Running the F9 under the Antutu benchmark test yields a score of 126339, which is only a few notches down from the Huawei Mate 9 and Xiaomi Mi Max 3.
It was also pretty impressive for the Oppo F9 to have a built-in screen recorder that can be easily accessed by swiping from the top of the phone inwards, and I was able to take a video of my gameplay. The Android OS still doesn’t allow internal audio recording, which means that it still uses the phone’s mic to record the sound coming from the loudspeakers.
I’ve had the F9 with me for a few days now, and so far I’ve already played a few games, took pictures and used it to browse around Facebook yet it still has at least 40% of battery charge left. Its Smart Power Saver feature makes sure that when your phone’s on standby, it’s not draining power fast.
In conclusion, the F9 is worthy of its asking price. It retails for a suggested price of Php 17,990. It’s got competitive specs and the capability to keep you entertained for hours on end. The Oppo F9 has managed to pack a powerhouse in a slim and stylish package. If you’re looking for a new phone to gift yourself this upcoming holiday season, I’d definitely recommend this one!