APPLE FACE WITH AN ANDROID BOOTY.
STEADILY CLIMBING ITS way into the number-one position among smartphone makers in China, Oppo has made a name for itself by offering customers premium-feeling handsets at around half the price of the competition. With this strategy, it’s perhaps no surprise that the device-maker owns 23% of the market share in its home country (by comparison, Apple currently holds a 6% market share in China).
Looking at the Oppo R9s in its naked form, it’d be easy to mistake it for an iPhone 7 — its thin, rounded aluminium body, slightly protruding camera bump, matte finish and similarly placed buttons seem clearly modelled after the current Apple flagship. It’s a little thinner, though — the Oppo R9s is just 6.6mm thick, compared to the iPhone 7’s 7.1mm.
Like the iPhone 7, the Oppo R9s has a capacitive touch home button which doubles as one of the fastest fingerprint sensors we’ve ever experienced, seemingly unlocking the phone instantly.
A dual SIM tray offers space for (you guessed it) two 4G nano-SIM cards, or alternatively one SIM card and a microSD card up to 256GB to join the device’s 64GB of onboard storage. On the bottom of the phone, you’ll find a speaker grille, a micro-USB port and, to the joy of some, a trusty 3.5mm headphone jack.
Boasting an exceptionally bright and vibrant 1080p AMOLED display, the Oppo’s R9s is no slouch when it comes to delivering striking images. At 5.5 inches, the handset’s display puts the Oppo R9s directly in line with the iPhone 7 Plus, but while Apple’s phablet feels quite large in the hand, the R9s is much slighter and more comfortable to hold. That’s due to a thinner frame combined with almost non-existent side bezels and slightly smaller top and bottom ones.
Based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Oppo’s ColorOS 3.0 is something of a mixed bag. Unlike the Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, the R9s’ default OS doesn’t come with an app drawer, meaning you’ll have to install a separate launcher to see the typical Android scrolling-list of all of your apps in one place.
Rather impressively, the Oppo R9s has 16MP sensors for both rear and front-facing cameras. The primary camera features a customised 1/2.8-inch Sony-developed IMX398 sensor created exclusively for the R9s, with an extra-wide F1.7 aperture for improved low-light photography.
Its 3,010mAh battery impressed us, too — our PCMark for Android tests revealed a lengthy 12 hours and 10 minutes lifespan for the R9s. Though it has a whopping 4GB of RAM and a rather powerful octa-core processor, the Oppo R9s is held back slightly by its older Adreno 506 GPU. Based on GeekBench results, the performance of this one is about where you’d expect — halfway between a budget handset like Motorola’s Moto G4 Play and a flagship like the Galaxy S7 or Google Pixel.
Ultimately, what the R9s may lack in design originality and grunt, it makes up for in sheer value. Though it has a retail price of $599, many of the hallmarks we’ve come to expect from a premium $1,000+ phone are present here. OPPO R9S CRITICAL SPECS