With smartphones now entering the ‘bezel-free’ phase, phone companies have been hard-pressed to find ways of giving their customer as much screen as possible, and when you start pushing that all the way to the edges of the display, the question arises of where the sensors and front selfie camera are going to go. In the first phase smartphones came up with the concept of notches, teardrop notches and Samsung’s camera cutout notch, Oppo eliminated the entire concept of notches, Oppo Reno is their first smartphone to feature a rather unorthodox approach to housing the front camera – Say hello to the ‘Shark Fin’.
Oppo recently revealed two variants of the Reno at their event in Dubai – The Oppo Reno and the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom. The Oppo Reno is available now, but for those of you who are intrigued by the Oppo Reno 10x zoom, you will have to hold on to the hype for just one more month.
Oppo has set the price of the Reno at AED 1,899 in the UAE and SAR 1,899 in KSA. But what does this money buy you? Well, you get a neat 6GB+256 GB configuration, which, in today’s market, it very impressive in that price bracket.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the Oppo Reno Smartphone.
Design and Display –
The design of the Oppo Reno is very synonymous with most flagships phone today. We have the symmetric setup of glass on both sides and a metal frame surrounding them. The glass makes the Reno feel absolutely premium but the trade off is that it also makes the whole device slippery to hold. The whole device is on the heavier side and feels rather chunky. You should ideally put on the included phone case on it as well to make sure the phone doesn’t slip out of your hands. The bezels have been kept to a very very minimum, which means you get more content and more display in a not so huge frame.
While most phones have control buttons on the right-hand side, the Oppo Reno mixes things up with the power button on the right and the volume rockers on the left. They have also given a pleasing green accent to the power button, which makes the whole appearance look that much more awesome. Another thoughtful approach by Oppo is that they have placed all the buttons near the middle of the device which means getting to them is no problem at all.
Just above the volume rockers, we have the SIM tray, which can hold 2 nano SIMs, we do not have an option to expand the memory in the Oppo Reno, but looking at the configuration we have on hand and the beauty of cloud storage, that should not be an issue.
On the bottom, we have the USB Type C connector for charging the device, a bottom firing speaker and also, a 3.5mm headphone jack still exists in 2019!! With most companies ditching the humble earphone partner, its good to see Oppo sticking to the basics here with the Reno. The party piece of the Reno however, is found on the top. What we have is a pivot rising structure which houses the front camera, flash and the earpiece, which mechanically folds into the device, giving us a true end to end display with no notches or punch holes. The Oppo Find X did have something similar, but the Reno has the added advantage of an in-display fingerprint sensor, which means, the camera does not have to come out every time you want to unlock your device. Oppo has stated that they have tested the mechanism for 200,000 regular uses, which means that the mechanism should stay intact at least for a couple of years. It also has a built in drop protection, where the phone closes the fin automatically in case the device falls out of your hands.
The Oppo Reno will be available in two colour options – Ocean Green and Jet Black. But do keep in mind that neither of the variants of the Reno have the IP68 rating, so you might want to hold off on carrying the phone into water.
Coming to the display, the 6.4 inch OLED comes with an FHD+ resolution and has been calibrated to represent accurate colours that also look natural. Over the years, the screen to body ratio has been increasing in percentage, and in case of the Reno, Oppo claims that they have hit 92%, and they are right. The bezels on the sides are virtually non-existent and although there is a slight chin on the bottom, it becomes less and less prominent as you use the device on a daily basis. There is also a “Night Shield” mode, which blocks out the blue light without disturbing the accuracy of colours, which is pretty impressive considering that this feature is only so much present in phones that cost twice as much.
Overall, Oppo has done a brilliant job with the Reno in this department. The design is very 2019 and modern looking while the premium feels befits the flagship status that the Reno carries. The end to end display is beautiful and the shark fin mechanism is truly something innovative. Yes, it does not have the IP68 rating that you would expect, but its not something that is mandatory in devices and sometimes, keeping our phones away while we enjoy a swim is not so bad.
