The Oppo R9s is a good but generic Android phone. How generic? A photo of it almost ended up in a Consumer article for a different phone.
The R9s looks like the offspring of an iPhone 6s and a Samsung Galaxy S7, but with a lack of refinement. The edges, where the metal back meets the glass front, feel sharp. The camera sticks out from the back, an annoyance it has in common with the iPhone.
Inside though, once you get past the bland Android operating system, it has some fun tricks.
The 16MP rear camera uses a Sony-made sensor and takes great photos. I was impressed with the level of detail captured on the high-resolution images. There’s a gif-making feature implemented into the front and rear cameras, which is genius. However, it’s disappointing the files it creates are only low-res and jerky. The camera has a feature that takes double exposure images (where you take two photos and the first is made slightly transparent and laid over the second, to create the final image). It’s fun and works well, but I can’t think of many times when I’d use it.
The other nifty feature is the battery life. I found this out by accident after forgetting to turn the R9s off after removing my SIM card. That was on a Thursday. On the following Tuesday, I picked up the phone and realised it had been happily sitting in standby mode, still connected to WiFi and auto-updating apps, and its battery was still above 50%.
The biggest attraction for most people will be the price. The Oppo R9s costs about $700, a good price for a new phone of this calibre. However, there is strong competition at this price point from the upper end of “mid-range” models, others are last year’s flagship phones that are now discounted.
The R9s is the phone you buy that does most of the things a top-of-the-line mobile can do but at a much lower cost. This is a good choice for students or those wanting the premium phone look without the premium cost.
Screen: 5.5” 180x1920 AMOLED
OS: 6.01 (Marshmallow)
CPU: Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
Rear camera: 16 MP, f/1.7
First Looks are trials of new and interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons. This phone was loaned to the writer by Oppo.