While I am a diehard Liverpool fan, the slick pass-and-move football of FC Barcelona has made me a follower of the Spanish champions the past few years.
So my interest was piqued when Oppo recently launched an R9 FC Barcelona Edition smartphone to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its ongoing partnership with the football club.
Only 10,000 of these limited-edition smartphones were made, and 70 were allocated to Singapore.
It has the same specifications as the R9 that was launched in May this year, which we have reviewed. So, I am just looking at how well the FC Barcelona theme has been implemented here.
Not surprisingly, the blue-and- red colour scheme of the Catalan football club runs through the phone. The rear of the phone is draped in blue and flanked by two red lines - along the top and bottom edges.
PRICE: $788, available exclusively at Oppo Concept Store (Suntec City)
PROCESSOR: MediaTek MT6755 (OCTA-core 2.0GHz)
DISPLAY: 5.5-inch, Full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 401 PPI pixel density
OPERATING SYSTEM: ColorOS V3 (Android 5.1)
CAMERA: 13MP, f/2.2 (Rear); 16MP, f/2.0 (Front)
MEMORY: 64GB (microSD expandable up to 128GB), 4GB RAM
BATTERY: Non-removable 2,850mAh
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
You will also find an 18K gold-plated Barcelona crest there. At the front are gold chamfered edges and an all-black front panel (the normal R9 has a white front).
There's more. Oppo wants you to protect that precious Barcelona logo. So the package includes an exclusive blue silicone protective case that is lined - on the inside - with laser-printed signatures of top Barcelona players Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez (yes, that former Liverpool player), Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta.
I actually think it would be better to have the signatures on the outside where they can be seen. With the case on, you end up not seeing both the signatures and the logo.
The FC Barcelona theme extends into the phone's operating system, in the form of a blue-and-red striped wallpaper and icons that resemble Barcelona jerseys and yellow/red cards.
Out of the box, the phone's photo gallery has high-resolution photos of Messi, Neymar, Suarez, Gerard Pique and Arda Turan. Not sure why these five players were selected, especially when two of them do not have their signatures on the case.
More photos of Barcelona players should have been included. Also, I was expecting to see more Barcelona-themed wallpapers than just the one here.
•Verdict: The Oppo R9 FC Barcelona Edition might cost $139 more than the standard R9. But if you are a hardcore Barcelona fan, I doubt you will mind paying the extra moolah. The gold-plated logo is well worth the extra dough.