Oppo Reno debuted on the 24th of April, and two weeks later it hit the stores. Is it worth being interested in it? I invite you to this short review!
At the beginning, some details. Oppo Reno costs around 430 pounds for the version with 6+256GB of memory. The smartphone has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, which lacks any notches or holes. The display has a Full HD+ resolution and it is protected by Gorilla Glass 6. The heart of the phone is the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 with Adreno 616 GPU, while the power is provided by a 3765 mAh battery with the VooC 3.0 quick charging technology. The main camera is the 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 matrix with an f/1.7 brightness lens, supported by a 5-megapixel f/2.4 lens for background blurring. The front camera is hidden in a slide-out mechanism, it has 16 megapixels and an f/2.0 lens aperture. It is worth remembering that Oppo Reno does not have a microSD card socket, but it supports DualSIM and it has NFC.
|A short video-review of Oppo Reno
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
Oppo Reno arrived to me just before May, so I could get to know this phone and share with you some impressions from using it. I realise that a week might be slightly too little to fully develop an impression about the device and explore all its nuances – but I hope that I managed to gather what is the most important.
At the beginning – a quick review of the set. An unusually long box contains an aesthetically packed set. Besides the phone, we will find a quick VooC charger with a thick, solid USB cable and a silicone cover for the backs of the phone. The front of the new device is protected by a foil. The set covers earphones as well, which look slightly like a competitive model with the apple in its logo. Fortunately these earphones have a nice sound (for a manufacturer’s set), but I would not consider them as the most comfortable to wear. The last element of the body is the needle for opening the tray for cards – there is of course the manual as well.
Opinions about Oppo Reno’s stylization are divided, but we can be sure of one thing. The phone is original. The big display, with a narrow bezel at the bottom and an even one at top, is conspicuous. Without holes, without a notch – great. The back is made out of Gorilla Glass 5, thanks to which it has a dual-tone facture. The bigger part of the back is matte, thanks to which it is better to hold the phone in our hands, and what is more it gets dirty slightly less (I underline the world “slightly”) than shiny models.
I like the fact that lenses of cameras do not stand above the housing – and to keep them from scratching there is an element called O-dot. This is a ceramic bump with an 8.5 hardness in the Mohs scale, on which the phone rests, when we will place it down – and lenses will not even touch the surface. Unfortunately, the phone slightly wobbles on a flat surface because of this – but I think that it moves slightly less than models with cameras that strongly stand above.
However, the most important stylization element (or rather of the whole construction) is the original mechanism hiding the selfie’s camera – it is placed in the housing’s element, which slides from the upper edge of the phone. This element looks like a shark’s fin, but supposedly was inspired by the characteristic doors from Lamborghini cars. The element was tested during 200 000 cycles of work and is equipped with a protective function – it hides when the phone will detect that it is falling.
This feature works rather quiet and fast, but I am afraid about its durability. Dust rather quickly enters the cavity, but I am more concern what will happen with the front camera, when a speck of sand will enter the mechanism. Will the lens be scratched…? I did not manage to check this – but I have removed the dust a few times – so I propose to be careful and not endanger Oppo Reno to come in contact with fluids, not mentioning sand.
I have only one concern towards the ergonomics: volume control buttons placed on the left side are located a bit too low. The power button on the opposite side is on a similar height, but in this case – pressing it with a thumb is comfortable. However, when we want to control the volume, we are forced to bend our index or ring finger (provided that we are right handed – left handed have a “reversed” problem), and what is more it happens that when we will push the power button, we can lower the volume on the opposite side. Fortunately, the phone lies in hands comfortably and it does not have a tendency of slipping out of it.
The display of Oppo Reno is perfect. It gives a clear image with rich, saturated colours. It ensures a comfortable usage of the interface in sunny days, while after the dark we can rest our eyes. It does not flicker and it has an efficient blue light filter, awarded even with the TUV certificate. This filter can turn on automatically – depending on how we will configure it. In addition, the phone’s menu allows to change the colours temperature.
The display has an integrated fingerprint scanner, which – in my opinion – is the weakest element of the whole construction. Its configuration takes longer than in the case good, classic scanners, and the speed and efficiency of reading gives way to regular scanners. As a consolation, Reno has a facial recognition system as well, based on the front camera. The recognition is quick and possible even after dark, when we will light our face with the display. The system deals with corrective glasses, but sunglasses must be removed. It is necessary to have open eyes as well.
