Why it matters: Love it or hate it—and let’s face it, most people seem to hate it—the Android notch is here stay. Everyone from LG to Google to OnePlus are jumping on the cutout bandwagon, and most are using a design that mirrors the iPhone X. But Oppo’s F9 offers something a lot less intrusive.
While it was Apple’s flagship device that popularized the feature, it was the Essential Phone that introduced the notch. At first glance, it appears that Oppo’s version is a replica of the one found on Andy Rubin’s handset, but it’s actually smaller and has a horizontal speaker grill sitting above it.
Oppo’s no stranger to unusual phone designs. Much like Vivo’s Nex, the Oppo Find X boasts a huge screen to body ratio by hiding the camera inside the phone. A motor raises it out of the top when the camera app is activated.
The Oppo F9 features a mid-range Mediatek Helio P60, a 6.3-inch LCD (2340×1080), and a 3,500mAh battery that can be juiced quickly via the company’s VOOC fast-charging technology. Buyers get 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a rear fingerprint sensor.
The dual camera setup consists of a 16-megapixel f/1.9 module and a 2 MP depth sensor. There’s also a 25-megapixel front-facing snapper. But one of the main draws for the F9 is that it’s the first phone to feature Gorilla Glass 6, which can reportedly survive 15 drops from one meter onto rough surfaces.
The F9 launches in India and Southeast Asia later this month, no word yet on pricing. The similar, if more powerful and feature-packed, Oppo R17 arrives in China this week.