“Selfie, wefie, wherever we go…”
By now I’m sure many of you have heard this incredibly catchy (and sometimes annoying) PSA from OPPO. As often as it gets stuck in your head, it does highlight one important thing — we’re taking more selfies today than we ever have in the past.
If you’re a smartphone maker, you’d definitely want to cash in on this — many are — and while OPPO’s recent attempt at a “selfie expert” fell sort of flat, their new duo looks much more promising.
Kicking things off, the newly announced OPPO R9 and R9 Plus have front facing cameras that are designed to give you 16 megapixels of selfie goodness. In sheer megapixel count alone, they’re double nearly every other smartphone selfie camera out there.
But we all know megapixels aren’t everything and thankfully the R9 duo also packs a fast f/2.0 lens to allow as much light as possible to hit that sensor. They’ve also got OPPO’s improved beautification plus selfie panorama modes which should go down well with selfie enthusiasts.
Beyond that, the R9 is a pretty standard midrange device. It’s got all the usual suspects in a mid-level OPPO device with a 5.5-inch full HD AMOLED panel sitting on top of a 2GHz MediaTek Helio P10 processor mated to 4GB of RAM. Keeping everything running is a 2,850 mAh battery.
Since it’s a camera-centric device, it does pack more internal storage as users can get 64GB of expandable internal storage (via microSD up to 128GB). But it becomes pretty obvious which camera you’re supposed to be using when the “primary” rear-facing shooter is only a 13MP sensor with PDAF and an f/2.2 5-element lens.
OPPO R9 Plus
With the name being the biggest hint, the R9 Plus has a larger 6-inch full HD AMOLED panel on the front. Despite the larger screen, the device does have slightly wider bezels (1.76mm versus the R9’s 1.66mm) but it still has a better screen-to-body ratio of 79.3% (versus the R9’s 77.7%).
Inside, OPPO has also upped the specifications to a Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB (128GB version to follow) of expandable internal storage. The primary camera unit does make a little more sense here as the R9 Plus packs a 16MP Sony IMX298 sensor with PDAF and an f/2.0 lens. It has a larger 4,120 mAh battery which should give it pretty decent battery life.
Good looking mid-rangers
Design wise, the devices have a pretty sexy look with the near bezel-less screen and thin profile accentuated by nice round edges for better grip. OPPO have also abandoned the rear-facing fingerprint scanner, choosing instead to mount it on the front of the device below the display. While that does make it easier to unlock when it’s on the table, I’m still more of a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor kind of guy.
The most unfortunate thing is that the Chinese company’s super-fast Super VOOC flash charge doesn’t make an appearance on the R9 duo. You’ll just have to “settle” for regular VOOC (70% charge in 30 mins), I guess. They do come in two colours though — gold and rose gold.
Another bummer is that both smartphones come with colorOS 3.0 that is still built on top of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Android N previews are out, OPPO, c’mon) but we certainly hope it gets updated when it leaves China.
Unfortunately, there is no information on global availability, but it will hit shelves in China on 12 April with the regular R9 being priced at CNY2,799 (around RM1,755) while the bigger R9 Plus will cost CNY3,299 (around RM2,068). According to OPPO Malaysia, it will be arriving on our shores sometime next month.