Google Pixel 3 Lite: Why bringing back the headphone jack is a good idea

There have been rumors of a possible budget variant of Google’s flagship Pixel smart-phone; it was only recently that we got a glimpse at what it might look like. It has been referred to as the “Pixel 3 Lite”, and it combines the design of the Pixels with a smaller 5.5-inch display and a mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor. Although the usual complaints about the antiquated design and large bezels persist in this phone, one of the issues that a significant portion of consumers have been clamouring for a long time might have finally been addressed. By far the most interesting aspect of this phone is Google’s apparent decision to include a headphone jack for the first time since their very first Pixel phone.

Phones and headphone jacks have complimented each other for the longest time. For most of us, our first feature phones had a 3.5 mm jack, and it was perhaps the most interesting aspect of the phone to each of us at the time—cue countless hours of ripping MP3 files and loading them onto tiny memory cards. With smartphones, the need of a headphone jack was even greater—smartphones aimed at being the convenience guarantor and having a 3.5 mm jack on your smartphone was the convenient way to listen to music or recordings. And while the industry has transformed from feature phones to flip phones to finally smartphones, the headphone jack has largely remained constant. In an industry as focused on innovation as the smartphone industry change is the only constant. Thus we had to part ways with our headphone jacks, while Bluetooth and USB-C ports look to be the future. However, is that a good thing?

Firstly, the reason the headphone jack stuck around for so long is that it worked. It was a solved problem; there wasn’t much reason to move forward. Yes, we always strive for quicker and more convenient ways to solve a problem; provided the problem is still solved with the amount of quality retained. And the bottom line is, Bluetooth just doesn’t do that. Bluetooth audio quality is nowhere near the quality offered by most cabled equipment, yet. They simply can’t play high bit-rate files, or at least at the same quality wired equipment can. However, it is convenience vs. quality here, with different people obviously valuing different things. Audiophiles will always value cabled equipment, while consumers who value the convenience and portability of Bluetooth will opt for it. But the thing is, it isn’t too much to ask for both options on a device, especially when the manufacturing cost is so small.

It isn’t fair to say Bluetooth is bad for listening to music. High-end Bluetooth equipment can dish out music that is only perceptively worse than wired equipment. But to achieve that quality with Bluetooth, one has to spend a lot more than one had to for a wired option of similar quality. There is essentially no way to listen to a raw, loss-less sound on Bluetooth earphones; they just aren’t capable of it yet. All sounds need to be encoded to the Bluetooth headset, then decoded back to play. This is essentially the same tech as it was in 2004 when the first stereo Bluetooth headset came out. So Bluetooth still has a long way to go to match the 3.5 mm jack in performance.

Bluetooth headphones, ironically, offer less diversity than wired headphones. Active noise cancelling, bass-heavy, treble-heavy, you name it. There are headphones offered specifically to gamers, joggers, for Skype calls, etc. There’s a ton of flexibility when it comes to wired headphones, mainly because they’ve been around for longer and have had the time to address each specific need in the market. Bluetooth simply doesn’t offer that kind of flexibility yet. Bluetooth is mostly aimed at an active lifestyle, being more portable. They tend to have minimal builds, make complete seals with ear cups for better noise cancellation, and mostly just need you to adapt to it rather than it adapting to you. That doesn’t work for a lot of people and as it has been said before, there is simply no reason not to have both wired and Bluetooth options.

The weight then falls onto the USB-C type ports and dongles to make the argument for no headphone jacks. And I’m just going to say this flat out—dongles are bad. A lot of DACs and amps simply don’t work with the USB-C tech, and using one port to both charge your phone and listen to music causes an unnecessary amount of wear and tear. It is also a sloppy thing to use, as it’s easy to lose and just adds a new point of failure, being an external accessory.

