Oppo R9s review

Apple face with an Android booty

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Performance and battery

Though it has a whopping 4GB of RAM and a rather powerful Octa-core processor, the Oppo R9s is held back slightly by its older Adreno 506 GPU. Based on GeekBench results, the performance of this one is about where you’d expect: halfway between a budget handset like Motorola’s Moto G4 Play and a flagship like the Galaxy S7 or Google Pixel.

That said, mid-range phones aren’t aimed at power users who are after extreme graphical performance, but rather at people who use their handsets to perform regular day-to-day tasks, like messaging, running apps, taking photos and browsing the internet. Because of this, the phone’s PCMark for Android results provide a more accurate representation of how the R9s will perform for its desired user base.

Unfortunately, it's hard to gauge the accuracy of its PCMark benchmark results, as the Oppo R9s turned in a score that would make even the most high-end flagship handsets on the market kneel before it. Earning a mammoth score of 7001 in our ‘PCMark - Work 1.0’ benchmark test, the Oppo R9s seemingly annihilates the Google Pixel’s 4461 result and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge’s score of 4713, which seems a little unlikely to us. 

If you’re after a handset that can game with the best of them, this isn’t it. However, for web browsing, video playback, writing and photo editing, this phone is more than capable of that.

On top of its work-related proficiency, the Oppo R9s’ 3,010 mAh battery also impressed – our PCMark for Android tests revealed a lengthy 12 hour and 10 minutes lifespan for the R9s. While that’s less than Oppo’s R9 Plus’, which offers a battery life of 14 hours and 48 minutes, it’s greater than almost everything else out there.

And, If you do happen to find yourself running low on power, the R9s will give you two hours of talk-time from a 5-minute charge, and 75 percent battery after a 30-minute charge, thanks to Oppo’s proprietary VOOC Flash Charge technology.


With the Oppo R9s, it's clear why the company has been so successful in its home country. It has delivered a phone with a premium look and feel, terrific battery life and exceptional work performance at half the cost of a flagship phone from Apple or Samsung. 

We liked
It looks and feels like an iPhone 7, with a stylish (yet derivative) design that leaves most other mid-range handsets in its dust. At $599, this is level of craftsmanship is practically a steal.

It's got a 12-hour plus lifespan, which is quite impressive in itself, but when combined with its ultra fast charging technology, you have a handset that's unlikely to leave you in a tight spot. 

We disliked
Though its performs well in a work capacity, its weak GPU performance leaves something to be desired. 

Though it continues to improve with each iteration, Oppo's ColorOS still needs some work, with its hard-to-reach notifications and lack of app drawer being particularly frustrating.

And, while the AMOLED 1080p screen offers striking images, its colours can be a little over-saturated.

Final verdict
For the price, the Oppo R9s is a remarkably stylish and sophisticated smartphone that offers a number of premium features. Though its OS still has some quirks, and its gaming performance is average, the R9s is a terrific phone that offers long battery life, good work performance and impressive photographic capability. With the R9s, Oppo practically has that 'king of the mid-range' crown in its much-deserved grasp. 

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.