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TECH BREAK: Oppo A9 2020- it's almost perfect

Tuesday December 3 2019

OPPO Kenya, Brand Director Jesse Wu (Centre) poses for a picture with OPPO O-Stars songbird Avril and Actor Paskal Tokodi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on Thursday, October 17, 2019 during the official launch of new OPPO A series 2020.  PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO.

OPPO Kenya, Brand Director Jesse Wu (Centre) poses for a picture with OPPO O-Stars songbird Avril and Actor Paskal Tokodi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on Thursday, October 17, 2019 during the official launch of new OPPO A series 2020.  PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO. 

AUGUSTINE SANG
By AUGUSTINE SANG
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In a race to win the midrange smartphone market in Kenya, Oppo has rolled out its A9 2020.

On its launch mid October this year, Oppo promised that the device would have 'all the features you want', from a superior camera, long lasting battery, powerful processor, superb sound quality and a sleek design.

Those were presented as the highlights of the Oppo A9. But does it check all the boxes? This is an in-depth review of the device.

SNAPPY

First things first, the performance of the A9 2020 is quite snappy. This is mainly because of the Snapdragon 665 processor coupled with the massive 8GB RAM. If you love gaming, you won't have an issue since the device really delivers on that front. It even comes with a Game Boost feature for smoother and more responsive gaming.

Photography and videography is also one of the key highlights of the Oppo A9 2020. At the back, it spots four cameras; a 48MP main shooter, an 8MP wide angle lens and two more 2MP lenses for portrait effects.

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Upfront is a 16MP lens cut-out from the screen in the now common teardrop design.

Hands on, all these add up to an impressive user experience. The camera app is equipped with interesting features like night mode which enables the device to shoot great looking photos under low light conditions.

Portraits look great and the sharpness from the 48MP lens is commendable.

Selfies from the 16MP front camera look great, it even manages to pull off decent looking portrait shots thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). A front flash however, is missing so selfies under lowlight conditions are a no-no.



The Oppo A9 2020. PHOTO | AUGUSTINE SANG
The Oppo A9 2020. PHOTO | AUGUSTINE SANG

RICH AUDIO AMBIANCE

The design of the Oppo A9 2020 looks great with shiny plastic covering the back. The positioning of the fingerprint is bang-on and although its placement is quite shallow, it does detect prints accurately and fast.

The main chassis is made of plastic, not metallic like most devices in its price range.

The LCD screen is bright enough and usability under sunny conditions outdoors is great. However, the resolution of 1600 by 720 pixels which adds up to 269.93 pixels per inch (PPI) is quite low, especially at its price point.

Granted, the resolution won't be a problem with many users but the low PPI makes what would have been a really great device just another midrange in the market.

The Oppo A9 2020 runs on ColorOS 6 which is based on Google’s Android 9.0. It offers features like the aforementioned Game Boost, interesting selection of themes, great user interface, a smart assistant and a System Smart Management that intelligently stops Applications barely used to get the best out of the battery.

Sound quality is one of the best I have experienced out of a smartphone. It comes equipped with Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers. This delivers a rich audio ambiance, much like its expensive brother, the Oppo Reno.

Power is delivered by a 5000 mAh battery which is more than enough, even for the heavy user. It can charge your other devices through a reverse charging feature, that’s right, it's a ‘powerbank’. During my review, I would end up with about 40-50% of power left at the end of the day.

These are the strengths and weaknesses of the Oppo A9 2020 in summary.
Pros
● Great design
● Premium feel
● Good performance
● Big internal storage & RAM
● Impressive camera performance for both video & photos
● Huge battery
● Superb sound quality

Cons
● Low screen resolution
● Plastic body prone to fingerprint smudges.

The Oppo A9 2020 currently retails at Sh29,999 in Kenya.

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