Oppo A9 2020 belongs to A series which is known for making low budget phones. A9 2020 and A5 2020 are the latest additions and upgrades of the previous standard versions. A9 2020 is a significant upgrade from the earlier version that only featured dual cameras on the backside. The latest iteration comes with quad-camera support and a huge 5000 mAh battery that is also becoming a norm in this price category. Realme 5 Pro, Infinix Hot Note are some of the rival phones that are available for a much lesser price with almost similar specs.
Priced at PKR 45,999, what really differentiates Oppo A9 2020 apart from the rest of the phones is what we need to find out in our review below.
Design and Display
Design is where Oppo A9 2020 shines, and the Marine Green color that we were given had a little resemblance with the Oppo Reno, although not entirely similar as the latter had a popup camera, very different design chemistry and of course an altogether different specs sheet.
A9 looks like the rightful descendant of the standard A9. The successor follows with a similar positioning of the camera, fingerprint scanner, and branding on the rear side, all vertically aligned in the center part. The difference this time is the quad-camera setup and a very prominent gradient color that seems to have been inspired by nature. The rear panel is shiny and looks like glass; however, it is a plastic body which really gives a premium look. The plastic meet with a matte finish frame on the edges, which are comparatively thinner due to being curved and provide a decent grip.
Flip the phone, and you get a 6.5 inches IPS LCD of 720×1600 px resolution, which should have been on the higher side considering the price of the phone. Oppo may have stuck with this screen for the longer battery life and to keep the cost low. Though it’s a bummer, however, the elongated screen provides an excellent viewing experience; the brightness levels are really adequate, colors look punchy, and contrasts are on the higher side. The display is equally good under the sunlight. Oppo has lessened the blue light effect this time to minimize the burden on the eyes.
Side edges of the phone are not as intrusive as the prominent chin area, but it does not, however, spoils the display.
As with Oppo’s usual designs, the well protruded power key is placed on the right side. A small green mark embossed on it adds value to the overall aesthetics. The left side is busy with volume keys and the SIM tray that can independently accommodate two SIMs and a microSD card.
The topside of the phone is empty, which means you will get to see USB-Type C slot, speaker grille, audio jack, and a microphone at the bottom area.
Oppo A9 2020 comes with a Snapdragon 665 chipset that was launched back in April 2019. It belongs to the six series, which is primarily used for entry-level mid-range phones in contrast to the 7 series, which is dedicated to the upper category mid-range devices.
Being a 2019’s chipset, we should expect a better performance both in-camera as well as processing, including the battery consumption, which is enormous in this phone.
To support the chipset, there is an 8GB RAM and 128GB internal memory that look more than sufficient theoretically. The phone has another variant that comes with a 4GB/128GB combination. On the software side, it runs Android 9.0 skinned with ColorOS 6.0.1.
A9 2020 is good with light to moderate use. It can run PUBG smoothly on lower and medium graphics; the other options are disabled by default, though.
We noticed it killing music streaming app SoundCloud every time we launched PUBG; however, no such behavior was observed with other graphic intensive apps like Asphalt9, Deer Hunter, or any other game we tested.
While playing PUBG, we didn’t note any significant performance issue, the phone’s temperature remained normal, and there was no lag, though it consumed 5% battery in 30 minutes. Game Space is to be given credit for such a smooth running of games on this phone. You can add games inside, and the phone will ensure it spares enough resources to run them smoothly.
The phone, however, does show lag during heavy multitasking, particularly when you have opened too many resource eating apps in the background, and you want to switch apps from recent tasks.
Every time we switched over to the Dear Hunter, Dead Trigger 2, or Asphalt 9, they relaunched and started from zero, which shouldn’t be considered a good optimization practice. PUBG being the lighter in graphics, resumed from where we left it. However, bringing it back from the recent tasks blackened the screen on a few occasions.
Our hour-long multitasking with games consumed 19% of the battery, whereas it dropped 10% – 11% of the juice during an hour-long video test, which is far inferior in the result as compared to Realme 5 Pro and even Samsung Galaxy A30s that is packed with only 4000 mAh battery.
Oppo A9 boasts a 5000 mAh battery, which should last for more than a day with moderate usage, at least one full day for those who remain glued to their screens.
However, our real-life social media test brought down the battery from 99% to 45%, consuming 54% battery life. We ran Instagram, youtube, Tiktok, Games, WhatsApp (video call), audio streaming, and video recording through the default camera app, 30 minutes each.
In another back to back video playtest, the battery lasted for 9 hours, which is another disappointing performance and far below what we had expected.
A9 2020 provides an excellent sound experience, loud enough to catch anyone’s attention in a small room, thanks to the Dolby sound and dual speakers. Though the sound levels are on the higher side, it lacks the bass effect. I would recommend using your earphones to enhance the experience further. Oppo has also provided customization in the setting area that you can play with to your liking.
Note: we tested back to back video and social media with mobile data turned on and screen at full brightness level. On wifi and half brightness level of the screen, the battery life is expected to produce a different results.
Quad-camera setup is in trend, and one after the other, every mid-range and the entry-level phone are hitting the shelves with multiple cameras. Oppo A9 2020 has a 48MP wide-angle primary sensor, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP depth sensor, and another 2MP lens on the rear side. On the front, there is a 16MP selfie camera right in the center of the notch.
It can take some decent quality photos under better light. The colors are accurate, and the exposure level is acceptable.
The good thing about the Oppo’s default camera interface is that it offers a variety of tools well within the reach without the need to dig in the menus in search of something that should be placed right in front. You get to play with ultrawide angle lens, HDR, Dazzle Color, and tons of filters for creating some drama in the picture.
Although the results are good in the daylight, they are equally better in the evenings, the standard camera works acceptably in the well-lit areas, and things can be further spiced up with the help of Dazzle Color, something similar to Chroma Boost in Realme and Vivid in Huawei phones.
The low light pictures aren’t as exciting as the one taken in better light conditions. At night, it compromises on the details and raises the noise level; however, there is a Night Mode 2.0, which can bring some improvement, but it brings extra warmness in the photos and exposure level increases.
Oppo A9 2020 can zoom in up to 5x digitally which works for photos and videos alike but somehow, it gathers more noise at 5x while recording videos.
Apart from this, there are usual modes available including ‘Night’, ‘Pano’, ‘Expert’, ‘Time-Lapse’, ‘Slow-Mo’, ‘Sticker’ and ‘Google Lens’. Night mode is useful to brighten things up but it some times overdo the treatment and bring in more whiteness than required.
Oppo A9 2020 is definitely a significant upgrade from the previous model in terms of camera and battery. Despite a 665 chipset, it can run the show decently, play games at low graphics settings, and take some decent photos in better light conditions. The 5000 mAh battery can easily survive a day after a mild to aggressive usage, but if you want to go beyond a full day, you might wish to look for other options.