OPPO has been unusually quiet in the mid-range segment the past few months, and now we know why: the company has been cooking a brand-new phone in their supposedly budget A-series of devices meant to seriously compete with the offerings of rival Huawei, Xiaomi and their ilk.
The new 2020 refresh of the A9 has all the makings of a great mid-range phone: a pretty exterior, solid chipset and a grand total of 5 cameras in its body.
As gorgeous as the R17 Pro, and comes with mid-range innards
The A9 (2020) is a beautiful device, with OPPO using quite a bit of the R17 Pro’s design elements in the overall design of the phone.
OPPO’s unique gradient finish is evident on the phone’s back, which is unfortunately still made out of plastic. We would have preferred glass (since it’s more scratch-resistant) but since most phones nowadays rock a silicone case anyway, that’s a minor gripe.
There’s also a 3.5mm jack in the phone’s body as well, which makes it one of the few mid-range phones to sport the jack which is fast disappearing.
If you look closely, you’ll see the quad-camera setup on the rear of the A9 (2020), with three cameras arranged vertically, with the fourth located right below the LED flash.
The quad-camera setup is composed of a 48-megapixel, high-resolution sensor with an f/1.8 aperture lens, along with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, 2-megapixel “portrait” lens (which is likely a depth sensor) and a 2-megapixel mono lens.
We’re assuming that the mono lens is to capture black and white information, just like how Huawei’s previous flagships used a dedicated monochrome sensor for additional information.
OPPO is proud of the fact that the phone uses their new Ultra Night Mode 2.0 feature that’s supposedly vastly improved over the previous iteration, though we’ll have to see if that’s the case with the A9 (2020).
Aside from the quad-cameras, there’s also a 16-megapixel front camera embedded in a water-drop notch.
Since we’re on the subject of water-drops, the one on the A9 (2020) is supposedly 31.4% smaller than the previous generation, giving the phone’s 6.5-inch, HD+ IPS display a screen-to-body ratio of around 89%, total.
The screen is big, with the bezels relatively slim for a mid-range phone. Disappointingly the phone doesn’t use an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is a limitation because of the LCD display used, but from experience, the UD fingerprint scanners of other brands at the price point the OPPO A9 2020 is supposed to play in aren’t that great.
The OPPO A9 (2020) uses Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 665 chipset that’s fast becoming the choice for manufacturers in the mid-range space.
The Snapdragon 665 is similar to Qualcomm’s older Snapdragon 675 chipset, in that it’s manufactured with an 11nm process.
Interestingly enough, OPPO is offering the A9 (2020) with a whopping 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that can befurther expanded via microSD.
If that wasn’t enough, the OPPO A9 (2020) has a massive 5000mAh battery inside of its shell, along with (finally!) USB Type-C charging. There’s also reverse charging, but we’re not sure yet if the phone supports fast charging, or if there’s a fast charger included in the retail packaging.
To top it off, the OPPO A9 (2020) has Android 9 Pie, along with ColorOS 6.
OPPO’s new A9 (2020) has a lot of mid-range specs that are usually reserved for the company’s more premium F-line of smartphones. It seems like OPPO is bumping up the A-series of devices up to include mid-range devices as well, not just entry-level phones under the 10K mark.
We’re not sure exactly how much this phone will be, though judging from the specs the A9 (2020) may just slot in at the mid-Php 15K price point, going up against the recent offerings of their rivals vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi.
OPPO A9 2020 specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor
- 8GB of RAM
- 6.5-inch HD+ display with waterdrop notch, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- 128GB of expandable storage
- 48-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel Ultra Wide Angle Lens (119°), 2-megapixel portrait lens, 2-megapixel mono lens
- 16-megapixel front camera
- 3G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, physical fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C connector
- 5000mAh battery, reverse charging
- Android 9.0, ColorOS 6