Recently, a couple of new players entered the European mobile device market. One of them is OPPO. Today we will get acquainted with the mid-budget OPPO A9 2020. Let's find out how competitive this model is and is it worth the hype.

OPPO A9 2020
OPPO A9 2020

OPPO A9 2020 specs

NETWORK Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
LAUNCH Announced 2019, September
Status Available. Released 2019, September
BODY Dimensions 163.6 x 75.6 x 9.1 mm (6.44 x 2.98 x 0.36 in)
Weight 195 g (6.88 oz)
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.5 inches, 102.0 cm2 (~82.5% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~270 ppi density)
PLATFORM OS Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6.1
Chipset Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
CPU Octa-core (4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
GPU Adreno 610
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM
UFS2.1
MAIN CAMERA Quad 48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.3", 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.3, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4", 1.12µm, AF
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.75µm
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.75µm, depth sensor
Features Dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR
Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
SELFIE CAMERA Single 16 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1", 1.0µm
Features HDR
Video 1080p@30fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack Yes
24-bit/192kHz audio
Dolby Atmos sound
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
Radio FM radio
USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
Charging Reverse charging

What’s in the box

OPPO A9 2020 comes in a standard cardboard box with a fairly simple, but at the same time solid package. Inside we get: a smartphone, power adapter (10 W), USB / Type-C cable, wired headphones with headset function, silicone case, SIM card eject tool and a set of various documentation.

The cover is transparent on the back, and the ends are matte, translucent. The holes for the elements are wide, the buttons are duplicated. Above the screen there is a very decent bumper.

In addition, a protective glass (not a film, mind you) is glued onto the device right out of the box. In addition, with an oleophobic coating. The headset looks like the headset of a certain American company. The sound is pretty good, as for bundled earbuds. You don’t often see such bonuses nowadays.

Design, materials and build quality

The design of the OPPO A9 2020 is quite classic, with a drop-shaped notch at the top of the screen and a gradient color with an iridescent effect. The droplet is neat, the bezels on all 4 sides are not very thin, and the area below is thick.

There is nothing unique on the back either. However, the camera unit is shifted to the center, and not located as usual in the upper left corner. I personally think this is a better solution, because the smartphone somehow stands out from the competition. At least it’s something.

The design of the case in our case is called Space Purple: on the left side, the blue color smoothly turns into purple on the right. The iridescent effect is clearly visible in the light.

OPPO A9 2020

The perimeter frame is made of plastic and painted in blue. But the main thing is that it is matte. This is still not the most popular approach, and it is good that the manufacturer took advantage of it. It is also noteworthy that the buttons are made of metal.

The front panel is covered by glass, but the brand is unclear. The back side is covered with ordinary glossy plastic, which tries to imitate glass. Fingerprints and stains are clearly visible.

The second available color is Marine Green with a dark green gradient.

OPPO A9 2020

Element configuration

Above the front are proximity and light sensors, a front camera and a slot for one of the speakers. There is no LED for notifications, although on the indentation below the screen it could easily fit.

On the right side there is a power button, which is additionally highlighted by a thin strip of green. On the left are split volume keys and an unpaired slot for two nanoSIM + microSD cards.

Below everything is as it should: a 3.5 mm audio port, a microphone, a Type-C port, a multimedia speaker. And the top is absolutely empty.

At the back there is a protruding block in a silver edging with three cameras, one of which is ringed in a green decorative circle. On the right is a small copy of the block in which the flash and another camera eye are located. Below is an oval fingerprint scanner, a vertical inscription and logo.

Ergonomics

Since the smartphone is equipped with a large display, its dimensions are appropriate. Case with dimensions of 163.6 × 75.6 × 9.1 mm and a weight of 195 grams. With the size that big, you can control the device with one hand only by constantly changing the grip.

Since the device is matte, you can use it even without the cover. The control keys are located on different sides. Their position is equally comfortable in height. The volume buttons are divided,

OPPO A9 2020 Display

The smartphone has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. The latter is an intermediate version between the “typical” 19-19.5:9 and extended 21:9. The resolution is only 1600 × 720 pixels, which with such a diagonal translates into a density of 270 ppi.

OPPO A9 2020

Naturally, based on the size of the screen and its resolution, you can definitely tell that the screen could be better; it’s obvious with smaller elements on the display. Also, there is not enough clarity on the fonts, if you look closely. For such money and size it would have been wiser to choose the Full HD+ matrix.

