Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Shootouts

Oppo R9s & R9s Plus smartphone review: Can they challenge the incumbents?

By Liu Hongzuo - 30 Apr 2017

Design & Handling


 

Overview

The Oppo R9s entered the local smartphone market back in late-2016, with the R9s Plus finally arriving in Singapore in late-February 2017. According to Oppo, the smartphone duo serve as an upgrade to the early-2016 phones, Oppo R9 and R9 Plus. The two versions differ in sizes, with the smaller R9s having a 5.5-inch display, while the bigger R9s Plus packs a 6.0-inch display. Both displays are rated at Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution). 

The main draw in the R9s is how Oppo uses an "exclusive" 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor with f/1.7 aperture for its rear camera, which supposedly offers higher quality photography. Case in point, the smartphone that nabbed the highest DxOMark Mobile photography score (as of writing) was the Google Pixel, which uses a Sony IMX378 sensor. The R9s’s new sensor is also an upgrade versus the preceding R9, which had 13 megapixels resolution, and an f/2.2 aperture lens. The new phones also come with Dual Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), which provides up to 40% faster focus speeds than its predecessor.

Another significant change is the use of Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC in the R9s. The preceding Oppo R9 packed a MediaTek MT6755 octa-core processor, marking it as a huge upgrade when you pick the new R9s over the R9. MediaTek processors are notoriously famous for their lackluster battery efficiency (further reinforced by our existing benchmarks of other MediaTek-powered devices), while the Snapdragon 625 exhibits battery efficiency beyond expectations (as seen in our Moto Z Play and ASUS ZenFone 3 reviews). It’s quite a drastic switch, but we do expect much better battery life on the newer R9s.

The Oppo R9s Plus uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor instead, which supposedly comes with 10% higher CPU performance than the Snapdragon 652, while supporting up to 8GB RAM. To that end, the R9s Plus packs 6GB RAM, while its smaller sibling holds 4GB RAM.

So, are these Oppo phones worth a shot? Let's find out.

  Oppo R9s Oppo R9s Plus
  Oppo R9s Oppo R9s Plus
Launch SRP
  • From S$679
  • From S$779
Operating system
  • ColorOS 3 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • ColorOS 3 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 653
Built-in Memory
  • 4GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
Display
  • 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) AMOLED
  • 6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) AMOLED
Camera
  • 16MP f/1.7 rear camera with dual PDAF, optical image stabilization, and Dual Tone LED flash
  • 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with Beautify 4.0
  • 16MP f/1.7 rear camera with dual PDAF, optical image stabilization, and Dual Tone LED flash
  • 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with Beautify 4.0
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Storage Type
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable storage via microSD (up to 256GB)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable storage via microSD (up to 256GB)
Battery
  • 3,010mAh with VOOC Flash Charge
  • 4,000mAh with VOOC Flash Charge
Dimensions
  • 153.0 x 74.3 x 6.58 mm
  • 163.6 x 80.8 x 7.35mm
Weight
  • 147g
  • 185g

 

Design & Handling

The earlier R9 and R9 Plus designs were heavily inspired by the Apple iPhone series, and the new R9s and R9s Plus models are no different. In fact, they are nearly indistinguishable from its preceding models. To that end, Oppo has taken extra effort to show that they are different, thanks to their new ultra-fine "six-string" antenna lines on the rear of both phones. These 0.3mm lines also represent the six networks’ frequency ranges that the R9s and R9s Plus can operate on. They distribute three lines to the top and bottom of the phone, where the phone’s antennas are typically located. Similar to the iPhone, though not how they are executed, the volume buttons are on the left profile of the phone, and power button is on the right.

Both the R9s and R9s Plus use Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for its glass panel. They also tout a mostly-metal rear that wraps around the sides. The metal body tapers off towards the front panel, finishing in a chamfered metal rim that runs around the display. It's a "safe" design, since it clearly looks inspired by the iPhones of late. It goes without saying that the phones feels quite familiar when held in hand too. While the R9s Plus has a wide body, its 7.4mm thin profile makes it really easy to hold the phone confidently. Having a familiar design also meant that the power and volume buttons are instinctively accessible.

Loading...