The OPPO F11 Pro was one of the best we’ve seen from the brand, thanks to a combination of innovative features, and a very compelling spec sheet that’s wrapped in good pricing.
Now though, they’re out with two new devices – the Reno series is the brand’s latest entries into the upper mid-range and the flagship market, following the footsteps of the devices such as the Find X and the R17 Pro, both the Reno and Reno 10X Zoom sport a new design, and in the latter, OPPO’s latest 10X Optical Zoom technology.
Today, we’re taking a look at its mid-range counterpart, the Reno, and while this one doesn’t have its more premium sibling’s zooming capabilities, it still quite packs a number of interesting characteristics, and a specsheet that’s seems impressive on paper, at least for a mid-range phone.
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What’s in the Box
For the Reno, OPPO went for a longer box which looks and feels more premium than usual. Inside, you get the usual documents, a Type-C cable, a VOOC Charger, a headset, a SIM Ejector, and a case.
Like its more premium brother, the Reno also boasts a new design. The first thing you’ll notice is the lack of a notch, in favor of a new motorized module that houses its 16MP front snapper, along with the rear flash. Like in the F11 Pro, you’ll only see it when unlocking the device, when taking a selfie, or when enabling flash on the rear camera.
Another thing that’s notable about its new look is the non-protruding rear camera, which makes the back panel more seamless. There’s also a part called the O-Dot, which basically protects the camera module from having contact with the surface.
There’s no physical fingerprint sensor here, so you’ll have to rely on the device’s in-display scanner, which by the way, works very fast, faster than any other phone I’ve used.
Button layout – Power button on the right, volume rocker and SIM slot on the left. It uses a hybrid SIM tray, which means you only get to use 1 SIM card if you want to use your memory card at the same time.
At the bottom, you get a Type-C port, along with a headphone jack, and a speaker grill.
Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, backed by 6GB of RAM and a generous 256GB of storage. This gives you the ability to play PUBG Mobile in Balanced + Ultra Frame Rate setting, which you usually don’t get on a mid-range phone. On my recollection, the only devices that were able to do such a feat are the Galaxy A50, A70 and A80.
The Reno misses out on the more premium variant’s dedicated wide-angle lens, 10X optical zoom or the 60x digital zoom. That being saide, it still packs a 48MP main sensor paired with a 5MP depth sensor.
Daylight shots, as expected were impressive in terms of sharpness, depth, and detail. The only thing that was really frustrating is that the lack of a dedicated wide-angle shooter removes the convenience of not having to move further when trying to add more into the frame.
In fairness, the Reno is capable of 2x optical zoom, which works well. Surprisingly, the quality of images captured using its 10x digital zoom are decent, despite the lack of stabilization. Dazzle Color mode enhances colors for more vivid and lively-looking photos. AI Scene Recognition is also present, and was able to accurately detect subjects for most of the time.
At night, the device is even more impressive, thanks to its dedicated Night Mode, which allows you to take long exposure shots without a tripod. What’s even better is that night shots show none to very minimal hints of overprocessing on edges, which in turn makes the images look sharper and more detailed.
While not advertised as a selfie-centric device, the Reno can still take good-looking and detailed selfies. The motorized camera is also quick enough to activate and retract.
ColorOS 6 returns here with its touch of simplicity and functionality. As on the F11 Pro, you get the usual key features such as Game Space, which gives you various options to improve gaming performance. It also gives you the option to record what’s on the screen.
You also get the complete suite of security options, fiingerprint, code, or Face Unlock. All of which work fast, and work well. It also gives you the option to enable or disable the app drawer, which is a big plus for me.
As far as being able to personalize the look and feel of your home screens are concerned, ColorOS allows you to change the layout to accommodate more icons in one row. It also lets you easily add and remove apps on the homescreen with a context menu that appears whenever you tap and hold on an icon. That same menu also lets you perform tasks related to the app.
In essence, the OS runs smooth and fluid, and it seems to prioritize ease of use and customization.
The Verdict So Far
So far, I’m pretty impressed by the OPPO Reno, not just in gaming performance, but also in imaging. Yes, it lacks a wide-angle lens, which could be a deal-breaker for some, but quality-wise, it really is impressive, especially at night.
I’m also happy that they’ve made improvements to the the digital zoom, which in this case, is still pretty decent even without stabilization, at least when there’s ample lighting. A few more things to check – battery life, charging time, video, other camera features, and maybe some more games.
Now, the price. The Reno is set to retail for PhP26,990. OPPO will announce which variants will be available in the Philippines on June 19. You can pre-order yours from June 15 until June 20 at any OPPO Store, with store availability starting June 21. It will also be available in Lazada.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.