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OPPO F9: should you upgrade or not?

After several months of the OPPO F7′s release, the selfie-centric smartphone manufacturer introduced a new aesthetically looking selfie-expert, the OPPO F9. Following its predecessor’s success, OPPO added some notable features to up their game, not just in the camera department but in the battery aspect as well.

Now, the question is, what’s the difference between the two OPPO F smartphones released this year? Let’s find out here.

SPECSOPPO F9  OPPO F7         
Display6.3″ Waterdrop Screen display, 19.5:9, 2340 x 10806.23 inches 1080×2280 pixels IPS LCD
Dimensions156.7 x 74.0 x 7.99mm, 169g6.2×2.9×0.2 inches, 158 g
ChipsetMediatek Helio P60Mediatek Helio P60
OSAndroid 8.1, ColorOS 5.2Android 8.1, ColorOS 5
GPUMali-G72 MP3Mali-G72
Memory6GB RAM + 64GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card)4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, (up to 256GB via microSD)
CamerasRear Camera: Dual 16MP (f/1.8) + 2MP (f/2.4)

Front Camera: 25MP (f/2.0)

Rear Camera: 16MP f/1.8

Front Camera: 25MP (f/2.0)

Battery3500mAh supported by VOOC Flash ChargeNon-removable Li-Ion 3400 mAh
Official Price (Philippines)PHP 17,990PHP 17,990 PHP 14,990

Design

As for its design, you can easily spot which OPPO F smartphone it is when you look at the rear part. The OPPO F7 that was released last April in the Philippines features a glossy all-plastic body. On the other hand, the newest OPPO F9 has a gradient tone at its rear with a flower petal pattern. To be able to enjoy its gradient pattern though, users will have to tilt the device to certain angles.

The F9 also has a dual rear camera setup, however, the F7 has only one. In addition, both devices also feature a similar rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Flipping the devices, we can see that the OPPO F7 bears a notch that is quite similar to what Apple popularized in 2017, while the OPPO F9 has a tinier notch compared to the latter. As mentioned before, the F9’s notch was reduced by 1.7mm to maximize screen space. The newer OPPO F9 also has slightly different button placements in comparison with its predecessor.

Display

The OPPO F7 sports a 6.23-inch in-cell IPS display with a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels, and Gorilla Glass 5. Going to the newer OPPO smartphone, the F9 has a 6.3″ FHD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Instead of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, the F9 is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

Camera

In the camera department, both the OPPO F7 and F9  features a Smart AI recognition that is present on their massive 25MP front camera. There’s also a feature called a Vivid Mode wherein it can shoot more vibrantly looking photos without the need of post-processing.

For the rear cameras, the OPPO F9 features a 16MP+2MP dual rear shooter, while the F7 with a 16MP f/1.8 aperture.

As mentioned earlier, the F9 has a dual rear camera setup, the F7 has only one rear shooter. The secondary camera of the F9 is used to capture portrait images that has multiple lighting and color options.

Our first sample shots from the OPPO F9 and F7 were taken on our veranda. It highlights the sky and the buildings. As you can see on the photos provided, the sky on the F7 gave a dimmer look than the F9’s shot. Also, the details look more crisp on the F9’s.

These shots were taken with the 2x zoom option. Same with the first sample photo set, the OPPO F9’s shot has a lighter tone compared to the other and it also gave out a sharper result.

The HDR mode for both handsets were turned on when we took these shots. It might look pretty identical at first glance, but if you look at them closely, the F7’s output on this one looks brighter. The greens on the trees are also much vibrant than the photo on the right. But when it comes to detail sharpness, both were able to give out crisp results.

For this one, we tried the Vivid Mode option. This camera mode lets the users take more vibrant photos without post-processing. It automatically boosts the photos’ contrast and saturation. Looking at these sample photos side by side, the OPPO F7’s output looked more vibrant than the F9’s. 

Another shot with the Vivid Mode on. What do you think?

With the F9’s secondary rear shooter, it has the option called the portrait mode. It takes photos with depth-of-field and also lets the users choose which lighting or color option to make their shots look more aesthetic. On the other hand, while the F7 doesn’t have this feature, users can still take photos with depth effect since it has a camera option for that.

Our first night-lit assisted shots highlighted the Shanghai tower LED lamp. Both handsets were able to capture great outputs without noise and grain.

For this one though, noises are apparent on both sample shots. Moreover, the details aren’t crisp either.

As expected, the selfies from both the F9 and F7 look great. Especially with the AI Beautification mode turned on, the subject’s face looked beautified naturally. It beautifies the faces without losing much facial details. In comparison. the F7 gives out a more lighter toned selfie, while the F9’s sample selfie looked more natural in color.

Even in a low-lighting area, both devices produced bright and vibrant selfies. No grains are visible on both shots as well.

Aside from the Vivid Mode and other features mentioned, the F9 and F7 also fun stickers you can choose to capture your selfies.

Features and User Experience

These two OPPO smartphones basically give us almost identical overall experience since both bears the same chipset, which is Mediatek’s Helio P60 and coupled with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. The F7 having a 4GB of RAM, while the F9 with a 6GB RAM. Both have an internal storage of 64GB.  Navigating on the F7 and F9 works swiftly and smoothly, even multi-tasking on these devices works with no problems at all.

We also tried playing graphically heavy games like Rules of Survival and Asphalt 9 on both devices and we did not encounter any problems. The games run smoothly on the two OPPO devices with no irritating game lag occurred. There’s a downside though, some apps are still unable to hide the notch, so it can be irritating for some users who aren’t a big fan of the trendy protruding notch. As usual, we tried some benchmarking tools and here are the results:

DeviceAnTuTuGeekbench(single core; multi-core)PCMark Work
OPPO F91375041496, 57207917
OPPO F71397681524, 58077993

Watching movies on these devices are also great, colors are vibrant and accurate plus the details look crisp and sharp as well. When we took out the two smartphones on broad daylight to test out how it can take strong lighting, the F9’s screen has brighter display compared to the latter. Unlike the F7, we didn’t have any slight problems viewing on the screen of the F9 while taking pictures, since again, it has a way brighter display.

Battery

The OPPO F9 has a slightly larger battery pack than its predecessor. The F9 has a 3500 mAh battery, while the F7 with a 3400 mAh. But unlike the older F7, the F9 comes with a VOOC Fast Charging technology, wherein it was able to fuel up the smartphone by 50% within 20 minutes. This is mainly the reason why it outshines the older OPPO F smartphone – its capability to charge the device from 0 to 100% in less than an hour, which is 2x faster than the predecessor.

Audio

A little disappointed that the new OPPO smartphone still has a mono speaker. Nevertheless, both devices offer decent mono speakers in the market. With the F9 being a little louder than the other.  Both speakers aren’t as clear as well, especially in max volume.

Verdict

The OPPO F7 recently received a huge official price cut. From its original price of PHP 17,990 when it was launched in the country to PHP 14,990. Going to the other handset, the F9 has the same price as the F7 when it was released in the Philippines, which is PHP 17,990.

With a current PHP 3,000 price gap, should you get the newer F9? If you’re always on-the-go as a person, we definitely recommend to get yourself the F9 instead of the few months older, F7. Plus, it has a cooler rear design, a secondary rear shooter, and a smaller notch, But if you’re alright without the super fast charging, you’re good with the F7 too, since it’ll give you a similar overall experience as the newer one. What do you think? Comment down below your thoughts!

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