Oppo Reno is equipped with a complete communication interface, and its work gives no reason to criticize. I had the opportunity to test the smartphone in places with a bad reception – and it came out as a winner. I have noticed that the GPS recognizes our position instantly and then it has absolutely no problems with maintaining it.… Similarly, I did not notice any problems with the work of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The quality of the sound in the receiver is great, even despite the fact that the sound comes from the cavity in the housing, because the speaker is placed in the sliding “periscope”. The side effect of this solution is the fact that the sound reaches not only our ear, but can be heard in the surrounding as well. It is worth to lower the volume a bit – if we care about discretion. The external speaker – though a single one – does not deserve to be criticized, it is decent. The proximity sensor is slightly less decent, which sometimes fails to detect our face close to the display and keeps it lit.
Users that have not dealt with the Color OS 6 interface yet (it is based on Android Pie) do not need to worry about it. Color OS is simple, friendly and does not stand out from its arrangements and looks from the standard one. The interface can have a flat or a traditional, tray looks, and what is more we can change the grid of icons. We can modify the arrangement of three system buttons, or turn them off and control the interface using gestures. The shortcuts panel has a changed graphics – but its work is standard, just like notifications.
Oppo does not oversteps with preinstalled additions, it does not offer typical bloatware apps, adding a few useful things, like an app that will transfer data from the previous phone or another that will clean the system from useless files. In the interface we can find a separate e-mail client, music player or a recorder – but there is no FM radio.
We will receive a dedicated car mode as well, and Smart Sidebar – that is an additional shortcuts panel, that slides from the side. We can of course configure this. There are gestures on the locked screen, which I have not seen for a while. We can run selected functions by drawing an appropriate sign on the dimmed display, there are more popular gestures like muting ringtones by turning the phone.
I have no concerns towards its efficiency. Oppo Reno works just like we could expect from a phone with this configuration. It is efficient, smooth and stable. Gamers can appreciate the additional Game Space interface, thanks to which we can enhance the efficiency of the phone, decrease notifications, optimize the network connection and remove useless processes.
The only thing that I can complain about is the lack of the possibility to enhance the memory with microSD cards. The phone has only a slot for two nanoSIM cards. I was pleasantly surprised with the battery. Though contrary to a popular trend it has a capacity smaller than 4000 mAh, it ensures Reno satisfactory lifespans. With a normal usage, the phone can work for two full days, and even with a more intensive usage it should last a day. The charging speed gives no reasons to complain about, it takes slightly more than an hour.
I am rather pleased with the quality of videos and photos. Oppo Reno - for its segment – takes great photos, especially during the day. It is difficult to point any major flaws, even the digital background blurring are likeable. Macro shots came out well too, I cannot complain about connecting panoramas either.
At night the camera works slightly worse, but it is difficult to say that it is bad. We can use the night mode – but in this case it is best to take a few shots, because this option sometimes provides photos worse than in the auto mode, and sometimes it can surprise us positively. It is best to use a tripod and the Expert mode – that is manual settings. It is rather enhanced and it works best in weak lighting.
However, I do not see a reason to force using the 48 megapixel mode. Photos in lower resolution are equally good, and the only change is the bigger size of the photo. Details representation does not increase in any visible way. Also, I do not think that there is no reason to use the full, 10x zoom. The quality drops down dramatically – it is best to stay with 2x, which is even suggested by the manufacturer, due to a dedicated button in the camera interface.
The front camera gives no way to the back one, selfies have good quality, though sometimes they overexpose backgrounds. But this is typical for front cameras. Here I was positively surprised by the digital background blurring. It is great, it can compete with those achieved using two matrixes.
The camera interface is rather simple, though switching between modes is unnecessarily complicated: main modes are switched by swiping, while additional are hidden under a separate button, commonly referred to as a hamburger.
When it comes to video recording, Oppo Reno does a great job, though some can complain about the lack of 60 frames per second in 4K. I do not complain about it, and I appreciate the work of digital stabilization, smoothness, sharpness and nice sound.
|Sample videos recorded with Oppo Reno
wideo: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube
To sum up… Oppo Reno did not disappoint me. This is an original and an unusual smartphone, which can easily compete with top middle-shelf phones. The phone has a lot strong sides, like the stylization, display, efficiency or the battery. Its nice interface and decent, though not perfect cameras are advantages as well. I can see two weak sides: the fingerprint scanner and the inability to enhance the memory (though on the other hand, there is a lot of internal memory).
I was a bit irritated by the work of the proximity sensor, I did not find any reasonable usage for 48 megapixels. All in all – there are a lot more advantages than disadvantages, but the competition is strong. Oppo Reno’s best feature is its unusualness – if you would like to have a phone different than all others – this could be it.
|Report from the European launch of Oppo Reno
wideo: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube