​Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review

Fast, great battery and great value - Oppo’s new Android smartphone is the best all-round flagship phone on the market

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Oppo R9s Plus phone
  • Oppo R9s Plus phone
  • Oppo R9s Plus phone
  • Oppo R9s Plus phone
  • Expert Rating

    4.75 / 5

Pros

  • Fast
  • Great battery
  • Does everything well
  • Outstanding value

Cons

  • None

Bottom Line

This is Oppo’s best-ever phone and arguably the best-all round flagship on the market. Oppo has finally arrived at the big-boys table.

Would you buy this?

Oppo R9s Plus Camera review

Both the front and rear cameras on the R9s Plus are 16-megapixel units. Oppo tells us it has, “New Optical Image Stabilisation technology - on top of its custom Sony IMX398 1/2.8-inch sensor and large f/1.7 aperture lens.”

While the R9s suffered from annoying shutter lag, the Plus, mercifully, doesn’t. We’ve been using the R9s Plus as a workhorse cameraphone recently and took many pictures to illustrate features of other products – something we did a lot with last year's Huawei Mate 8 whose decent camera and decent battery made it perfect to cover things like all-day conferences. The R9s Plus is the first phone since that model that’s felt like it can do the same thing.

A dimly-lit interior shot avoided grain and kept detail and colour.
A dimly-lit interior shot avoided grain and kept detail and colour.

The stills camera is capable of capturing bright colours both in good lighting and low light. It’s very-low light performance can quickly fall off a cliff but we’re talking downright dark here. Flesh tones were natural, detail was sharp and the dynamic range (detail in bright and dark areas at the same time) was impressive.

A point-and-click outdoors shot was captured quickly, accurately and with no shutter lag.
A point-and-click outdoors shot was captured quickly, accurately and with no shutter lag.
In decent lighting, colours are neutral, grain is minimal and an impressive amount of detail in dark areas is captured.
In decent lighting, colours are neutral, grain is minimal and an impressive amount of detail in dark areas is captured.
Bright colours in a dark room were captured accurately and sharply.
Bright colours in a dark room were captured accurately and sharply.
Another great, colourful, night shot.
Another great, colourful, night shot.

The Selfie camera was a big hit with our models. Beauty mode is generally-flattering although it can turn people into dolls on occasions. There’s a nice background blur feature too although by using only one lens it not-surprisingly made blurry mistakes when lots of hair was involved. What they really liked was the voice control – say cheese and it takes a picture. This was particularly useful as the phone was too big for their hands!

(left) Straight selfie. (middle) With Beauty Mode. (right) The fake background blur can fail if there's a lot of hair!
(left) Straight selfie. (middle) With Beauty Mode. (right) The fake background blur can fail if there's a lot of hair!

The video mode goes all the way to 4K and we were impressed. The noticeable wobble and poor image stabilization of the R9s is gone and the camera did very well. Colours could be a bit subdued but the dynamic range meant that we captured detail in areas that are often a struggle for competitors. In dark areas it performed very well – smoothly and quickly ramping up the grain to get a usable image. Focusing was near-instant. In addition, audio capture was very good too (especially when people were speaking) although, as before, in quiet environments there could be a robotic background sound appearing.

4K Video (screenshot) might not be the most colourful but it's sharp and image stabilisation is impressive.
4K Video (screenshot) might not be the most colourful but it's sharp and image stabilisation is impressive.

Conclusion

It’s hard to find a flaw in this Oppo. Usually, these phones impress us heavily in some areas (especially value) but have a flaw(s) which lets them down. The R9s Plus has no significant flaws: it does everything well. It might not lead the market at any one thing, but it’s near the top for everything. At $698 it’s half the price of some rivals making it the best value phone on the market. Overall, this is Oppo’s best ever phone and arguably the best-all round flagship on the market. Oppo has finally arrived at the big-boys' table.

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