Oppo F9 Pro review: Oppo F9 Pro is the latest smartphone from the company that falls under its selfie-centric F-series lineup. Not so long ago, Oppo announced the F7 in India with a 25MP front-facing camera. So, it was kind of surprising for me to see Oppo bringing yet another F-series smartphone in less than six months. Oppo F9 Pro is priced at Rs 23,990. But is it truly an upgrade over the F7? Let’s find out in our review:
Oppo F9 Pro features and specifications
6.3-inch Full HD+ LCD display | MediaTek Helio P60 processor | 6GB RAM | 64GB storage | 16MP + 2MP rear camera | 25MP front camera | 7.9 mm thickness | ColorOS 5.2 over Android 8.1 Oreo | 169 g | 3,500mAh battery | 4G VoLTE
Oppo F9 Pro review: What’s good?
Oppo F9 Pro has almost done away with the notch above the display. Well, almost. But there has been a slight change in terms of its implementation as compared to Oppo F7. It sports a notch with waterdrop design on the front which is much smaller than the notch on its predecessor.
Stressing more on the design of Oppo F9 Pro, its gradient spraying goes all through the middle frame, resulting in stunning looks. Oppo F9 Pro comes in multiple colour options like Sunrise Red, Twilight Blue and Starry Purple. It measures 7.9 mm in thickness and weighs 169 g.
Oppo F9 Pro sports a notch with waterdrop design on the front, making room for some extra real estate to consume more content around it. But it still ends up hiding content while using certain apps like WhatsApp. You can navigate to Settings > App Display in Full-Screen > Notch Area Display Control and optimise apps for full-screen display.
Oppo F9 Pro has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel on the front, which looks attractive. The screen is fairly bright and has punchy colours in addition to accurate viewing angles. Oppo F9 Pro offers 90.8 per cent screen-to-body ratio. It retains a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, unlike Oppo Find X.
Unlike Oppo F7, the F9 Pro features 16MP + 2MP dual rear cameras. The camera performance is fairly good and at par with most of the mid-range smartphones at this price, though not the best in this segment. Pictures come out decent even in low light conditions, which is great. It has a good dynamic range. It also does a great job when it comes to taking portrait shots.
Pictures come out decent even in low light conditions, which is great. It has a good dynamic range. Oppo F9 Pro houses a 25MP front-facing camera. It can capture some really great selfies once you turn off the AI beautification feature.
Oppo F9 Pro packs 6GB of RAM under the hood, which is enough for the kind of multitasking performance normally expected from a phone at this price. Multitasking was fine for me and I could easily switch between apps without running into any kind of unexpected app crashes or performance slowdown.
Audio output was fairly loud I would say. Media consumption is barely an issue here. I mostly stream movies and TV series on Netflix and Amazon Prime and I enjoyed every bit of it during my usage.
Oppo F9 Pro runs ColorOS 5.2 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo operating system out of the box. It comes with a few apps that are pre-installed, but you can always uninstall them. It offers 64GB internal storage, which is further expandable up to 256GB using a microSD card.
Although it misses onto an app drawer, you get an option to search for installed apps, contacts, messages and app recommendation through a search box. All you have to do is swipe down anywhere on the screen and the search box will pop up.
Oppo F9 Pro packs a 3,500mAh battery under the hood, which easily lasts one day. In fact, it used to have some juice left at the end of the day during my usage, which is impressive. The handset supports VOOC Flash Charge, which is the company’s proprietary fast charging technology.
It also packs a VOOC Flash Charge-compatible adapter in the box that supports 5V/4A output. It was able to charge the handset from 10 per cent to 60 per cent in less than 30 minutes. But do remember that it works only with the adapter and cable that you get inside the box.
Oppo F9 Pro review: What’s bad?
On the downside, Oppo F9 Pro is a fingerprint magnet, which is disappointing in spite of its attractive design. It offers a microUSB port at the bottom, but not the newer Type-C port. Given the screen size, the handset is really difficult to operate using one hand.
Oppo F9 Pro’s camera could have done a better job at white balancing, exposure calibration and colour saturation. It also misses out on OIS and EIS, which is why I feel it is not ideal for serious video recording.
I have never liked Oppo’s selfie beautification technique, to be honest. With the feature turned on, Selfies come out unnaturally flat and weird to look at, which is why I prefer to turn it off. If you need a free layer or two of makeup on your face, feel free to turn it on.
I wasn’t surprised that its gaming performance was not so great in high-end games. I was forced to play PUBG at lowest graphics to achieve a balanced frame rate, which isn’t good enough for a phone in this price range. Helio P60 is a midrange chip at best and better suited for phones under Rs 20,000.
I have not been a fan of Oppo’s ColorOS either. Everything looks so cluttered and confusing. And again, there is no app drawer. But most of all, organising installed apps is a real headache. You have to manually long-press app icons and drag them, which is inconvenient.
I had only one minor issue with the fingerprint scanner. You have to be extra careful while placing your finger on the fingerprint reader. Similarly, face unlock feature doesn’t always work in dark conditions.
Oppo F9 Pro camera samples
Oppo F9 Pro review: Verdict – should you buy it or not?
Overall, Oppo F9 Pro is a decent option for its price. But given the fact that Xiaomi just announced its Poco F1 smartphone with Snapdragon 845 processor starting at Rs 20,999, it will be a little bit difficult for me to recommend the Oppo F9 Pro wholeheartedly as far as the value-for-money is concerned. You also have the Vivo V11 Pro with similar design, better camera and more powerful Snapdragon 660 for just a couple of thousands extra.
You should buy Oppo F9 Pro if…
1) You are excited by its looks and gradient design.
2) You are looking for a good-quality display and selfie camera.
3) You want a phone with good battery life and one that quickly charges up to 100 per cent.
You should not buy Oppo F9 Pro if…
1) You want to play graphics intensive games at high graphics settings.
2) You want a more powerful processing hardware
3) You are looking for OIS and EIS for video recording.