Today Oppo launched the F9 and F9 Pro in India and we have the better of the two at hand in our office, so naturally we decided to share our first impressions with you.
But first let's clarify the subtle differences between the Oppo F9 and F9 Pro. In India, the Oppo F9 Pro has 6GB of RAM compared to 4GB on the regular F9, a 25MP selfie camera compared to 16MP on the F9 and VOOC Flash charge, which the F9 lacks. To justify the difference in specs, the F9 Pro costs more than the F9 - it can be ordered for INR 24,000 (€300) while the regular F9 costs INR 20,000 (€250).
A potential source for confusion on an international website such as ours is that Oppo is selling the F9 Pro by the name of F9 in Vietnam and possibly other markets. So the phone we got for review is called F9, but specs-wise it's identical to the F9 Pro as seen in India. So we'll call it Pro in the text below.
The Oppo F9 Pro comes in a retail box with all the necessities. The phone aside, you get a rubber case, a pair of headphones, a VOOC Flash Charger and a thicker microUSB cable (to handle the higher voltage). Yes, you read that correctly - microUSB - the Oppo F9 Pro is a bit behind the times in this regard just when we thought that's behind us once we saw Oppo Find X use USB-C.
Oppo is pushing the envelope when it comes to screen notches with the F9 Pro. It comes with a water drop notch, which is just a small cutout for the 25MP selfie camera. This is a similar solution to what Essential did with the PH-1 and it looks like the next step for the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro and the vivo V11.
We're not sure everyone will like the water drop design but we expect it will be more popular than the regular old wide notch.
The earpiece is almost invisible above the notch. It's perfectly fine for calls but sadly doesn't double as a loudspeaker. The main, bottom-facing speaker doesn't impress - it outputs hollow, lifeless sound.
On the positive side the 6.3-inch IPS LCD is lovely to look at. It's nice and sharp thanks to a 1080x2340px resolution and just above 400ppi and its colors are nicely vivid, punching above its LCD pay grade.
We like what we see on the front but we love what we see on the back. The color gradient effect on the rear glass panel is wonderful to look at. It shimmers and changes under different light and comes alive under direct sunlight.
The Twilight Blue model we have moves in shades from light cyan to dark blue while the Sunrise Red model looks a bit flashier with a palette of lilac, pink, orange and finally red.
The Oppo F9 Pro feels a bit thicker than its 8mm would have you believe but its 3,500mAh battery partly makes up for that. We'll see what endurance it's able to produce, coupled with the ample screen and the Helio P60 chipset.
Camera-wise the Oppo F9 Pro offers a 16MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4 dual camera on the back and an impressive 25MP f/2.0 selfie snapper. The camera software comes with trinkets like AI Beautification 2.1 and Super Vivid mode.
We'll assess the camera's prowess in due time in our detailed review.
The Oppo F9 Pro is now available for pre-order through Flipkart and will go on sale on August 31 through Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm Mall and Oppo's own store. It will be available offline too through retail partners in India such as Reliance Digital, Croma, Sangeetha and Big C.