OPPO A9 2020

Static contrast is at the level of 1500:1 and brightness at the level of 480 nits. The display turned is very restrained, with natural colors and a slight advantage in warm colors. Viewing angles are good, with the classic loss of black contrast at a diagonal angle. It is difficult to say something about the level of maximum brightness at this time of year. More precisely, it is difficult to say exactly how the phone will behave on a bright sunny day. But I think it will remain readable.

For those who do not like excessive saturation, this screen is a real find. However, by the standards of IPS, it is not dull. But if you compare with AMOLED in another smartphone from OPPO, then the difference, of course, is immediately noticeable.

There are few settings: you can adjust the color temperature with the slider, adjust the full-screen mode for each application (with a cutout or black fill) and adjust the night mode. Which, by the way, can be customized. In addition to a yellow tint, you can make the display black and white and put it into night mode. By night is meant the inversion of colors in B/W.

OPPO A9 2020 Performance

Inside the A9 2020, the 11nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset is paired with Adreno 610 graphics. We have already seen this platform in Xiaomi Mi A3. Eight cores are divided into two clusters: 4 Kryo 260 Gold cores with a maximum clock frequency of 2 GHz and 4 Kryo 260 Silver cores with a clock frequency of 1.8 GHz. The test results below were conducted in normal and productive mode.

There’s 4 GB of RAM. There is an option with 8 GB, but it’s not for sale in every country. But 6 GB would be even better. But even without that, the smartphone quite adequately copes with ordinary everyday tasks. Messengers and social networks clients do not reboot. Although if the list of running applications contains more than a dozen programs, then this can not be avoided.

OPPO A9 2020

There’s a 128 GB UFS 2.1 drive, with 106.12 GB of free storage. It’s nice that it’s not 64 and even more pleasant that it can be expanded.

The smartphone works mostly smoothly. But in places some lags can slip through. When rendering complex animations or minimizing applications, for example. This did not happen often, but it happens.

It will run heavy games, but not everyone will run at maximum graphics settings with a high number of frames per second. Through Gamebench, the average FPS was measured:

  • PUBG Mobile - average graphics settings (balance) with smoothing and shadows, an average of 26 FPS
  • Shadowgun Legends - ultra-graphics, an average of 26 FPS
  • Call of Duty Mobile - very high, all effects are included, the "Battlefrint" mode is ~ 32 FPS; Battle Royale - ~ 24 FPS

These tests were ran out with the maximum graphics settings available for this device. For the most comfortable game experience you will have to lower some parameters.

OPPO A9 2020

There is a maximum performance mode. It slightly increases battery consumption, and the system works a little smoother. In games, there’s no increase in FPS. But this is most likely due to the Game Boost 2.0 function.

Cameras OPPO A9 2020

There are many cameras in the smartphone. In the main unit there are four plus one in front.

Quad cameras 48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.3", 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.3, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4", 1.12µm, AF
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.75µm
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.75µm, depth sensor

But I can’t say that in all these sensors there is a lot of sense. The manufacturer’s website speaks of artistic effects. Words like “Cinematic film” or “Black and white portrait” were uttered at official presentations. I still do not approve of such cameras very much, especially when there are several of them.

OPPO A9 2020

By default, there is 12 megapixels, and to 48 megapixels you can switch in the settings. The difference in quality between the two photos is almost not noticeable without careful study. The main sensor takes good photos during the day on the street and indoors with natural light. With an average artificial light, a little noise appears. In other words, worse conditions - worse pictures. As usual.

Night shooting with a small amount of light is also not the strongest side of the device, it is mediocre. Night mode generally makes the picture better, so I recommend turning it on. The manufacturer also added buttons for 2- and 5-fold zoom, but since this is a digital zoom, the quality is very average. First of all, 5x, but the double zoom can even be used in some cases.

EXAMPLES OF PHOTOS IN FULL RESOLUTION

Portrait photographs don’t offer good separation of objects from the background. It works fine with people, but there are mistakes. There is also a macro mode that is activated automatically when the lens approaches the subject. The distance should be about 4-6 cm.

An ultra-wide angle (119°) as usual shows a normal result on the street and during the day. With the slightest deterioration in environmental conditions, a lot of noise becomes visible and details drops.