Oppo as a brand has been focussed on making phones that boast a super classy camera setup, and the Reno lineup just keeps the run going. Yes, the higher end Reno 10x zoom has the fancy 10x optical zoom feature, but the Reno itself has some guns of its own.
The primary camera is a 48MP Sony IMX586 half inch sensor with a f/1.7 aperture which helps improve light sensing capabilities. Oppo is introducing Ultra Night Mode 2.0 with the Reno that can leverage AI, HDR, and multi-frame noise reduction. This comes into play in case of low light photos. The concept is simple – Photos taken in low light situations are usually shaky or grainy. The Reno’s camera keeps things stable and does its own bit of magic on the image. Most phones like the Huawei P30 Pro, rely on artificially brightening the photograph to make it look better. The Oppo Reno keeps the lighting closer to what your eyes see while enhancing colors at the same time.
We also have a secondary 5MP camera that supports the main sensor and comes into play when we decide to go for portrait mode.
Coming to the video recording, the Oppo Reno can record videos at 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps and features gyro-EIS as an added enhancement.
Coming to the selfies department, Oppo has gone for the rather unorthodox and super innovative “shark fin” mechanism which hosts a stunning 16MP selfie snapper. It features a f/2.0 aperture and also has a 26mm wide angle lens for those group selfies. Oppo has been one fo the go to brands for selfie camera phones and the Reno is an absolute beast among the lot.
All in all, Oppo has done nothing wrong in the camera department of the Reno and is an obvious choice for people looking for a super powerful camera at an affordable price tag.
Performance and Memory –
When it comes to upper mid range smartphones, this is the part which can make or break the device. The Reno lineup which features the upper mid range Reno and the true flagship Reno 10x zoom have some incredible cameras, but do they have the peroformance specifications to back it up? Lets find out –
The Oppo Reno features the mid-range Snapdragon 710 processor which, along with Adreno 616 GPU and the 6/8 GB of on board RAM, give you a sort of complete package in terms of performance. The software out of box is Oppo’s ColorOS which is based on the latest Android Pie (9.0). The benchmark tests will be run on the Oppo Reno which will feature the single core performance as well as the compound AnTuTu. The same will be updated here.
Coming to the storage, the Oppo Reno contains 256GB of on board storage for both, the 6GB and 8GB variants. There is no provision for microSD expansion, but considering the 256GB, it is a lot of storage even for a heavy user, so it shouldn’t be a real problem.
There is a lot research to be done as well as the performance checks are concerned, but at least on paper, the Oppo Reno is a capable performer and has what it takes to give you a nice butter smooth user experience.
Smartphones these days are sporting bigger batteries which support the plethora of features and sensors, and the Oppo Reno is no exception. We have a more than capable 3765 mAh battery which also supports Oppo’s proprietary Super VOOC 3.0, that’s around 50% of battery charged in under 20 minutes.
Oppo introduced VOOC as their version of fast charging and over the years, it has set itself as one of the fastest quick charging platforms in the smartphone market. The biggest feature of Supper VOOC 3.0 is that it can maintain high voltage during trickle charging, which is generally the final leg of charging your device. What this means is that last 10% of charging your device will now be noticeably quicker.
While VOOC charging does give the Oppo Reno a mighty power-up, what the device lacks is support for wireless charging. With most phones in 2019 introducing support for wireless charging, Oppo has decided to give the Reno lineup, yes even the flagship, a miss. So, despite having that all glass back, the Oppo Reno lineup does not come with wireless charging.
The Oppo Reno is truly a fine smartphone with a sleek design, innovative features, super fast charging, a winner camera and an absolutely tempting price tag. Yes, the two noticeable absences are the IP68 certification and the support for wireless charging, but when you look at the Oppo Reno as a whole, you will not mind these little tradeoffs as they do not really feature that works make or break a smartphone.
So, if you are in the market for a smartphone that has a beautiful design, amazing cameras, crazy fast charging and a splash of innovation, the Oppo Reno is definitely worth considering.The OPPO Reno Edition is available in 6GB RAM + 256GB storage option at AED 1,899 in the UAE.