On the point of convenience, Bluetooth doesn’t necessarily become the convenience provider most distributors make it out to be. Having a Bluetooth device means having another device to charge. At the same time when smartphone companies are trying to offer quicker ways to charge your phone to maximize time utilization—like fast chargers and larger batteries—doesn’t having another device to charge actually feel less convenient (if not completely defeating the purpose)? Bluetooth might indeed be the future, as it can only be improved upon. The problem is it hasn’t been fixed yet. There was never anything added to the experience of owning a device without a headphone jack, options were only taken away from it. For this reason, the headphone jack coming back in a market leader’s next big device is a welcome change. I personally feel like this is a good decision by Google, and eagerly await the return of the 3.5 mm jack in all its glory.

Huawei: Enemy of the US?

Huawei has had a hell of a year. From toppling the smartphone giants Apple’s iPhone in terms of sales to the several US government-related controversies, it’s certainly not been a dull period for the Chinese tech giants. It should come as no surprise that much of Huawei’s history is marred in many such controversies. However, you may be surprised how many of the controversies throughout the years remained unchanged. Here, we look at a few controversies the company has gone through in just this calendar year. The list will be listing these controversies from the oldest of the year to the newest. In fact, the last entry on this post only happened yesterday!

January – Defending US Government Communications Act

A French newspaper linked Huawei to the hack of the African Union Headquarters in Ethiopia. The Chinese government, of course, denied the acquisitions. Right after this, the US government would propose the Defending US Government Communications Act, call for FCC to investigate the company, and even got AT&T to pull out of an agreement with Huawei. Verizon, on the other hand, would stop carrying Huawei products in the future. This was only the start, and Huawei would have a rough year ahead of them.

February – Intelligence heads think Huawei is spyware

Huawei: Enemy of the US?

On February 14, 2018, heads of six U.S. intelligence agencies testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence against the use of Chinese telecom products by U.S. citizens. Like those of Huawei and ZTE. Christopher A. Wray, director of the FBI, stated that they were “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks”. Huawei responded to the allegations, arguing that its products “[pose] no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities,” and that it was “aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei’s business in the U.S. market”

March – Best Buy stops selling Huawei

Best buy, one of the largest retailers of consumer technology in the US, stops selling Huawei products. Huawei takes another hit to their bottom line, and the pseudo war against the Americans start taking its toll.

April – US Government forbids self from using Huawei tech

On April 17, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a preliminary, 5-0 vote. It was on rules forbidding the use of government subsidies to purchase telecom equipment from companies deemed to be a risk to national security. A draft of the policy specifically even named Huawei and ZTE as examples. This would further restrict Huawei, as anyone who wants to work intimately with a massive employer like the US would have to make certain to not have Huawei phones.

May – The Pentagon bans Huawei phones from retail stores on military bases

In an unsurprising move, the Pentagon went ahead and banned Huawei from all military base retail shops. Huawei in a statement basically didn’t even address it. Instead, they said, “We remain committed to openness and transparency in everything we do and want to be clear that no government has ever asked us to compromise the security or integrity of any of our networks or devices.”

June – Revelations of Facebook and Huawei’s secret data-sharing pact

This was during that time of the year when everyone on Facebook started to get worried about how Zuckerberg may be misappropriating our data. Naturally, if it’s controversial, Huawei would have to be mentioned somewhere. This was simply one such case. A series of reports this week revealed that, for the past 10 years, Facebook’s broad sharing of data extended not only to app developers but to phone companies as well. Of course, one of the phone makers on top of that list would be Huawei.

July – Huawei overtakes Apple

In possibly the only positive news for Huawei during the whole year, they managed to outsell iPhones for the second quarter of this year. Huawei shipped over 54 million handsets in the second quarter compared to the 41.3 million iPhones that Apple sold. This would make them the second biggest phone sellers of the globe.

August – Huawei caught faking camera shots in ads

The shot in question

And we’re back to Huawei being completely morally bankrupt. To play the devils advocate, they never explicitly stated that it wasn’t a DSLR shot. They just heavily implied it with the wrist position.

