Oppo has announced the F9, a phone with a notch that actually looks pretty great. Seriously, look at it. It’s smaller and less obtrusive than even the Essential Phone’s notch, with a speaker sleekly integrated into the top edge of the phone. It doesn’t require an extra thick on-screen status bar, nor does it look like it was created with some sort of hole-punching device.
The notch feels like a natural part of the F9’s design, the bezel-less screen breaking away for a moment to let the selfie camera through before spilling back to the edge. Oppo has gone to great lengths to eliminate the notch with the ultra high-end Find X, of course, but the F9 is the first time I’d say a phone looks straight-up better with its notch than it would without.The F9 is attractive from the other side, too.
Like several other Oppo phones, it uses colorful gradients — my unit is “Twilight Blue,” which goes from electric blue to almost black — but the F9 sets itself apart with a sweeping diamond-like pattern that’s only visible from certain angles. It’s hard to photograph, but I did my best.