Review: Oppo R9s smartphone

By
Review: Oppo R9s smartphone

Good hardware, nice price.

Oppo would have you believe that you can have a top-tier phone for a mid-range price, and on the surface, its R9s certainly looks the part. Save for the oval-shaped capacitive home button – which houses the blisteringly fast fingerprint sensor – it looks and feels just like Apple’s offerings, even possessing Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5.

Round the back, the stylish design continues, with the guitar string-inspired antenna lines at the top and bottom. It hides its large 5.5in display well, with barely-there side bezels and its surprising lack of thickness.

It has an AMOLED 1080p display and is just as bright and pretty as you’d expect. A Snapdragon 625 CPU is sufficient for most applications, the 4GB of RAM is plenty, and the 3,010mAh battery is charged with the included VOOC fast charger, which certainly lives up to its name.

The Oppo’s headline act is its cameras, and in most scenarios, the 16MP rear camera keeps up with the premium smartphones. However, in darker areas, or where HDR is called upon, the shutter speed curiously slows down quite markedly. Optical image stabilisation is missed here as well.

The front camera, while also 16MP doesn’t use the same sensor as the rear, but is still better than most front-facers out there.

The iPhone imitation continues to the software, which sadly, is where many of the phone’s shortcomings become apparent.

Oppo’s ColorOS tries so hard to be an iPhone lookalike that it started to infuriate after a while. Simple Android things like long-pressing the background to change it weren’t possible, and as far as I could determine, there’s no way to add widgets to any home screens. Oh, and there’s no app drawer, which I’m sure will frustrate many Android veterans.

It does have some cool tricks, like an Avast-powered clean-up app that offers to “optimise” your phone when required, and screen gestures during standby that can activate the camera or the flashlight.

For the hardware you’re getting it’s great value, but the OS is the weak link here, and holds it back from getting a better score.

Oppo R9s
4 5
Verdict
"For the hardware you’re getting it’s great value, but the OS is the weak link here..."
Overall
Specs
$598 AUD
• Oppo: www.oppo.com
5.5in 1080x1920 AMOLED display • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU • 4GB RAM • 64GB on-board memory (expandable up to 256GB) • 16MP front and rear camera, dual-SIM
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