Taking of the shot

September – Huawei caught cheating benchmark test for P20

Huawei gets caught with their pants down, as the list gets sillier. Again. Shocking. Literally just weeks removed from the last fiasco, in September, AnandTech discovered that Huawei’s P20 had been programmed to maximize performance specifically when running 3DMark, a popular benchmarking app. Huawei admitted to this in a statement to Android Authority.

October – The only non-controversial month

Huawei announced a few new phones like the 5G foldable they are working on. They announced the new Mate 20. They asked Trump to change his device to Huawei as reports of iPhone tapping became known. All in all, a real month of R&R for the execs of Huawei.

November – Americans discourage allies from using Huawei devices:

R&R would end soon, however. In November, the US would ask many of it’s allies to stop using the tech giants products. Allegedly. Sources claim that US government officials have met with counterparts in Germany, Japan, and Italy, and are reportedly considering offering financial incentives to countries who opt not to use equipment from the Chinese manufacturer.

December – Canadian authorities arrest The CFO:

Huwaei: Enemy of the US?
Huwaei’s global CFO Wanzhou Meng

However, the latest chapter of the story was told only yesterday. Huawei Vice-chairperson and CFO Meng Wanzhou, daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities. She faces extradition to the United States on charges of violating sanctions against Iran. 

As anyone can see, at this point the company has become an absolute magnet for controversy. They’ve clashed so hard with the US government this year you might mistake them to be Iran or something. Huawei is backing off of US markets. Barring random marketing campaigns they do to generate buzz, the company’s future there seems uncertain. Yet, with a dominating share in Chinese markets, they remain safe globally.

Check out our first impression on the Huawei Nova 3i here.

Samsung wins best brand award

Samsung Mobile has been recognized as Bangladesh’s No. 1 Handset Brand by Bangladesh Brand Forum. The South Korean electronics giant was also announced 3rd best brand in refrigerator category. Top officials of Samsung Bangladesh received the awards on behalf of Samsung Mobile and Samsung Consumer electronics during the award ceremony on December 8, 2018, at Le Méridien Dhaka.

The objective of the Best Brand Award is to exhibit and celebrate the success of the brands, achieved through excellence in meeting the needs of the Bangladeshi consumers. Bangladesh Brand Forum partnered with Nielsen Bangladesh to identify the top brands of Bangladesh, with the aim to acknowledge the brands that have established themselves to a meaningful height in terms of business value and contribution to consumer life.

On this occasion, Md. Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile, Samsung Mobile Bangladesh said, “We are extremely proud to have received this award. It is an indicator of our customers support towards our products and services. As we continue to thrive as a brand, Samsung remains dedicated to creating innovative possibilities and experiences for our consumers through our products and services. Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all our customers, partners and stakeholders without whom this was not possible.”

This Bangladesh Brand Forum is a platform for recognizing the success of the business community of Bangladesh and portraying their achievements in brand building. The program was launched to find the most loved brands of Bangladesh based on the nationwide survey conducted by Nielsen Bangladesh and giving away a prominent publication consisting of winning brand stories to all the attendees as the Bangladesh Brand Forum tradition.

Why you should be excited to watch Bohemian Rhapsody

In the 1970s and ’80s, Queen was one of the biggest bands in the world. The British rockers routinely sold out stadiums across the globe. Led by the Zanzibar-born Freddie Mercury, the band was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hollywood has been working on making a movie about the band for years, and that dream is finally becoming a reality. Called Bohemian Rhapsody – named after one of the group’s most famous songs – it’s set to be released on October 31st. We’re already dusting off our old album covers and re-watching concert videos on YouTube with bated breath and eager excitement. Here’s a couple of reasons why you should too.

Emmy-winning Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

Fans of Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, the star of the popular “Mr. Robot” on the USA Network, are anxious to see how the shy and restrained thespian transforms himself into a 1970s-era rock star. But if the trailers are any indication, he is well on his way for an Oscar nod. Freddie Mercury was so much more than a wonderful singer-songwriter. He was an enigma, a complete one-off, where his charisma matched his talent and then some.

