The Oppo R9s Review: Surprising Features And Impressive Camera

Kieran McEwan
on March 2, 2017

The Oppo R9s presents an impressive array of flagship features, including 16 megapixel front and back cameras, for a budget price.”

Available for only $598 the R9s presents an attractive alternative to flagship smartphones which now ask well over one thousand dollars for the latest and greatest, presenting similar features for a fraction of the cost.

Surprising Features

Right from the box, it is clear that the Oppo R9s presents an experience well above its low price point. The build quality of the phone is immediately impressive, and it soon became obvious that the R9s’ greatest asset in day to to day use would be its battery which, after easily lasting a day of heavy use, would charge back to full within an hour and a half.

Also of note is the speed of its fingerprint scanner, which is the quickest I’ve used by a large margin, including when compared to the iPhone 7, and I found myself merely tapping the home button with my thumb to open the phone without it failing me once.


The R9s is a phone that takes clear inspiration from its competitors, and in particular Apple’s aesthetic. The shape of the phone, the app icons, the settings menus, and arguably even the design of their website have all been heavily borrowed from the American tech giant.

This comes with advantages, however, as the phone successfully manages to replicate on an android phone the ease of use that is so attractive in iOS devices. While more hardcore android uses may lament the loss of features such as an app drawer and the greater customization available on most other android devices, the more immediate usability of the R9s will appeal to those looking for a phone that will be intuitive and suit them well from the get go.

Photo taken by Kieran McEwan with the Oppo R9s

An Impressive Camera

The most impressive of the Oppo R9s’ features are its 16 MP front and back cameras. While reviewing the phone, I took the camera to Clovelly beach at sunrise to test it out in difficult lighting conditions. The camera rose to the challenge, dealing well with the low light prior to the sun’s rise remarkably well, and taking good selfies that focused well both on my face in the foreground, as well as the sun as it rose over the horizon in the background.

Photo taken by Kieran McEwan with the Oppo R9s

While its ~ 2 second shutter delay might have proved more challenging for action shots, the camera punched well above its weight, taking fantastic photos in difficult conditions.

Key Specs

  • Size and Weight: 153mm tall x 74 mm wide, 147g
  • Screen: 140mm diagonally, 1920×1080 pixels
  • Battery: 3010mAh, ~16 hours video playback
  • Camera: 16MP front and back
  • Charging: Micro USB w/ fast charging
  • Operating System: Modified Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)

The Verdict

When I was given the Oppo R9s I expected to review a phone whose features reflected its budget price, and that suffered from the same shortfalls as most other phones in its price range. What I found, however, was a phone brimming with features, including an impressive camera, a lighting fast fingerprint scanner, and a huge battery life. The R9s is an attractive alternative to $1000+ flagship smartphones for those looking for similar features in a phone almost half the price, and comes strongly recommended.

More on information on Oppo’s website.

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