MELBOURNE: After announcing the stylish new R9 and R9 Plus handset in China last month, Oppo has announced today that the R9 will be launching in Australia on May 9th as part of a new partnership with Australian electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi. The R9 Plus will also be coming to JB Hi-Fi, though it won’t be arriving until June.
Oppo R9 and R9 Plus
The Oppo R9 and R9 Plus are the direct result of Oppo’s evolution of stunning design and performance in the smartphone industry. The company has been at the forefront of both new technologies, introducing the first FullHD and 2K displays, as well as launching beautiful phones which have improved with each generation.
The Oppo R9 and R9 Plus are the current top range devices, incorporating the latest in camera, ultra-fast fingerprint reader, as well as Oppo’s VOOC flash charging technology.
The star of the Oppo R9 and R9 Plus is the high-end 16MP front-facing camera, which Oppo have used to dub the phone the ‘Selfie Expert’. The front-facing camera incorporates a ‘Hi-Light Camera’ which Oppo says is made for prodcuing clear, vivid shots in all light condition. The camera has a 78.1° wide-angle view which expands to capture 120° wide-angle shots in Selfie Panorama mode.
The camera is paired with some great specs under the hood of both phones:
|Oppo R9||Oppo R9 Plus|
|Screen||5.0″ 1920×1080 (FullHD)||6.0″ 1920×1080 (FullHD)|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio P10, Octa-core 2.0GHz||Qualcomm MSM8976 Snapdragon 652
Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 + Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53l
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 128GB|
|Rear Camera||13MP f/2.0 with Dual LED Flash||16MP f/2.0 with Dual LED Flash|
|Front Camera||16MP f/2.0|
|Wireless||Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Android||Android 5.1 with Color OS 3.0|
|Battery||2850 mAh||4120 mAh|
|Dimensions||151.8×74.3×6.6mm @ 145g||163.1×80.7×7.4mm @ 185g|
The phone comes with Oppo’s customised version of Android 5.1, called ColorOS which has been updated to version 3.0. The stylings of ColorOS are not to everyone’s liking, but there are a few features that enhance the user experience. ColorOS 3.0 has a new, flat design which Oppo has re-engineered to include built-in libraries that significantly increase the speed of the device.
The Oppo R9 is certainly impressive when held, and the fingerprint sensor rivals those found in other 2016 flagship phones. On this, Oppo boasts a 200ms fingerprint unlock speed, and that’s about what it feels like in practice.
New Retail Partnership
The introduction of JB Hi-Fi as a retail partner is a surprise, but a welcome one. Since their launch here in Australia in September 2014, Oppo has aggressively gone to market with a variety of retail partners including AllPhones, Victorian based computer store Centre Com as well as launching phones with Optus and Telechoice. They also landed a fairly major coup announcing a partnership with then leading electronics retailer Dick Smith.
With Oppo’s partnership with Dick Smith coming to an end (as a result of Dick Smith’s closure), the move to partner with one of the largest and best known Australian electronics retailers is a smart one. From humble beginnings in Melbourne, JB Hi-Fi has become hugely successful, known for their great deals and wide reach across Australia with over 200 stores operating nation-wide.
The exposure to a broader audience is not lost on Oppo Australia Chief Marketing Officer Michael Tran who said:
Our partnership with JB Hi-Fi will help us get into the hands of Aussies nationwide, which is very important in building our brand.
Michael’s right on the money there; to get into the hands (and hearts and minds) of an Australian audience, you need to put product in front of faces. Pushing Oppo into carrier stores might not work, given the strong competition from well established brands, but going for an outlet like JB Hi-Fi makes a lot of sense; it’s popular, has knowledgeable staff, and they’re not so beholden to other interests. In other words, it gives Oppo a lot of exposure, and there are staff who are more likely to push the product.
The partnership with JB Hi-Fi will also see the retailer stocking a range of accessories from Oppo, including phone covers, cases and VOOC flash chargers both for the home and car. The VOOC flash chargers are very important, offering their customers with VOOC compatible phones access to the patented fast charging system which can charge the Oppo R9’s 2,850 mAh battery up to 75% in around 30 minutes.
The Oppo R9 will be available on May 9th from both Oppo’s online store, as well as from JB Hi-Fi for $599, with the Oppo R9 Plus coming later in June with official pricing to be announced closer to launch.
Daniel travelled to Melbourne as guest of Oppo Australia to attend this launch.