Casting an actor to embody such a force is by no means an easy task. And to be frank, nobody can ever quite do the man justice. But in Rami Malek, it’s fair to say that we’ve given it as good a shot as we could hope for. Malek seems to have nailed the mannerisms, the style and even the walk of the famed star. And we can’t wait to fully experience the man’s acting chops in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Malek does all the classic Freddies

There’s Live Aid Freddie. There’s leather catsuit Freddie. There is even harlequin leotard Freddie. Red leather trouser Freddie. Fur coat Freddie. Be-crowned Freddie. White jumpsuit Freddie with angel wings. It’s astonishing how many of these costumes are indelibly burned into the memory. And safe to say Malek dons them all with glaring style. Do we actually need another reason to be all over this film?

Behind the scenes drama

Bohemian Rhapsody had been in development since the start of the decade, going through the myriad stages of development hell. British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was first roped in to play Mercury. After numerous disputes over what the biopic would cover, Cohen had left the project in July 2013. Many articles published over those months have stated that Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor wanted to keep the film free from Mercury’s scandalous life events, very specifically his AIDS diagnosis and battle.

In November 2016, Bryan Singer was hired to direct the project. Rami Malek was cast and the film was given the nudge it required by 20th Century Fox and New Regency. However, the film would still see struggles ahead. In December last year, Bryan Singer was fired from the project due to his absences (with one-third of filming yet to be completed). After that, Dexter Fletcher took over the helm. It seemed like there was no end in sight.

However, surprisingly enough, principal photography was wrapped up in January this year. All that’s left to do is wait. Not surprisingly, there has been a significant amount of backlash about the production’s deliberate choice to sanitize Mercury’s salacious life. Safe to say the off-screen drama during this film’s development has been nothing short of crazy. And we can’t wait to finally see if the final product will actually elevate from all this. Fingers crossed!

The greatest hits

Although aptly named, Bohemian Rhapsody is not only about the eponymous song. It’ll tell the story of the band’s 15-year journey from their formation up to their performance at Live Aid in 1985. So excuse us if we are a bit too excited to christen our eyes with some of the best Queen songs on the big screen. “Under Pressure”, a song that came from an impromptu jam session between David Bowie and the band. “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You”, the unrelenting kings of sports anthems. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, Mercury’s tribute to Elvis Presley. “Fat Bottomed Girls”, the true father of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda. And what about “The Show Must Go On”, May’s heartbreaking tribute to his frontman, who was getting weaker and weaker because of his battle with HIV/AIDS?

This list goes on. We can’t wait to see how the overlords of this project decide to put the classics in just the right moments in the film. We are prepared for a nostalgia overload.

Ultimately, films are all about the notion of storytelling, and with Bohemian Rhapsody we simply have a fantastic story. The band was, and still are huge, one of the most successful ever. And their frontman was a fascinating character, a true enigma, and a quite breathtaking talent. We want to understand him and know more about what drove him, and the dynamics within the quarter. No matter your opinions on their music, it is hard not to be intrigued. For that reason, sign us up.

Elon Musk remains cavalier after SEC settlement, worrying investors again

Elon Musk settled with the SEC after the latter sued him and Tesla for misleading investors with his tweet on August 7, 2018: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)”

As part of the settlement, Musk must step down as Tesla’s chairman for three years and pay $20 million in fines. Tesla must also pay an additional $20 million in fines and appoint two independent directors in addition to an independent chairman. If you asked Musk though, perhaps nothing has really changed. He was back to his usual antics, calling the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” via Twitter on Friday.

A Quixotic crusade

Elon Musk’s crusade against short sellers has a long and storied history that reached an apex in August, when he considered taking Tesla public with help from a Saudi fund. The SEC initially offered Musk a better deal, asking him to step down as chairman for only two years and pay $10 million in fines. However, Musk urged Tesla to fight against the settlement, threatening to resign if Tesla settled. However, when the SEC sued the company on September 27, the board turned Musk’s mind around.

