The F series is Oppo’s offering of mid-range smartphones and the F9 is the latest in this series to be launched.
In terms of the build quality; the screen and the case of the F9 is made entirely out of Corning Gorilla Glass 6 which gives it a glossy finish. Aesthetically, that would have been good enough., however, Oppo made the F9 with a two-toned gradient color and a cross-hatch diamond pattern, making the phone look that much sleeker.
There are a two downsides to this build though. It makes the F9 a smudge magnet and, after long periods of use, you’ll have to wipe it down. That, and it’s pretty fragile so a phone case is highly recommended for those of you with butter-fingers.
The F9 sports a new ‘waterdrop’ notch that houses the front camera and, less noticeably, the proximity sensor, with the speaker on top of them both. As someone that isn’t fond of notches, it is undeniable that this is an elegant notch design. This also pushes the screen-to-body ratio of the F9 to about 90.8 percent. Though the display itself isn’t something to write home about, it’s bright and gives off decent colours for any sort of media consumption.
Oppo markets the front cameras for the F series heavily, and with a 25 megapixels front camera on the F9, they are right to do so. Their camera app has a few effects that you can activate such as Depth effect, Super Vivid and beauty mode, though photos taken with any of them feel over the top and very artificial. You would do well with just the standard mode that delivers perfectly good photos. The F9 also has a 16 megapixel plus 2 megapixel rear dual-camera. Although the megapixels aren’t as high as the front, it is still capable of taking good photos under good lighting.
Oppo promoted the F9 for its use of their VOOC Flash Charge technology with “5-minute charge, 2-hour talk”. We were able to get 5-6% of battery for 5 minutes of charging. We didn’t test the 2-hour talk part, but it did take more than 30 minutes of Youtube videos at full resolution to completely drain the battery from 2%. That’s not the advisable method to spend the last of your phone’s energy, but it is a testament to its incredible battery life.
There’s nothing much to complain about the Oppo F9. The design of the phone, from the looks to the ergonomics, are very pleasing; both the front and back cameras takes satisfactory photos; and the battery coupled with VOOC Flash Charge holds up quite well. However, it must be said that, besides the VOOC Flash Charge and the dual back camera, you can get the same user experience with the F7, at a considerably lower price too. The retail price of the F9 is RM 1,399, and with the release of the F9, the F7 has gone down to RM 1,099. That’s quite a difference for two mid-range phones that are essentially similar.