Looking for a new phone but don't want to break the piggy bank to shell out for a top-of-the-line iPhone or Samsung or Google Pixel? If you're mostly buying a new phone for its camera — and most of us are — then Oppo has a proposition for you. Its new R9s isn't unreasonably expensive or jammed to the gills with brand new tech, but it does have a brand new camera sensor that Oppo says can capture some pretty great photos.
Built around a 5.5-inch 1920x1080pixel AMOLED display, the 153x74x6.58mm and 147g R9s has mid-range hardware: it runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM, and the 64GB of onboard memory is complemented by an expandable microSD card slot with space for 256GB more. With a 3010mAh battery inside, Oppo doesn't make any specific promises about battery life, but it's worth remembering that the phone also supports the company's 25-Watt VOOC fast charging, currently equally the fastest of its kind in Australia.
The phone's camera uses a Sony-developed sensor made just for Oppo, with a 16-megapixel resolution and a fast f/1.7 aperture. It's actually also used in the new OnePlus 3T, although OnePlus is a subsidiary of Oppo and the 3T isn't easily available in Australia anyway. With phase detection autofocus on the sensor itself, Oppo is promising fast focus times and consistently sharp shots — something we'll be sure to put to the test soon. The R9s' front-facing camera has the same 16-megapixel resolution, although it's a different sensor and has a less bright f/2.0 aperture.
There are only a few potential pain points with the new R9s that stand out straight away. It runs Oppo's ColorOS 3.0 skin on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, rather than the newer Android 7.0 Nougat. There's no word on when or if the R9s will get an upgrade to Nougat, either. It's also not waterproof. For what it's worth, you get most of the flagship trimmings like a fingerprint sensor and fast charging, so we're not complaining too much.
The Oppo R9s will go on sale from January 30 through JB Hi-Fi as its major retailer, as well as through Optus, Woolworths Mobile, Virgin and Vodafone. It'll set you back $598, which is a pretty impressive price considering the specs of the device you're getting.