One of the main reasons that Musk didn’t want to settle was because he wanted to publicly state his innocence of the charges pursued by the SEC. With the settlement, Musk doesn’t have to admit guilt, but he can’t proclaim his innocence, either.

Elon Musk remains cavalier after SEC settlement, worrying investors again
Tesla’s factory

Legal experts opined that the fines levied against Musk are higher than any other CEOs have paid. However, other CEOs would also have been asked to step down in such a situation. The SEC may have thought that removing Musk would be bad for shareholders.

The settlement has relieved Tesla advocates. “This is a company people are actively investing in, both in the stock market but also in their own garage,” said Rebecca Lindland, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “So, it would have been damaging to a lot of people if the company had gone bankrupt or if this had gone on for years.”

Lindland was also positive about Tesla’s impending appointment of new directors. “It will provide some independent governance that Tesla is lacking right now as it grows and as it continues to develop as a company.”

Does Elon Musk love getting into trouble?

Musk courts trouble, criticizing analysts and the media as well as calling rescue divers pedophiles on Twitter. One former Tesla investor, who wished to remain unnamed, speculated that Musk enjoys being the center of attention. Similar to Donald Trump, Musk is someone who loves attention. Musk smoked marijuana on Joe Rogan to create a buzz. All publicity is good publicity, and the only thing he’s scared of the most is when you’re not talking about him.”

Elon Musk remains cavalier after SEC settlement, worrying investors again

Whatever the case, Musk’s “funding secured” tweet garnered him some costly publicity. According to one estimate, the tweet cost him approximately $327,868 per character.

Musk’s latest tweet also led to a 7% decrease in Tesla’s shares. “I don’t have much, but I believe in you and your vision,” tweeted Drew G, “Unfortunately, I invest what little I have into Tesla and continuously lose months of savings due to your tweets. Please think of us small people.”

It should be noted that, at the moment, the settlement agreement is yet to be approved by the courts. If Musk isn’t careful, something worse may be waiting for him in the wings.

Samsung launches a giant white board: The Flip

Samsung just launched one of its latest innovations in TV technology, the Flip, in Bangladesh. The digital board is designed to be used in businesses, or if you like your TV viewing to be vertical.

Why Flip

The Flip is specially designed to make meetings, collaboration, and brainstorming easier. It uses top of the line tech and connectivity. Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Business of Samsung Bangladesh, said that it is a digital and versatile replacement of traditional whiteboards. He added that it is an ideal tool for businessmen trying to reach another level of productivity. He hopes to see the Flip become a popular product in Bangladesh.

Details

The new Flip is made of trademark Samsung UHD. It’s a 55” behemoth that can be used on both sides, horizontally and vertically. The user can do whatever is possible with a whiteboard. There are a couple of stylus-like pens that can draw on the board in any colour the user desires. Just like a whiteboard, Samsung’s latest device can have things deleted off of it by simply wiping the screen with the users’ hand. It can have up to 4 people writing on it simultaneously, making brainstorming sessions more effective (or chaotic, if you work at HiFi).

Connectivity

The Flip enables teams to work faster by letting them take notes digitally, save files in onboard storage, send emails and even print directly from the board. The device has WiFi and NFC, giving it great connectivity.

The Flip is almost exclusively made for businesses where every millisecond counts. That’s why you won’t be surprised to learn that it is priced at a premium. For a stoutly 360,000 BDT, you too can own one. To do what is a question that you have to answer. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that it is a very cool device to have.

Samsung launches “N” Series TVs in Bangladesh

Samsung has unveiled their new lineup of TV’s in a ceremony this 9th of September, at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. This new series, called “N” series, is the successor to last year’s popular “M” series TV’s. The lineup consists of basic LED TVs to QLED TVs.

