OPPO Reno, Reno 10x zoom hands-on review: zoom, zoom, zoom baba

Before we start, let’s maintain a moment of silence in remembrance of the OPPO F-series. 

Yes, the F-series has been officially discontinued in India. But, it is a good thing because OPPO has replaced it with the Reno series with an all-new, colorful branding language. And, the smartphones in this lineup are looking damn good!

Essentially there are two phones in the OPPO Reno series, the OPPO Reno and the Reno 10x Zoom. As the names suggest, the Reno 10x Zoom comes with a special periscope lens that can do five times optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom. We’ll talk about all of this and more in my first impressions of the phone.


OPPO Reno, Reno 10x Zoom: P30 Pro beware?

The major point of difference between the Reno and the Reno 10x Zoom is the camera setup. On the Reno 10x Zoom, you get a 48MP primary Sony IMX586 sensor with an f/1.7 optically-stabilized lens. There’s also the 13MP telephoto camera with an f/3 aperture lens which has a focal length of 130mm. This means that it can do 5x optical zoom without a sweat. OPPO also claims that it can do 10x hybrid lossless zoom, and therefore the name of the phone. The third camera in the setup is an 8MP ultra-wide camera with an attached 16mm lens. The standard OPPO Reno replaces the Tele and the Wide for a 5MP depth sensor. As for the front camera – inside the shark fin pop-out module – you get a 16MP selfie camera. 

On paper, this is a solid camera setup and the phone doesn’t have any camera bump, which is excellent from a design perspective. That said, you cannot shoot videos using the wide-angle camera which is a letdown. Here are a few samples I took using the phones. The pictures look immediately pleasing and the 10x zoom just adds a lot of versatility to shooting as you can see. I really liked the look of the selfies as well. Even in harsh sunlight, the HDR mode does a good job of controlling the exposure. 




OPPO Reno, Reno 10x Zoom: looks premium, feels premium

The Reno phones are quite the lookers. Obviously, the OPPO Reno and Reno 10x Zoom are chunky at 9.3mm and 9mm, respectively. However, I am cool if that means that the camera bump is hidden. And, below the rear camera strip, you get a tiny raised dot that protects it when you place the phone on a table. That’s a neat touch. Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Reno 10x Zoom has really good weight distribution. Also, the build and the feel of the phone is really nice. 

Now, the 10x Zoom variant has a larger 6.6-inch AMOLED panel compared to the slightly smaller 6.4-inch panel on the standard variant. The rest of the specs are the same with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection on the front, TUV Rheinland-certified eye-care mode, and DCI-P3 color gamut. By the way, the glass on the rear has Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The display was crisp and bright even under bright sunlight in the limited time that I spent with it. 

Also read: Huawei P30 Pro review: this 5-camera system has a phone for some odd reason

OPPO Reno, Reno 10x Zoom: shark fin selfie module looks so cool

The talking point of the design is the shark fin selfie camera module. OPPO claims that it has tested the module for 2,00,000 sessions. The moving mechanism feels really smooth. But interestingly, the earpiece is on the shark fin module and there is a slit on the front fascia that pushes the sound through. Which means you don’t have to actually talk through the shark fin module. That would have been weird. The advantage of such a design is that your earpiece won’t get damaged by sweat, which tends to happen on other phones by the way. I’d love to test the sound quality for you guys soon. Oh also, the rear flash is on the shark fin module.

You can use this module for fast face unlock as well because the whole movement takes only 0.8 seconds. Talking about unlocking tech, you also have an in-display scanner and OPPO has reduced the animations by a lot making the unlocking super duper fast. The haptic motor wasn’t as tight as the OnePlus 7 Pro, though. You get a Type-C port at the bottom but there is no headphone jack. There are stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos as well. The SIM tray is a hybrid one. 

Also read: OnePlus 7 Pro review: the maker of “flagship killers” makes a killer flagship

Overall, this is by far one of the most beautiful looking smartphones in 2019. Especially that matte finish Ocean Green color, that doesn’t attract any fingerprints at all, looks particularly stunning. 

OPPO Reno, Reno 10x Zoom: beefy internals

Internally, the Reno 10x Zoom is the phone that completely knocks you over. You get a Snapdragon 855 chipset and two RAM/ROM variants: 6/128GB and 8/256GB. This internal storage is also the UFS 2.1 kind. But what I like about the internal specs is that there is a dedicated DAC and the phone is Hi-Res-certified, which means the audio through wired earphones should be great. 

In my time with the phone, it felt rather snappy and I think Color OS 6.0 has also been optimized well. Talking about Color OS 6.0, I’m still not a fan but Game Boost has now been improved. OPPO has a new improved Touch Boost state that improves the latency. I couldn’t actually test it out, though.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy A70 review: don’t judge a phone by its hardware specs

Now the standard Reno has a Snapdragon 710 SoC, which makes it a proper upper mid-range flagship. As for the battery, you get a 4065mAh battery on the Reno 10x Zoom and 3765mAh battery on the standard variant. You get the VOOC 3.0 charging tech with the new VFS flash charge algorithm that increases the speed of trickle charging in the final stages to reach 100% faster. Undoubtedly, OPPO is the leader when it comes to battery charging tech. 

Closing first thoughts

Both, the OPPO Reno and the Reno 10x Zoom are looking good from the get-go. With premium designs, a great set of cameras, and beefy internals, the OPPO Reno phones are definitely going to attract a lot of attention in the market. These phones have impressed me for sure. Furthermore, OPPO has also priced these devices right in my opinion. But most importantly, how cool is that shark-fin mechanical selfie camera? 

Evidently, the flagship OPPO Reno 10x Zoom goes up against a few great phones like the OnePlus 7 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10, iPhone XR, and more. While the basic Reno competes against phones such as the Nokia 8.1, OnePlus 7, Samsung Galaxy A70 and more. Having said that, I have a strong intuition that the OPPO Reno can challenge all of them and create a niche for itself, especially in the offline market. 

I’d like to know your thoughts on the Reno series. Hit us up in the comments.

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Ershad Kaleebullah

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?