Oppo has taken the wraps of its latest creation, the Oppo F9 which - while not too similar - takes plenty of inspiration and technologies that makes the innovative premium Find X so desirable.
- 15 best smartphones 2018: The best phones available to buy today
- Upcoming phones: The future smartphones of 2018
We've just taken delivery of the F9, and spared no time in getting it unboxed and set up, because as well as being a great looking phone, Oppo phones are often precursors to what we might see next from OnePlus. Especially on the display side. So let's start with that.
On the front, there's a large 6.3-inch Full HD+ display boasting a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and a respectable 409 pixels-per-inch density. What makes this screen interesting is just how much of it there is. While the Find X wowed us with its almost completely bezel-free approach, this F9's display isn't far off.
By pushing the earpiece up to the very top edge, on the corner of the frame, Oppo only needed to make room for a single selfie camera. That in turn means a notch that's so small it takes up very little space at the top of the screen. It's a subtle, small rounded hump, rather than a rectangular distraction.
There's still something of a small chin at the bottom, but it's not as prominent as some of the bottom bezels we've seen from other so-called "edge-to-edge" phones.
Things are just as eye-catching on the back where - just like the stunning Find X - the glossy glass covers a gradiented finish. Our device is Twilight Blue, where a royal blue bottom half gradients into the black top half, and also has an eye-catching diamond pattern that appears more visibly at certain angles.
What's stunning about this finish, is that as you tilt and move the phone, the diamonds and the black/blue gradient seems to shift as you do so. It's coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 6, and has polished metal edges with a shiny chromed finish that colour-matches with the glass colouring, complete with a gradient.
Inside, you're not going to find the usual Snapdragon processor. Instead, Oppo went with a MediaTek Helio P60 chip that's used alongside a generous 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. There's also a 3,500mAh battery which should be plenty to get through a day, but even when/if it doesn't, there's VOOC flash charging to ensure it's topped up again without too much delay.
Like OnePlus' Dash Charge, this technology can refill a battery very quickly, using the cable to dissipate heat to ensure no damage is done to the phone and meaning that the phone can continue charging efficiently and quickly even if you're using it at the time. It's fast enough that you can almost forgive Oppo for going with a micro USB connector, rather than Type-C. In 2018, that does seem very dated.
As is the case for most popular phones these days, there are two cameras on the back. In this particular instance, there's a 16-megapixel sensor paired with a two megapixel sensor that's used for depth data and portrait mode shots. As for that notched selfie camera on the front, that's a 25-megapixel sensor.
We're not expecting the F9 to make its way to Europe, but with Oppo having announced its plans to enter the region, it does give a glimpse at what we can expect from the company going forward. Namely, bezel-free screens on the front and beautiful glass patterns and gradients on the back.
While it's not guaranteed, it perhaps also gives us something of a hint as to what to expect from the next OnePlus flagship. The two companies often share the same technologies, and we'd be surprised not to see a reduced size, more subtle notch on the front of the OnePlus 6T (if that becomes a real product).
The Oppo F9 is launching in India, among other markets in Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East and northern Africa. Sadly, we don't know pricing, but given the specs and the F-series history, we expect it to be relatively affordable.