Samsung showed off the new series to the guests at the event. There are many different sub-series’ in the “N” series. To name a few, the Joy Concert TV, billed as a semi-smart TV by executives, Smart Concert TV, a fully smart TV and the Premium UHD TV where shown off in the presentation. We also got to try them out in the experience zone. The best of the bunch was obviously the QLED TV’s, which is the very pinnacle of screen tech right now, according to Samsung. The concert TV boasts 4 separate speakers which can give the user a concert vibe. It comes in a smart variant as well. Joy Concert TV starts at BDT 29,990 while the Smart Concert TV’s start from BDT 36,990.

Samsung, QLED
It’s a wonderful TV to get, provided you don’t have to sell your organs for it

There was also the Premium UHD TV with its slim metallic design and an impressive 4K resolution. HDR elite enables it to show the user a billion colors. It starts from a whopping 449,900 BDT.
The star of the show was obviously the QLED TV’s. It’s billed as the first and only TV to achieve 100% color volume and features ambient mode, which can turn the turned off screen transparent, an information center, or even a piece of artistic expression. The QLED starts BDT 590,000.

Many executives of Samsung were present at the event. The Managing Director of Samsung Bangladesh, Seungwon Youn, was confident that the Bangladeshi market is prepared to welcome the latest innovations in TV tech. Head of Business (CE & IT) Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Sales and Partner Mangement Saad Bin Hasan and other high officials of the company and many partners and dealers of their products was also present.

Samsung also showed off many other home appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, AC’s, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. They also had gaming monitors present at the event. The ultra-wide QLED gaming monitor was one of the most eye-catching of the products.

The “N” series TV’s and other appliances will be available in all Samsung Bangladesh showrooms and authorized dealers.

Google jobs: tech giant launches new service in Bangladesh

Google has recently launched a new search engine to make it easier for job seekers in the sub-continent to look for jobs. People from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lana can now find jobs from popular websites and classifieds by simply searching for it on Google.

Job feature

This new feature is built into Google’s pre-existing job search engine. As of launch, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs from thousands of websites such as Bikroy.com.

People can now look for jobs by simply searching with terms such as “part-time jobs” or “software development jobs”. This will lead to a special module that can be expanded to show more jobs in the same category. A person clicking on any of the jobs can find all the necessary details that job has, such as job title, contact info, and location. Clicking further will lead the job seeker to the original website where the job was posted. The job seeker can also let Google send job alerts straight to his inbox. There is also an option to save any of the jobs for later review.

Works on all platforms

The giant corporation has also released open documentation that will help websites make their openings discoverable on the search engine. Different companies can profit from this by making their vacant jobs discoverable by Google search. This makes it easier for both job seekers and employers to look for each other, profiting both.

Works on the PC. We tested it, see?

The search experience is available on the Google app on both iOS and Android. It is also supported by Chrome and other third-party search engines on mobile and on PCs.

Henry Cavill to play Geralt in Netflix’s The Witcher

Henry Cavill, well known by comic book geeks and movie buffs as DCEU’s Superman, has been confirmed to play the beloved Witcher Geralt of Rivia in the new Netflix series. The 8 episode series has officially announced it’s first cast member through this bombastic announcement.

The Witcher Netflix series is set to be based on the books, instead of the games. For our readers who are not sure of the difference, let us help. Consider skipping this paragraph if you don’t want spoilers. [SPOILER ALERT] In the books, Geralt of Rivia dies at the end of the very last Witcher publications. However, that is not the case in the games. The first game picks up from the moment of Geralt’s death as he starts his adventures anew. Since the show is being based on the books instead of the games, fans of the games can expect some differences of the show with the games.

Earlier today, Henry Cavill posted the following picture to his Instagram account, setting off wild reactions everywhere. Netflix has confirmed the news through a Facebook post, from their official page shortly after. The fans of the games and books alike have rejoiced at the choice. Cavill is a renowned fan of both the books and the games in the series. He has publicly expressed his interest to play the character many times, like this one in an interview with IGN.

