This year Oppo refreshed its Oppo A9 and A5 smartphone models as Oppo A9 2020 and Oppo A5 2020. While the new models look similar to the old versions, Oppo has made a number of changes internally and that includes the processor and camera setup at the back.
The Oppo A5 2020 is a budget device while the Oppo A9 2020 is more premium. The Oppo A9 2020’s highlights include a 48MP quad-rear camera setup, 5,000mAh battery, and Snapdragon 665 processor. The phone was launched for Rs 16,990 for the base model of 4GB RAM but it is now available for Rs 15,990 after a price cut.
Oppo A9 2020 price: Rs 15,990 for 4GB RAM, Rs 19,990 for 8GB RAM
The Oppo A9 2020 is quite tall. While I expected a tall body from a phone featuring a 20:9 display, the size is a bit too much since the broad chin and top bezel also add in the equation. The phone is not slim, but it does fit well in the hands given its curved back and narrow build.
The design of the phone is almost similar to other smartphones out there. It has a waterdrop notch on the front and a glossy back that loves fingerprints. However, the holographic rainbow effect on the back is a nice touch.
The Oppo A9 2020 sports a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with 1600×720 pixels resolution. The resolution is a bit of a let down considering smartphones priced under Rs 10,000 are coming with Full HD resolution these days. The screen is decent for the most part with good colour reproduction and brightness levels, but the viewing angles aren’t that good. Also, since it is an LCD screen, do not expect deep blacks like an OLED panel.
The Oppo A9 2020 is powered by the Snapdragon 665 processor paired with Adreno 610 GPU. The processor is capable enough to handle day-to-day tasks, multi-tasking, and casual games just fine. Switching between apps and Chrome tabs is also smooth and the phone doesn’t lag when flooded with notifications. I had the 8GB RAM variant of the phone for review and it could retain a good number of apps opened in the background. There is nothing new to the interface of the phone. It runs Android 9 Pie with Oppo’s ColorOS 6 skin on top with preinstalled bloatware.
The PUBG Mobile runs on low settings by default but you can set it to Medium. The gameplay is identical to other smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 665 like the Redmi Note 8 and Moto G8 Plus. The frame drops are minimal and the game stutters only occasionally. The Call of Duty Mobile runs smoothly on the phone, thus ending up more enjoyable on the phone when compared to the PUBG gameplay.
The Oppo A9 2020 sports a 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP quad-rear camera setup and a 16MP selfie shooter. The primary lens is capable of taking good pictures in daylight conditions with impressive details and dynamic range. The exposures levels are decent and the colour reproduction is not bad. However, in the shadow regions, the grains are obviously visible.
Even though the primary sensor on the Oppo A9 2020 is a 48MP lens, the device does not shoot pictures like the 48MP lens of Oppo’s Reno2 Z smartphone and that makes sense because the price difference the two phones is almost double.
In low light situations, the Oppo A9 2020 does not perform well. The colours are washed out and pictures lose a lot of details. There is a night mode in the camera UI as well, which lessens the noise and increases sharpness and visibility but doesn’t work properly in landscape shots. Also, the night mode disrupts the white balance of the picture as well, which does not look good at all.
The 8MP ultrawide lens on the Oppo A9 2020 is no different than other budget or mid-range smartphones that come with an 8MP wide-angle lens. The wide-angle shots are obviously not comparable to the pictures taken by the primary sensor on any parameter. However, it still does an okay job with the colours and dynamic range.
The portrait mode on the Oppo A9 2020 is pretty good and does a decent job at edge detection. The portrait mode on the front camera also works fine with proper edge detection. However, the 16MP selfie shooter does add a slight yellow tint, disrupting the natural skin tone.
The battery on the Oppo A9 2020 is 5,000mAh, which easily lasts a full day of extensive usage. If you are using the phone moderately, you can get two days worth of backup easily. The phone takes more than two hours to charge but since the battery backup is good it did not bother me.
The fingerprint sensor on the back is quite small and you will need some time to adjust to it. It works instantly and rarely fails to recognise the fingerprint. The face unlock feature is also quite fast and works even under low-light conditions. At the bottom, there is a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille. The Dolby Atmos sound on the Oppo A9 is really loud and the earpiece also joins in to make the phone a stereo speaker device.
The strong points of Oppo A9 2020 include its battery backup and speakers. The camera is decent and the performance is also good for the price point. The Oppo A9 2020 could have used a display with full HD resolution and minimised the chin to decrease its height. All things considered, the Oppo A9 2020 is a decent smartphone but at the base price of Rs 15,990, the phone competes with the likes of Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realme 5 Pro, Vivo Z1X, and Moto G8 Plus. All these phones are value-for-money devices and Oppo A90 2020 with its futuristic name might find it difficult to stay in the race.