Oppo F1s
A worker conducts a color test on OPPO F1s smartphones at an OPPO smartphone factory in Tangerang, Indonesia, September 20, 2016. Reuters/Beawiharta

Oppo is extremely serious about the Australian market and is keen on selling its flagship R9s smartphone in Australia. In fact, Australia is the only western country where the R9s currently sells. Why is Oppo so serious about such a small market as Australia? Michael Tran, Oppo’s executive director, believes Australia is an amazing test bed as the country is always thirsty for new technology. Tran sees Down Under as a perfect sandbox for a Chinese phone maker.

Oppo is trying to capture the smartphone market by developing Android phones with premium features at half the cost of other top Android devices. The Oppo R9s is a prime example of such a device. When compared with top players such as Samsung, Apple and Google, Oppo does not command even half the price at times for its devices. The Oppo R9s costs just $598. Of course, it cannot provide the top-most configurations as the other top brands though it is efficient enough to make heads turn.

According to the Australian, the Oppo R9s has a bright 5.5-inch 1080p display, an 8-core processor, 4GB RAM memory, 64GB on-board storage and a slot for a microSD card for an extra 256GB. It has a 3,010 mAh battery that on 50 percent brightness, videos played for more than 11 hours. The handset comes with VOOC fast charging. The R9s is thin, lightweight and super fast though it lags behind the biggies in terms of graphics capabilities and processor speeds. The handset comes with an Adreno 510 GPU.

The Oppo R9s has an incredibly fast fingerprint scanner and the handset has 16MP rear and 16MP front cameras though low-light photos were not that impressive. One big turnoff is the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system. Moreover, the device does not have Android’s built-in VR system, Daydream. It does not support high-performance 3d graphics and two apps cannot run side-by-side. However, despite the drawbacks, the Oppo R9s delivers more than expected at $598.

The Oppo R9s will go on sale from Jan. 30 via JB Hi-Fi as its major retailer and also through Vodafone, Virgin, Woolworths Mobile and Optus.