Henry Cavill, Instagram, Geralt, Witcher

This will be Cavill’s first regular role in a TV show since he played Charles Brandon in Showtime’s “The Tudors”. Cavill is best known for his work on the silver screen. He plays Superman in Warner Bro’s DC universe movies such as “Man of Steel”, “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League”. He also played the antagonist in “Stardust”, a movie based on a book by Neil Gaiman. Cavill is often regarded as a fantastic actor and the well-spoken British man could certainly play a Polish anti-hero well.

Netflix’s “The Witcher” show has yet to announce any other cast members, but it’s safe to say that they have already hit a home run with their protagonist. We at HiFi Public would like to wish Mr Cavill the best of luck in this endeavour, and I hope he can play a favourite character of mine well.

Oppo F9: stylish but underpowered

The new Oppo F9 has taken the market by storm. With its one-of-a-kind notch, it certainly looks very unique. It also has very powerful cameras on its front and back. However, a notch and a couple of cameras alone don’t make a good phone great.

Display and appearance

The new Oppo F9 is a very sleek and stylish phone. The F9 is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on both sides and has a big 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen with minimum screen bezel and a very small water drop notch. The F9 has all the standard sensors you would come to expect, including a fingerprint one on the back.

The Oppo comes in three different colours, and they all look very fashionable. The gradient colour scheme is very unique and really helps the phone stand out amongst its peers. All in all, it’s a phone that wouldn’t be out of place in the hands of a supermodel, as Deepika Padukone has shown already.

Camera

Oppo is the self-proclaimed selfie expert. So it should come as no surprise how powerful its cameras are. The front camera is a whopping 25 megapixels and our testing at launch proved its power. The back cameras are also quite powerful, at 16 and 2 megapixels respectively. Oppo has targeted the selfie-taker with their tagline, so this is only expected.

Pouting is easier with the Oppo F9’s AI assisted mammoth front camera, which has a whopping 25 megapixels.

The Oppo F9 also features AI integration with the cameras. The cameras can automatically pick up what kind of photo you are trying to take and adapts to it. The image quality of the camera can be easily compared with the best in the market right now.

Battery

Another Oppo F9 marketing gimmick has been the fast charging capability of the phone. The Oppo F9 has VOOC technology, which makes charging very quick. In fact, the phone’s tagline claims that the phone can muster 2 hours’ worth of talk time with only 5 minutes of charging.

The Oppo F9 has a 3500 mAh battery, which makes this an impressive claim. It’s safe to say the claim is mostly true – we got 4% of charge in less than a minute.

Chipset and power

So far, the phone has looked quite good. This section is where that changes. With so many premium features packed into a phone that costs a fourth of the average iPhone, some concessions had to be made. The phone packs a very mediocre Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 chipset.

It does have an octa-core CPU, but it is paired with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. This makes the phone considerably less powerful than a flagship should be. The phone comes in 4 and 6 GB RAM variants. Both have 64 GB of internal storage. It has a dedicated slot for memory expansions of up to 256 GB. The Oppo F9 has 4G dual sim capability also.

Verdict

The Oppo F9 has quite a few things going for it. It has really quick charging, and the only phone in the same price range that has similar quick charging is the Lenovo Z5. The display is beautiful with possibly the nicest looking notch we’ve seen yet. The cameras are world class and can go toe to toe with every flagship in the market. The price, at 28,990 and 31,990 BDT for the 4 and 6 GB variants, is pretty low for a flagship quality phone.

Yet, there are some huge shortcomings for the Oppo F9. The power of the phone leaves much to be desired as they seem to be the only ones using Mali GPU’s in this day and age. For casual users and selfie addicts, this is a good phone and comes recommended. However, the mobile gaming community and others who want a lot of power in their phones would find the Oppo F9 to be lacklustre at best.