Oppo Reno | The Esquire Review
Oppo has long been the smart-smartphone user’s brand of choice.
It made a name for itself among early adopters, for being a company that puts value at its very core.
Its phones were always supremely capable, often providing its user with the same top-notch specs as the high-end blowers from the likes of Apple and Samsung, but for half the price. That’s not to say that Oppo has ever been a budget brand, but rather somehow seemed to offer more for less.
The new Reno is the Chinese smartphone maker’s first proper foray into flagship territory, a phone with not just beefy specs, but a few technical tricks (such as pop-out selfie camera and in-screen fingerprint reader).
Oppo is hoping the new Reno will get more casual smartphone users to stand up and take notice. But does it do enough?
Oppo Reno: How’s it look?
Smartphone design in 2019 isn’t very subjective. Most new handsets look almost the same as one another, complete with all-screen front and either a metallic or shiny plastic backend. The Reno doesn’t stray far from that design trope.
You get a 6.6-inch OLED display that goes from edge-to-edge (no notch here) made of the latest-generation of Gorilla Glass. It’s compact and sleek considering the size of the screen. Also, there’s no camera bump on the back (a rarity, in these days of smartphone design).
Part of the reason why you get that all-screen design is that Oppo has hidden the selfie camera in the phone’s hood. Open up the camera app, hit the selfie button, and up will pop the front-facing camera in a drawer that looks quite a bit like a shark fin.
It’s a novel approach to front snappers, and one that immediately draws ‘ooohs’ when demonstrating it to friends, but it does come with a tradeoff (around a 0.8-second open time).
If you’re wondering about security, the fingerprint scanner is hiding under the screen. Oppos says it’s 30 per cent faster than the previous iteration.
Oppo Reno: What’s under the hood?
Oppo has fitted the Reno with a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the model. You get either 128GB or 256GB of built-in storage (but there’s no option of expandable storage).
You also get a whopping 4,065mAh battery – which is the heftiest battery cell in the range – and will certainly keep the phone going for a full day’s usage. But if you do find yourself out of juice, Oppo has fitted the Reno with Flash Charge 3.0 technology (so it should charge up quick).
The camera boasts a 48-megapixel primary shooter, along with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, and a 13-megapixel telephoto lens. The phone uses all three cameras in tandem, to squeeze just about as much detail as it can from each shot. You also get optical image stabilisation, which is handy when taking shots in low light.
From a video perspective, the Reno will handle 4k Ultra HD footage at 60 frames-per-second, and there are multiple microphones on the device – letting you record 360-degrees of ambient sound.
Oppo Reno: How’s it run?
The Reno runs a custom skin called ColorOS 6 on Android 9.0 Pie. It includes a lot more white space than other iterations, and it’s not as garish as some of the other pre-installed skins that some Android devices ship with.
As you’d expect, there is a new battery management system that turns down apps that haven’t been used in a while to prolong battery life.
On the other side of the fence, Oppo has also included something called Frame Boost – which will identify apps that require some extra oomph and give it a graphical boost. Handy, if you’re a big player of mobile games on the go.
Elsewhere, the phone is snappy to use. Switching between apps and games is rather simple, and we never experience any real phone lag.
Oppo Reno: The verdict?
The Reno is a very capable smartphone that still offers top-notch specs in spades. It still undercuts the current flagship contenders from the likes of Apple and Samsung, and does so in style – what with that hidden selfie-camera and in-screen fingerprint reader.