Pill, teardrop, punch hole, pop up and much more. All that effort, just to accommodate a full screen display and a selfie camera. Will all the different notches and pop ups available today, the Oppo Reno may have the most, creative, outlandish and most likely over engineered of them all.
Shark Fin? Really? What’s gonna be next, tiger tail? Lion’s mane maybe? Oh Oh, how about penguin’s beak?
Anyways, let’s find out how the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom does after giving it the Stuff treatment.
DESIGN & BUILD
It’s astonishingly pretty. The Ocean Green colour variant that we got unanimously won the praise of the entire Stuff team in terms of looks and feel. A tough feat to say the least.
The front is completely dominated by the ma-hu-ssive 6.65in display, with a slight chin at the bottom, but the real magic is at the back. Most of the rear is covered in this rich, matte finish that feels very premium to the touch.The only area that does not feature the matte finish on the back is the thin line right in the middle where the Oppo and Designed by Oppo branding is located. Right under the flush in-line triple camera module is a ceramic bead that protrudes slightly to protect the camera module from scratches that might occur due to it lying flat on the desk. Honestly, that’s a nice addition to have and it does work as advertised on completely flat surfaces.
The matte finish on the back really does do wonders in terms of how the Reno looks. It reflects and refracts light in a most mesmerising way and we definitely like this approach better than the usual Chinese phone approach to gradient backs that end up being a bit gaudy for anyone to pull off apart from Elton John.
But that’s enough about the back. Let’s discuss the sides now. The volume buttons are located on the left while the power button can be found on the right. All buttons are located perfectly for even a smaller set of hands to reach easily.
While the buttons may be easily accessible, it’s near impossible to use with one hand. A little more than half the display can be reached with the thumb fully extended while using it with one hand.
The 6.65in display with 93.1% screen to body ratio is an absolute unit of a screen. Perfectly suited to media consumption. The 2340x1080 resolution AMOLED display with 387 ppi is pretty sharp and colours are vibrant. It should honestly please anyone who is not a pixel peeper.
The lack of a notch along with that large display makes media consumption really immersive making it ideal for binging TV shows while commuting.
Software and performance
The Reno performs as well as you would expect a device with a top of the line Qualcomm processor and 8 GB of RAM. It’s quick, it’s smooth, and during testing, we saw no signs of any lags or hiccups. It’s as fast as all flagship phones out there with a Snapdragon 855 processor apart from the OnePlus 7 Pro, which is in a league of its own at this point.
There are some improvements and changes in the Color OS that runs on top of Android 9. The UX offers a ton of customisation and a buyer could probably spend hours tweaking the interface to get it exactly the way they want it. I personally think it’s still a bit cartoony, but has improved a whole lot since the Oppo devices I reviewed last year. But, it still fills up the notifications with nonsense news and offers that you never knowingly give permission for.
One of the more stand out features on the Reno was the addition of Game Space. Okay, to be honest this kind of feature is not new, and most smartphones have some variation of this. But what makes us mention it here is how well it is implemented on the Reno. You can add games to the Game Space library and launch them from there, you can monitor wifi and networks for online games, you also have the option to choose between three modes that modulate performance according to usage. It’s actually quite in depth and an ideal asset for gamers to have.
Another feature that we were particularly impressed by was the battery life. It gives you a good full day of extremely heavy use, and with normal usage you could stretch that to more than a day and a half. But you kind of expect that with a 4067mAh battery. What is really impressive is how quickly it charges. The Reno features VOOC 3.0, one of the fastest if not the fastest charging on any smartphone you can buy today. From 0, it managed to charge the device up to 80% in less than half an hour, which should easily last you an entire day.
So the moment of truth. It’s time to find out if all those fancy optics and mechanisms have done what it’s supposed to do. For the most part, yes.
The 10x Hybrid Zoom works as advertised, producing really usable and for the most part, clear images. It’s a really handy mode to have and you can certainly use that option to click memorable images on vacations, but don't expect too much from it. The shots are clear for the most part and the colours are pretty accurate as well. But there is not much room to play around and be creative. What impressed us quite a bit was how stable hand held photography could be at 10x. Kudos to Oppo for managing that.
It should also be known that while Oppo claims to have a 48MP sensor, it’s not the most useful. All the fancy zoom modes and HDR capabilities go out of the window when used in 48 MP mode. It would be best to keep away from the 48MP sensor as we didn’t see a major improvement that it provided over the other sensors, except the increased image size of course.
The selfie camera is located in the shark fin pop up thingee as you probably know, but what you may not know is that the rear flash and earpiece is located there as well. So this pop up cam does hold a lot more equipment than the usual run of the mill pop ups. It is also pretty quick and you notice that the most when you use facial recognition to unlock the device. The cam pops up, scans and goes back in, in the span of a second.
Getting to the performance of the selfie camera, the Reno is one of the few Chinese smartphones that completely shuts off the AI which beautifies your noggin. You do have the option to put on a bit of AI make up, but it’s good to be able to completely shut it off in favor of detail and accuracy, or because you're too pretty to need it.
The Reno is a weird one to sum up. It’s unique, pretty and performs really well, but then it's priced too close to some other smartphones that might be better value. If bog standard phones are not your thing, the Reno is a really good option. It is well built, that green gradient back feels oh so premium and then there is that shark fin pop up, and if we are not very much mistaken, it’s probably the most whacky implementation of a pop up available in the Indain market today.
But then there is the matter of the competition. The same spec OnePlus 7 Pro is available at a slightly higher price,but with that you get a superb curved display with better resolution and a brand that commands better goodwill in the smartphone market than the Oppo and the same spec OnePlus 7 is almost ₹12k cheaper. If you stretch your budget even more, Samsung’s S10e is one hell of a smartphone with its compact dimensions, beautiful display and Samsung’s backing behind it.
Honestly, you could pick up any of the four and go home a happy bunny, but we should mention that if the Reno 10x Hybrid were priced at around ₹40K, it would have been a much more alluring prospect.
At the moment it’s more for those who want something away from the mainstream, and compared to its competition, no other smartphone stands out better than the Reno 10x Hybrid.