OPPO A9 2020 Review
OPPO’s A-series is known for its affordable entry-level smartphones; however, the company level upped its game by releasing the A9 2020. This device features impressive specs that will definitely make heads turn thanks to its 8GB of RAM, quadruple rear cameras, and large 5,000mAh battery. We previously expressed our initial impressions on the device, but since then, we’ve taken this smartphone for a full spin. Will this be the phone to beat? Find out in the full review below.
Design and Construction
The A9 2020 has the typical glass back design with gradient colors. The one that we have is the Space Purple which creates an S-shaped reflection when light hits it. Overall, it looks premium, pleasant, and stylish; it also closely resembles the R17 Pro, actually.
The waterdrop notch at the front of the device houses the 16MP front camera sitting on top is the call speaker. What I find lacking here, however, is that it doesn’t have an LED notification light that could’ve been a great help in tracking new messages or knowing if the battery is fully charged.
The right side has the lone power button that feels clicky and tactile. Its placement is just right for my thumb, while the green accent inside the button adds an aesthetic value to the phone.
On the left, you’ll see the volume rocker with the same tactility, and the tray for the dual-nano SIM and dedicated microSD cards.
You won’t find any component at the top which means that you’ll find the loudspeaker, USB Type-C port, microphone, and 3.5mm audio port at the bottom area.
Flip on its back and you’ll see the 48MP + 8MP + 2MP +2MP quad-rear cameras, LED flash, and the oblong-shaped fingerprint scanner.
The A9 2020 is easy to grip thanks to its curved sides. Although, the 6.5-inch size might take some time getting comfy with it if you are not used to holding large phones. One recurring minor issue here is that it is a fingerprint and smudge magnet, making it quite irritating to clean. Good thing that OPPO included a free clear case to remedy that problem — props to them for that.
Display and Multimedia
The device has a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS screen with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It has thin side bezels, but its chin is thicker which is not really intrusive when watching at landscape orientation. The only bummer here is it only has 720p resolution. It’s quite disappointing, given the price point of this smartphone. Nonetheless, it works fine for day to day use. We still get good colors, sharp enough details for reading, and great brightness under direct sunlight.
As for audio, sounds produced can get loud enough with some depth for a medium-sized room thanks to its Dolby Atmos support. But of course, expect it to lack some bass. If you want a better listening experience, do take advantage of its headphone jack.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software department is Android 9 Pie skinned with ColorOS 6.0.1. We find it highly customizable and packs a lot of OPPO’s apps such as Music Party, Game Center, Game Space, O Roaming. It also has pre-installed apps such as Facebook, Lazada, and Opera.
There’s an app drawer option in the settings, and you can easily adjust the navigation buttons the way you want them to be arranged.
In terms of storage, the A9 2020 has 128GB and you can store up to 112GB worth of documents, images, music, videos, and games here.
OPPO made this smartphone quite interesting as it has a quadruple rear camera setup. This consists of a 48MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP depth, and 2MP monochrome lenses.
Under good lighting conditions, photos come out sharp with accurate colors. My tip here is that you have to focus the camera if you really want the best lighting to your shot because it can be a hit or miss. Low-light shots are grainy washed out; however, if you use OPPO’s new Night Mode, you’ll definitely see the significant difference in quality.
The A9 2020’S performance is not that perfect as the portrait mode has issues when there’s too much going in the background. The blurring could miss on some parts of the environment. Nevertheless, with the right conditions, it has an impressive camera quality.
Taking selfies with the 16MP shooter is good with the right lighting. Again, though, photos under low-light conditions will definitely affect the quality as it will be grainy just like the rear cameras. Overall, it is still usable for social media posts like on Facebook or Instagram.
When it comes to recording videos, you can shoot up to 4k and switch from normal, to ultrawide, to 5x zoom in a single video clip. What I like about it is the stabilization, an important feature to have in this price segment. The only downside here is that the video struggles to lock focus onto anything, so it ends up pulsating all over the place. Check it out.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the A9 2020 is the Snapdragon 665 chipset paired with an 8GB of RAM and Adreno 610 GPU. Multitasking on this device is, without a doubt, smooth while doing tasks such as browsing, navigation, and editing are also decent.
As for biometrics, the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and the face unlock are both snappy. It only takes around 0.3 seconds to unlock the device using the former while it only takes half a second for the latter to do its magic.
Here are the benchmark scores:
- AnTuTu v7 – 119,800
- PC Mark – 6,269 (Work 2.0)
- 3D Mark – 1,084 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1), 1,058 (SSE – Vulkan)
- Geekbench 4 – 311 (Single-Core), 1,227 (Multi-Core), 368 (Compute)
- Androbench – 517.31 MB/s (Sequential Read), 196.12 MB/s (Sequential Write)
Running games on this device such as Mobile Legends, PUBG Mobile, and Brawl Stars are all smooth. Also, heavy games such as Honkai Impact 3 and Asphalt 9: Legends are playable here. Just be wary that there will definitely be frame drops from time to time if you are on the highest graphics settings.
The device warms up when playing games or even taking photos or videos; however, it does not reach a point where it becomes uncomfortable in your hands.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The OPPO A9 2020 comes with the standard connectivity such as WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 4G LTE. We didn’t have problems using Waze, Google Maps, and Grab as the device accurately pinpoints my location and orientation.
The phone’s 5,000mAh battery is no joke as it has a reverse charging technology meaning that you can make the A9 2020 your personal power bank. We tested it in PC Mark’s battery benchmark test and it yielded a respectable time of 15 hours and 18 Minutes. Our video loop test shows that it can have a playback time of a solid 19 hours which is pretty impressive. These results are mainly due to the phone’s HD+ resolution which consumes less power than the FHD+ ones.
For PHP 15,990, the OPPO A9 2020 is a good mid-range device that has a large display, decent performance, large RAM and storage, good cameras, and long battery life. This device is a good attempt of competing in this price range especially if it goes toe-to-toe with the VIVO S1. Your only problem here is that with this price range, this phone entered a dangerous weight class because Xiaomi’s Mi 9T Pro and Huawei’s Nova 5T are just sitting there at PHP 18,990 and both of them already have flagship-level performances.
But against the rest of the mid-range market, it’s hard to put this phone towards the top of the list. The competition is tough, but on its own, if you’re looking for a mid-range OPPO phone in particular, then the A9 2020 won’t disappoint you.
OPPO A9 2020 specs:
- 6.5-inch HD+ (1600 x 720) Waterdrop IPS screen, 269ppi
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 2.0GHz octa-core
- Adreno 610
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB UFS 2.1
- microSD card support (dedicated slot)
- 48MP (main) + 8MP (ultrawide) + 2MP (depth)+ 2MP (mono) quad-rear cameras
- 16MP front camera w/ AI Beautification
- 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- USB Type-C
- 3.5mm audio port
- Fingerprint scanner (rear)
- Dual-stereo speakers
- Dolby Atmos Sound Effects
- ColorOS 6.0.1 (Android 9 Pie)
- 5,000mAh battery w/ Reverse Charging
- 163.6 x 75.6 x 9.1 mm
- 195 g
- Space Purple, Marine Green
What I liked:
- Large screen size
- Decent performance
- Good gaming performance
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Large RAM capacity
- Large storage capacity
- Decent cameras
- 4K video recording
- Good battery performance
- USB Type-C
- Reverse charging
What I didn’t:
- 720p resolution
- Low-light shots are close to average
- Dangerous price range
- Unnecessary bloatware