EXAMPLES OF PHOTOS IN FULL RESOLUTION

Video can be shot in 4K and 30 FPS or 1080p/30 frames. Electronic stabilization only works in the second case. In general, video is not bad for a device of this level. There are slow motion and fast motion modes.

The front camera is 16 megapixels, f/2.0, 1/3.1”, 1.0µm. It didn’t really impress me, it brightens the face too much. But it can blur the background. It writes videos in 1080p/30 FPS.

The camera application is functional: with presets, night and manual modes. Interestingly, switching to the ultra-width can be done using the button at the top of the screen, and not above the shutter button.

Unlocking methods

The fingerprint scanner is standard capacitive one and is located on the back. There are no problems with accessibility. Comfortable height, the glass covering the cameras does not randomly get dirty. The scanner works just fine: very fast, you can say lightning fast, and stable.

OPPO A9 2020

During the period of using the OPPO A9 2020, I can not recall a single case when it would give an error with a characteristic vibration. This, in general, is one of the best scanners that I have encountered in my practice. OPPO did well in this regard, given that the smartphone is not expensive. Twelve out of ten, as they say.

OPPO A9 2020

The second method, of course, is implemented using the front camera. It is also very fast with a normal amount of light, but does not work in complete darkness. The solution is to activate the display brightness enhancement option. From other options: instant unlock or with an additional swipe on the screen. For safety reasons, the function of prohibiting operation is also provided if the eyes are closed during scanning.

OPPO A9 2020

OPPO A9 2020 battery life

The battery built into the A9 2020 has a capacity of 5000 mAh, which is a very good indicator for any smartphone. Since the hardware is average, and the display resolution is lower than it could be, this together results in the complete day of activities or under two with moderate use.

For about 48 hours of overall work, the smartphone shows about 7 hours of screen time. And during this period I drove benchmarks twice, actively used the camera and even played games. In my opinion, the result was excellent. In PCMark 2.0 with maximum brightness, the device managed to last an impressive 10 hours and 27 minutes.

The smartphone can also charge other devices if you have the appropriate cable. But it charges slowly.

  • 00:00 — 6%
  • 00:30 — 27%
  • 01:00 — 46%
  • 01:30 — 65%
  • 02:00 — 82%
  • 02:30 — 94%

Sound and communication

The sound component of the smartphone, I admit, greatly surprised me. Probably primarily because OPPO A9 2020 has stereo sound. For an inexpensive smartphone, this is very rare, even in many flagship devices it’s absent. The top speaker plays along with the lower one. It’s not aimed at the user, but nonetheless, there is a stereo effect on the A9 2020. All that means that it is nice to play games, watch videos and even listen to music without using headphones.

OPPO A9 2020

In conversations, the sound is high-quality, the volume margin is not bad. However, there is a slight distortion at the maximum level. But I repeat, the stereo for such a price is impressive.

OPPO A9 2020

There is also a 3.5 mm audio jack, and wired headphones sound good in all respects. Tronsmart Spunky Pro TWS-headset has an impressive volume margin and a lot of bass, even too much. When using RHA MA650 Wireless, everything is fine and there is plenty of volume as well. Unfortunately, Dolby Atmos effects only work with wired phones.

OPPO A9 2020

There are enough wireless communication modules here: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0 (LE, A2DP), GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS) and even NFC. They all work just fine. The same goes for mobile communications.

OPPO A9 2020

Firmware and software

OPPO A9 2020 also works on Android 9 with the proprietary shell ColorOS 6.0.1. It looks okay, light colors are mainly used in the design, but, unfortunately, there is no dark theme. The firmware has several built-in themes, two desktop modes (all on the screen or with a separate menu), three ways of system navigation, a smart panel and a few other gestures.

Verdict

OPPO A9 2020 is a solid mid-range smartphone that stands out from the crowd. Excellent battery life, stereo sound, cool fingerprint scanner, functional software, as well as NFC. You can play games, even if it’s not a flagship. It makes good photos, but there are better options.

OPPO A9 2020

The screen resolution is not impressive, I would like it to be higher. This is probably the most controversial moment in the smartphone, taking into account the price tag. But at least it’s not the same old Samsung, Huawei, Honor or Xiaomi. OPPO A9 2020 definitely deserves your attention.

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