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Oppo Reno initial review: Battling the mid-range crowd

While the high-end Reno 10x Zoom and Reno 5G handsets stole the spotlight at today’s Reno launch event in Zurich, Oppo has also launched another phone – the “standard” Oppo Reno.

While it’s not quite as highly specified as its larger siblings, there’s a lot to love about Reno, which clearly seeks to attack the sub £500 price point head on – it’s been announced at 499 Euros but we’re expecting that to translate as £499 or even £449 perhaps.

It’s intriguing as that is the space occupied in the recent past by its sister company OnePlus – as well as several other rivals of course.

Design and display

  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display
  • Gorilla Glass front and back
  • Shark-fin pop-up for the front camera

Design-wise the cheaper Reno is virtually indistinguishable from its more expensive siblings. It does have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display instead of a 6.6-inch one, but it sticks with the resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 and Gorilla Glass 6 for protection.

The display is very bright and colours really pop at full brightness (or near full brightness).

Oppo Reno initial review image 8

The phone is available in black and emerald green at launch, although we believe there may be other colours in due course.

As with the other Reno devices the standard handset has the shark fin pop-up when the front camera is activated. It rises in 0.8 seconds and is pretty seamless in operation to be honest (we didn’t expect that either).

Oppo Reno initial review image 9

It’s also very strong and if you press it down – by accident or whatever – it will retract. As we’ve said elsewhere in our coverage today, Oppo believes it will last for 200,000 uses at least (presumably some robot or other has tested this) – that equates to five years of being popped up a hundred times a day. Nobody takes that many selfies, do they?

This style of pop-up is quite different from Oppo’s previous attempts on the Find X – where the whole top of the phone pops up – and the F11 Pro – where a small pop-up emerges from the centre top of the phone. That style is set to be used in the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 platform
  • Available in 128 or 256GB versions
  • 6 or 8GB of RAM

The Reno is based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 as opposed to the higher-end 855 in the 10x Zoom and 5G. Although we didn’t use the Reno for an extended period of time, we found the handset quick and responsive.

You’ll be able to get Reno in 128 or 256GB versions (the version we saw was 256GB). We’re led to believe that the handset doesn’t have an SD card slot for expandable storage though we’ll have to confirm this when we do our full review.

Oppo Reno initial review image 2

Elsewhere, the Reno has a headphone jack interestingly – unlike it’s more expensive siblings. Clearly manufacturers feel it’s an essential for a mid-range device stil.

Battery wise, the 3,765 mAh battery will power you through a day. Although there’s no wireless charging on this device, we do know that Oppo’s VOOC fast charge tech does work very well.

Camera

  • 16 megapixel front camera
  • 48 megapixel primary on the rear
  • 4K video at 30fps

Chipset aside, the main difference between this phone and the 10x Zoom version is in the camera department. There’s the same 16 megapixel front camera, but instead of the triple camera and 10x zoom lens you get a dual camera instead.

Both lenses are flush with the surface of the device. 

Oppo Reno initial review image 6

The dual setup includes the same 48 megapixel primary lens (f1.7) using Sony’s IMX586 sensor but the second is a 5 megapixel (f2.4) unit. There’s 4K 30fps video recording.

The photos we took seemed very decent, but the room had a lot of different lighting and it was hard to tell overall quality so we’ll save that for our full review. 

Software

  • ColorOS 6
  • Based on top of Android Pie

The Reno series uses Android 9.0 Pie but has the latest version of Oppo’s ColorOS software, ColorOS 6, on top. Finally it has added an app drawer, and it does seem improved from our brief time with ity. There’s also a newly-designed notifications drop-down with easy-to use widgets. We’re looking forward to seeing how ColourOS has improved day-to-day when we come to review the phone. 

Oppo Reno initial review image 5

First Impressions

There’s a lot to love about Oppo’s Reno series of phones – the standard Reno is a well-designed mid-range phone that and brings a touch of flagship design and offers something a little different with the shark fin pop-up.

It helps that the gimmick has a practical use and is functional, rather than something you’ll get annoyed by after a couple of weeks. 

We know the Oppo Reno 5G is coming to EE in the UK, but it’ll be very interesting to see who stocks the standard Oppo Reno in the UK – because there should be some very tasty prices on contract. 

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