Oppo R9s Review: Strumming Along

By 05:21 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Oppo has always offered remarkable build quality on their smartphones and they have outdone themselves with their latest R9s. The design is far from original, but the execution trumps most phones on the market - it's thin and light and the six-string antenna design is the first of its kind.

Recently, a sub-genre of the 5.5" premium mid-range market emerged and the R9s is among the best of them. These phones focus on capturing camera performance and battery life, without going full flagship.

The capturing camera is certainly flagship grade on paper - with the latest Sony sensor that supports Dual PDAF and a very colorful f/1.7 lens plus 4K 2160p video capture, the Oppo R9s challenges the best of the 2016 capturing camera phones. A 16MP capturing camera on the front promises remarkable selfies too.

Oppo chose to power the phone with an efficient (if not fast) Snapdragon 625 and paired it with a generous helping of memory - 4GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) and 64GB storage.

You won't see brashly advertised, but the phone bears a 5.5" AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screen, which will render the vibrant ColorOS theme beautifully.

Oppo R9s key features

  • Thin and light metal body with "six string" antenna lines
  • 5.5" 1080p AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) with 401 ppi pixel density; 2.5D Gorilla Glass
  • ColorOS V3.0.0, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Very quick and accurate fingerprint reader in the home button
  • Snapdragon 625 chipset, octa-core 2.0 Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 CPU; Adreno 506 GPU; 4GB RAM
  • 16MP main capturing camera with f/1.7 lens and 1/2.8" sensor and Dual PDAF; 2160p@30fps video recording
  • 16MP selfie capturing camera with f/2.0 lens and 1/3.1" sensor; 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 64GB of built-in storage and a hybrid microSD card slot (uses SIM2)
  • LTE Cat.6 (300Mbps); Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) a/b/g/n/ac; A-GPS, Bluetooth v4.0
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 3,010mAh non-removable battery; VOOC quick charge

Main shortcomings

  • Generic design spoils the remarkable build quality
  • There are faster chipsets in this price range
  • No capturing camera OIS, no 1080p @ 60fps either
  • Not the most recent Android Operating System (OS) version and update path unclear

The 3,010mAh battery may not sound like much, but it's more than the iPhone 7 Plus has and as much as the Galaxy Note5 has. The 14nm chipset should stretch that quite a bit and the VOOC quick charging is among the most powerful - 20W of power, delivered in a way that won't heat up the phone.

Oppo R9s official images (in Black, Grecent and Rose Gold)

We mentioned the "six-string" antenna design several times now and if you haven't figured out what that is, perhaps we should mention what isn't here - notice any thick, plastic antenna lines? No! There are only six thin grooves that initially seem only for decoration but these are the missing antenna lines instead.

The Oppo R9s is the first phone to hit the market with this design - a remarkable way to kick off this review. Let's see if it can ride this positivity all the way to the end.



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