Oppo A9 2020 Review – Techradar
The Oppo A9 2020 is an affordable mobile with a huge array of features. It has a big display, an even bigger battery, 4 back cameras, a lot of memory and even one of the better budget chipsets.
On paper the Oppo A9 2020 seems almost bafflingly nice, but there\’re 3 obvious shortcomings. Its display is not as advanced as those of the Moto G series and the outer shell is plastic body. The only glass sits on the display and cameras, the only metal body around the camera housing.
This\’s one of the great budget phones for those who tend to hit their mobile hard with video streaming and gaming on the way to work. It has the display inches and battery life to make the most of these jobs.
If that describes you then you can probably safely buy it, while if you’re looking for other things from your mobile then read on to see if the Oppo A9 2020 fits the bill.
Oppo A9 2020 rates and launch date
The Oppo A9 released at £220 / AU$399 (around $250, but with no confirmed availability in the US), which is also slightly cheaper than the Moto G8 Plus.
As we say, there’s no clear US launch date for the mobile and considering it landed in the UK and Australia the end of 2019 we wouldn’t expect Oppo to debut it there anytime soon.
Clad in plastic body but looks nice from a distance
large and thick
Lacks water resistance
The Oppo A9 2020 could pass for a more costly mobile from arm’s length. Its back looks almost like curved glass, and has a finish that reacts to light. A color-shifting ‘S’ snakes across the light’s path like some older Moto G mobiles.
It’s big also, and has a slim display notch. If you told someone you paid double the rates for the mobile, they would probably believe you.
The Oppo A9 2020 has curved sides for comfort, but it does not feel remotely as high-end as Oppo’s own Reno 2. That mobile is double the rates, though, and this year even Motorola has reverted to using plastic body on the back instead of glass in the Moto G8 Plus.
Size is the other part to bear in mind. Oppo has made a budget powerhouse here, but the big screen and battery mean the A9 2020 may seem intimidatingly big to some of you. It’s also 9.1mm thick, although the slight curvature of the back does take the edge off this.
The use of plastic body ceases to matter if you use the included silicone case, and you probably should probably use a case. However, the bundled one is not as nice as those bundled with the Reno 2 Z and Reno 2.
The silicone plastic body is stiffer, and a lack of attention to detail in its construction leads to the power button losing its click. This\’s oddly upsetting, and led us to removing the case – you will likely be able to find something better online.
Thankfully, Oppo has\’nt also messed up the display protector. Like most other Oppo phones, a plastic body protector is attached in the factory. It saves the heartbreak of scratching your mobile within two days.
The Oppo A9 2020 lacks water resistance, like almost every mobile at the rates. We did at one point accidentally dip the bottom of the mobile in some soya milk and it’s still working fine, but this proves nothing more than that it won’t explode on contact with liquid.
6.5-inch 720 x 1600 display
Display could be sharper but this isn’t also much of an issue
Colour temperature is cold out of the box
The Oppo A9 2020 has a very big 6.5-inch display. This\’s significantly larger even than the Moto G8 Plus’s 6.3-inch display.
Those looking for problems will notice this\’s not a Full HD display. It’s a 720 x 1600-pixel panel. The first limitation we noticed was something else, though.
Fresh out of the box, the Oppo A9 2020’s colour temperature is quite cold, which in turn makes the just-okay colour saturation look worse. One of the first things we did was to go to the Display part of the Settings menu and switch the temperature to its ‘warmer’ setting.
This does not make its colour reproduction a match for a high-end mobile, but does give the display a more pleasing character.
Does the display res matter? Lower pixel density is more obvious on a huge display like this than the iPhone 11, which only has around 10% more px in each direction. But this usually manifests in a slight softness of text, rather than cruder-looking pixelation.
That’s thanks to Android’s excellent res scaling and that the panel is advanced sufficient to avoid making the pixel structure at all visible. We’re truly surprised by how legible tiny fonts are when you zoom out in a browser window.
In old versions of Android, text would become ugly and blocky when made of this few px, but it now looks nice.
Sure, we’d prefer a Full HD display, but that\’s the Oppo Reno Z’s job. And crucially, we would rather a 720p+ LCD (as seen here) than a 720p+ OLED.
OLED displays for phones use a PenTile sub pixel arrangement, in which px share subpixels. That means the lower pixel density clarity we see here just is not possible in an OLED of the same res (yes, an OLED would offer better contrast and colour).
It’s also important to appreciate what the Oppo A9 2020 can still do very well. Even a 720p+ display like this\’s perfect for YouTube streaming. Video footage still looks excellent at this res, and the very big canvas makes watching video more enjoyable. We thought we’d dislike this display, but we like it, quite a lot in fact.
There’s one other thing to bear in mind also: did you know Netflix does not actually stream at resolutions above 720p on most Android phones? Still, if only the sharpest text will do, consider the Moto G8 Plus.