Geek Lifestyle Review: OPPO A9 (2020)

Does OPPO's new midranger deliver?

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Right now is one of the best times to get a midrange smartphone considering that there are tons of great options in the market right now. One midrange phone that caught our eye recently is the A9 (2020), OPPO’s new phone in its revamped A-series. Unlike past OPPO midrangers, the A9 (2020) shares a similar look to the brand’s flagship Reno series, especially from the back.

While the A9 (2020) is undeniably a looker, does the rest of the phone’s features prove to be just as good? We find out here in our full review of the OPPO A9 (2020)!



As I’ve mentioned, the A9 (2020) is a incredibly good-looking phone, whichever colorway you get. In our first impressions of the phone, we used the Space Purple color; for this full review though, we got the Marine Green variant.

Compared to other midrangers, the A9 (2020) might not pop out as much, but I’m personally a big fan of the more understated look of this new A-series phone.  Make no mistake though, once light hits the phone’s back, it showcases a dazzling color effect.

From the front, the OPPO A9 looks good to with its large 6.5-inch display with thin bezels and waterdrop notch. It does have a bit of a chin, but it’s nothing too distracting.


Binge-watching Factor 

The 6.5-inch display on the A9 (2020) looks great at first glance, but it disappointingly only has a 720p resolution. Sure, a 720p screen might be fine for a budget phone, but given the A9’s midranger price tag, the screen just lacks in resolution compared to the competition.  Though for binge-watching, the low resolution is fine; just don’t expect it to beat out 1080p displays in terms of sharpness.

What the A9 (2020) has going for it though is the good quality of the onboard speakers. In fact, the A9 (2020) has stereo speakers — a feature reserved mostly for flagships and upper midrangers.


Gaming Prowess

Powering the A9 (2020) is a Snapdragon 665, a processor that proved to be capable for gaming in our review of the realme 5 (a phone which also had a 665). This means that the A9 (2020) is a capable smartphone for gaming. From more common titles such as Mario Kart Tour or the usual PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends, the A9 (2020) ran them without much issues.


Geek Photoshoot Capabilities 

For its cameras, OPPO packed the A9 (2020) with a 48MP F/1.8 + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP portrait lens + 2MP quad-rear camera setup, as well as a 16MP selfie shooter. While an increasing number of midrange phones pack macro cameras, the A9 (2020)’s other 2MP shooter is not a macro lens, instead it’s there for better portrait shots.

For daytime and indoor shots, the A9 (2020)’s 48MP shooter delivered. When there’s a lot of light, the A9 (2020) will take good quality images with good colors and detail. What’s also great about the main shooter is that its’ great for video thanks to effective Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS).

Low-light shots take a dip in quality though when using auto mode. For these times, the night mode is a helpful feature. Thanks to night mode, low-light shots turn out much better, with better detail and lower noise.

The 8MP ultra-wide camera on the A9 (2020) takes good shots in the daytime, but not so much at night. Don’t expect low-light ultra-wide shots to be of great quality; though if you do want to use it at night, the Night Mode works decently well for the ultra-wide shooter.

While the ultra-wide camera wasn’t the best, the A9 (2020) did deliver for selfies and portraits. Selfies on the A9 are social-media ready while portrait shots have a fairly natural background blur effect.


Everyday Reliability 

Much like in gaming, the Snapdragon 665 proved to be powerful enough to power the A9 (2020) in daily use. Whether you work a lot on your phone of you constantly use social media apps, the OPPO A9 is snappy and responsive.

While performance was excellent for daily use, what stands out even more about the A9 (2020) is its incredibly long battery life. Thanks to a 5,000mAh battery, the A9 (2020) lasted for up to two days on a single charge in my use. While you can drain it a bit faster than I did, you’ll be hard-pressed to drain the battery in just one day.


Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict – 7.5/10

The OPPO A9 (2020) is a stand-out midrange device when it comes to design and battery life. It’s one of the most elegant-looking smartphone in the midrange right now in my opinion, and is one of the longest-lasting. Plus, the main 48MP camera delivers for both photos and videos.

The problem though is that the A9 only has a 720p display, not to mention an ultra-wide camera that leaves a lot to be desired. Sure it may have a capable processor to offset these drawbacks, but it’s hard to overlook them given its SRP of PHP 15,990.

On its own, the OPPO A9 (2020) is a good smartphone. The problem is that the current midrange segment is highly competitive right now, both in terms of feature-set and pricing.

OPPO A9 (2020) Specs:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6.5-inch HD+ display (w/ waterdrop notch), Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • 128GB storage (expandable)
  • 48MP F/1.8 + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP portrait lens + 2MP quad-rear cameras
  • 16MP F/2.0 front camera
  • 3G, LTE, Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6
  • Price: PHP 15,990