The upper mid-range smartphone market is a tough one with lots of devices offering great value for money, and one of the hottest smartphones in that segment right now is OPPO’s A9 2020. This OPPO phone is something of the undisputed champion at its price point for now, and it is time to see how another challenger squares up against it. And now it is time to determine which of two phones is the better value for a budget of ₦100,000 – Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020.

OPPO brings its solid hardware game to this fight, along with its heavily customized Android skin called ColorOS. In the opposite corner, Nokia brings an equally solid – if not more solid – hardware game and a different approach to the software. Nokia uses stock Android, which is similar to what you find on Google Pixel phones.

Is this Nokia going to be able to give the OPPO a run for the money? It will be tough, considering that the Nokia costs a little more than the OPPO already. But there is only one way to find out. Come with me.

Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020: The Preamble

₦100,000 is our budget, because that is the price of the current Nokia 7.2. If you buy the OPPO A9 2020, you go home with ₦10,000 change. As alluded to already, that price difference already puts the Nokia at a disadvantage from the starting blocks. But then, it might hold one or two aces in other areas. Price is not always everything.

Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020 comparison

Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020: Quick Specs Comparison

First up is our quick comparison table so you can view the similarities and distinguishing differences of the two devices at a glance.

Nokia 7.2OPPO A9 2020
6.3 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels, IPS LCD display, HDR10Always-on, Gorilla Glass 3.6.5 inches, 720 x 1600 pixels, IPS LCD display, Gorilla Glass 3
 Rear-mounted fingerprint scannerRear-mounted fingerprint scanner
Mono speakerStereo speakers
Octa-core, Snapdragon 660 (14 nm), 2.2 GHzOcta-core,  Snapdragon 665 (11 nm), 2.0 GHz
20MP selfie camera16MP selfie camera
48MP + 8MP + 5MP rear triple camera with LED flash, Zeiss optics48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP rear quad camera with dual LED flash
128 GB internal storage + dedicated microSD slot, up to 512GB128 GB internal storage + dedicated microSD slot, up to 256 GB
3500 mAh battery + 10W quick charging + reverse charging5000 mAh battery + 18W quick charging + reverse charging

The elephant in the room is photography. It is difficule, if not impossible to tell which camera is better between two phones just by looking at the specs.

The Nokia 7.2 has a 48MP triple rear camera with Zeiss optics, while the OPPO has a 48MP quad camera setup. Ordinarilly, this should be a walkover for the Nokia, but it isn’t that straightforward. The Nokia 7.2’s camera doesn’t live up to the legend of its ancestors from years back. And OPPO is no pushover in terms of photography.

I will say it again: smartphone camera specifications are meaningless on their own. And so, unless there is a direct shoot-out between these two phones, I cannot declare a winner between the Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020 in the photography department.

Where Nokia 7.2 has the edge

Nokia 7.2 triple camera
Nokia 7.2 has a circular camera module housing a 48MP triple camera

The Nokia 7.2 has a much better display. While it is LCD like the OPPO, it is LCD with a difference. It is HDR10-compliant and displays blacks deeper than what other LCD displays do – almost as deep as AMOLED does. And it is impressive to see. Plus, the display resolution is much higher, which means that you see more details and get better clarity on the Nokia than you would on the OPPO.

While both phones are well built, the Nokia 7.2 has the more premioum feel between the two. It also offers a dedicated microSD card slot that supports up to 512GB cards – double what its opponent offers. 

Lastly, the Nokia 7.2 will get Android 10 and Android 11 updates, as well as Google security patches up till 2022.

Where OPPO A9 2020 has the edge

OPPO A9 2020

The first big advantage of the OPPO A9 2020 is its much longer battery life, thanks to the much bigger battery – 1500mAh more power to use. In addition, the OPPO has a faster quick charge feature. The A9 2020 also offers more RAM – 8 GB instead of the Nokia 7.2’s 6 GB. More RAM means that launching and switching between apps is smoother. In addition, lovers of music will enjoy the difference made by the built-in stereo speakers of the OPPO A9 2020.

Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020: Which is better value for money?

The A9 2020 has a beefier battery capacity, faster battery charging, and also reverse charging. In addition, it has a more powerful processor, more RAM, and stereo loudspeakers. In the other corner, the Nokia has a much better display in terms of resolution, HDR10 and Always-on capability. It also has support for a bigger memory card. Both devices have reverse charging. Reverse charging means you can use the phone as a power bank to charge your other devices.

As far as I can see here, the OPPO A9 2020 offers more functional features, and it is ₦10,000 cheaper than the Nokia 7.2. However, if Android software updates are important to you, the Nokia 7.2 is the device to buy, as it has Nokia’s guarantee of Android version updates for 2 years and Google security updates for 3 years. Also, it looks and feels more premium than the OPPO, so the extra cost is not totally unjustifiable.

The ball is now in your court: which of these two mid-range champions will you spend your money on, all other things being equal – Nokia 7.2 or OPPO A9 2020?

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By Mister Mobility

Tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones running EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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