OPPO may be putting more attention to its Reno 2 Series but the company hasn’t fully abandoned yet its older lineups. Launching the OPPO A9 2020, the company called it an answer to what the Filipinos need in a smartphone. But aside from photography, the Chinese brand made sure that it won’t die on you even during the longest working days.
If you’ve seen and used any of the F11 Series, the A9 2020 might feel the same. It’s a relatively thick slab that’s covered in plastic material. The back panel reminds us of the original Reno lineup, including the all-centered positioning of the cameras, fingerprint scanner, and imprints. While it won’t feel as premium as other glass-clad phones, the overall heft adds substantiality. It’s also a huge phone, so only bigger hands can make the phone bow down to them. For the average person, you need two hands to properly use this heavy and huge device.
Perhaps, the most disappointing feature of the A9 2020 is that display. Not because it’s using an IPS LCD, but because it comes in a mere 720p resolution. It’s such a waste to see a big screen marred with nearly distinguishable pixelated graphics. But if you don’t mind the lower screen quality, in exchange, you get better battery life and lower CPU & GPU consumption when playing games.
If the display is disappointing, we find the quad-camera setup to be very useful. Technically speaking, the A9 2020 carries four lenses on the back, however, only two of them are user-configurable — the 48MP wide and 8MP ultrawide. Nevertheless, it’s still better than the main and depth lens combination of F11 and F11 Pro.
Under suitable conditions, the A9 2020 delivers sharp and well-balanced photos. It tends to overexpose at times, so you may notice a brighter color output. Some parts in the shadow areas are completely black, showing a limited dynamic range on the A9 2020’s part. At night, photos are expectedly softer. While resulting images suggest a bit of focusing problems, the quality is more than usable.
As for the 16MP selfie camera, it’s flat out disappointing. Even with good lighting, the images are plagued with noise or grains. Color reproduction and sharpness are lacking. Hopefully, a software patch can fix the lackluster selfie camera of A9 2020.
Instead of going for a power-hungry Helio P70 chipset, OPPO decided to stick with power efficiency in the Snapdragon 665. It’s not the most reliable when it comes to competitive gaming but it’s more than enough for what the casual users need. While I’m not a fan of synthetic benchmarks, we know you guys are, so have a look.
While most users will play music in the background while scrolling through social media feeds, I, myself, love to play videos in picture-in-picture mode. Going through several apps, with very minimal lags and stutters, I say, there’s no problem having multiple running apps thanks to a generous 8GB RAM. Gaming-wise, it’s a decent mid-range gaming device. Frame drops are normal when going for higher settings, but it’s best to go for optimal mode for the smoothest experience. Mobile Legends should no have problems running but the likes of Asphalt 9 should have toned down settings.
|Geekbench Single Core||1367|
For a mid-range phone, we are surprised to see the A9 2020 rocking a dual-stereo speaker. The south-firing speaker definitely produces louder sounds but the speaker near the notch provides depth. This makes the audio experience a bit better compared to single-firing speakers. But if that’s not enough, the headphone jack is always present.
With 5000mAh battery, this is the largest battery in an OPPO phone in recent memory. And as expected, you will need to play games for hours before the A9 2020 prompts you to charge it. You can easily get two days out of it under light to medium use. And if you need to charge, it’s going to take nearly three hours as the USB Type-C port supports the 10W charging rate only. And if you happen to feel generous, the device can act as a power bank.
OPPO A9 2020 is in a weird situation. For P15,990, you’re basically paying for the large battery and quad cameras. This reminds us of the Realme 5 carrying the same battery capacity and a quad-camera setup that even allows you to do macro shots. But with a P9,990 price for the top model, you need to take note that there’s no 48MP Sony sensor, USB Type-C, and 8GB of RAM.
If only OPPO managed to bring an FHD+ Super AMOLED and a slightly better chipset, say, for example, a Snapdragon 730 or even the older Snapdragon 710, it will make it easier for us to recommend. But since the market competition is the Galaxy A50s that carries a P18,990 price tag, the A9 2020 is in a good spot.
OPPO A9 2020 specs, price, availability in the Philippines
- Display: 6.5″ IPS LCD HD+ waterdrop notch, corning gorilla glass 3
- Design: glossy plastic finish (back)
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- Memory: 8GB
- Storage: 128GB, expandable storage via microSD
- Camera: 48MP + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP depth + 2MP mono
- Selfie: 16MP
- Battery: 5000mAh, 10W standard charging
- Security: rear-mounted Fingerprint Scanner
- Connectivity: dual nano-SIM, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, 4G VoLTE, audio jack, USB Type-C
- OS: Android 9.0 Pie with Color OS 6
- Colors: Marine Green & Space Purple
- Price: P15,990
- Release: September 2019, in the Philippines