The OPPO R9s is set to hit NZ very soon.


At present, New Zealand has a large divide between overpriced flagship phones and cheap rubbish. The OPPO R9s aims to fill that void being a mid-priced phone with excellent specs.

The mobile market in NZ is dominated by two main players. While they do make good products, there are countless other options available that the NZ consumer seems hesitant to try. NZ still has a hangover when it comes to tech. We seem to think that high price equals high quality. This is not true in many areas of technology with cheaper brands now providing products that are not only excellent quality but in many cases, exceed the specifications of their much pricier competitors. Having the most expensive phone no longer means you have the best phone. It just means you paid more than you needed to for a brand with a certain reputation. If you plan on keeping that expensive phone for 5 years, then sure it’s worthwhile but I don’t know many people with a phone more than 2 years old max.

While OPPO are fairly new to NZ (The R9s is set for launch sometime this quarter) they have a massive market share through Asia, Africa and Europe and have various products available such as Blu-ray players, high end headphones and their range of smart phones.

OPPO have the R9s currently available in Australia for $598.00 so we can expect pricing in NZ to be around the $700 mark (still to be confirmed). This is much cheaper than the high-end devices we are paying $1200 – $1800 for presently and offers very similar specifications.

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So, is it any good?

Yes, it’s a beautiful phone. It feels incredibly light but not cheap and has nicely rounded edges and a top-quality finish. Looking at the design you will see some similarities to the big fruit company phones (you know who) with overall shape and home button placement etc. One small aspect that irks me is the raised rear camera. This is a pet peeve I have in general but OPPO justify it by having a range of camera lenses that can clip on to broaden your photography options. The raised camera thus allows the lenses to sit in the correct position which is justification enough for me in this case.

Speaking of cameras, OPPO have aimed to make this an all-round photographers delight with 16MP cameras front and rear. The rear camera has a customised IMX398 sensor that Sony designed exclusively for OPPO and an extra wide F/1.7 aperture. With its high light sensitivity and Dual PDAF (phase detection auto focus), which doubles the PDAF-enabled photodiodes on the pixel array, the R9s takes beautiful pictures no matter the time of day.

The camera settings allow you full control over shutter speed, focus, white balance, ISO along with a levelling gauge, RAW mode and more. Ultra HD shoots four photos consecutively then combines the best parts to make one 50MP, ultra-high definition image which is amazing. Add in the Super GIF feature that creates GIFS that can be played backwards and forwards and you’ve got a whole lot of fun on your hands.

The front camera is also 16MP and has a wide-angle view to allow more light into the sensor giving better selfies in any lighting conditions. There is also ‘selfie panorama’ to allow you to take that big group selfie with extra wide 120° front-facing photos. So, the cameras are pretty bloody good.


What else does it do?

The home button has a super-fast fingerprint scanner that does much more than unlock the phone. The R9s uses hydrophobic fingerprint recognition technology, which increases recognition rates of wet fingers by 40 percent. The solid-state fingerprint reader on the new zirconium home button is activated by merely resting a finger on it.

The fingerprint recognition system also evolves over time, gradually refining its image of the user’s fingerprint and making for an increasingly efficient and smooth unlock process.

But wait, there’s more!

You can assign up to five different fingerprints to different applications and contacts. By unlocking your phone with different fingers, the specified app or phone call will start automatically, saving you the inconvenience of searching through contact names or sifting through dozens of apps.

The R9s uses an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM, ensuring snappy performance and seamless multitasking. This puts its raw power on a par with your current high end phones from the exploding phones company and the fruity crew, but at a fraction of the cost.

The screen is bright and clear and they have what they call “six-string” antenna design that allows a better reception over mobile networks and wi-fi alike.


Plug me in.

Now whenever we look at mobile devices the big winner, or loser, is battery life. So how does the R9s fare in the battery department? The R9s features an ample 3010mAh battery with VOOC Flash Charge and ColorOS’ power optimisations, ensuring it will keep you cruising through the day. With typical usage, I was getting up to two full days on a charge (less when watching videos etc..), but that’s not the best part. The VOOC flash charging means a thirty-minute charge will get the mobile phone to 75% of battery. With 4x faster charging speed than conventional chargers, the VOOC flash charging system will have your phone ready to go when you are on your way out the door.

OPPO have also included the option for dual Nano Sim cards so you can have your work phone and personal phone in one. No more carrying around two phones. If you don’t have a work phone you can use the second slot to house a micro SD card and expand the already ample 64GB handset by up to an additional 256GB. That’s plenty of storage for your music, photos, and your favourite TV shows to watch on the way to work.

There is plenty to like about the OPPO R9s even before you consider the fact it’s half the price of similar spec’d flagship models. The time I spent using the R9s was a pleasure, which is not something I can say about other phones that I’ve reviewed in the past. They even include a clear gel case with the phone which is really handy for people that tend to drop phones a lot. Not me of course but some people seem to have a knack for smashing phones, don’t they Charis?

The low down.

Overall the R9s offers excellent specs, great performance, some really fun features and leading-edge technology. I love the cameras, the dual sim, VOOC charging and screen size. The finger print scanner was blazingly fast and didn’t falter once. I was sad to see it go.

Next time you are in the market for a new phone look at what’s out there and make a sensible decision rather than listening to the profit driven advice you’ll get in most stores. OPPO has a lot to offer and I look forward to seeing their full range of products being available here someday.

What’s in the box?

The R9s review unit I received was packaged nicely with ear buds, wall charger, USB – micro USB cable, and the inclusion of a clear gel case which is a nice touch.

Logo Oppo

OPPO R9s Specifications:



Height                                            153 mm

Width                                            74.3 mm

Thickness                                       6.58 mm

Weight                                           147g (With Battery)


Basic Parameters

Color                                              Gold, Rose Gold, Black (Gold and Black only in Australia)

Operating System                        ColorOS 3.0, Android 6.0

Processor                                      MSM8953Octa-corea

GPU                                               Mali-T860 MP2

RAM                                               4 GB

Storage                                          64 GB (Support micro SD card up to256GB)

Battery                                          3010mAh (Typical) Li-Po Battery (non-removable)



Size                                                 5.5 inches

Type                                               Amoled

Resolution                                     FHD (1920*1080 pixels)

Colors                                            16 million colors

Touchscreen                                 Multi-touch, Capacitive Screen, Gorilla Glass 5



Main Sensor                                  16-megapixel

Front sensor                                  16-megapixel

Aperture Rear                               f/1.7

Aperture  Front                            f/2.0

Video Mode:                                 4k/1080p/720p



SIM Card Type                             Dual Nano-SIM,

Audio Effect                                  Dirac

GPS                                                Supported

Bluetooth                                      4.1

Wi-Fi                                              802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz, 5GHz

NFC                                                No

OTG                                                Supported

Sensors                                          Distance Sensor, Light Sensor, G-sensor, E-compass,Gyroscope

Bands                                             GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz

LTE Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/TD-38/39/40/41