Oppo Reno 10x zoom Review

Introduction

The Oppo Reno 10x zoom is exceptionally looking glass-sandwich phone, building on the maker’s increasingly solid record of designing phones that stand out for the right reasons. It has a notch-less AMOLED at the front and a shark fin pop-up selfie camera that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The triple camera over at the back is this Reno’s centerpiece, in case you somehow forgot about phone’s full model name. It has the large-sensor 48MP primary module, with bright and stabilized lens, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle snapper, and a 13MP snapper with periscopic lens for 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom, ergo the Reno 10x zoom. That’s a setup very similar to the Huawei P30 Pro, which we found to be the most versatile cameraphone around, so color us intrigued.

Specs:

Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 back, Gorilla Glass 6 front, 162×77.2×9.3mm, 210g; Ocean Green and Jet Black color schemes.
Display: 6.6″ AMOLED, 1080x2340px, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 387ppi.
Rear camera: Wide (main): 48MP, 1/2.0″ sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length, laser/PDAF, OIS. Telephoto: Periscope 13MP, f/3.0 aperture, 130mm equiv. focal length, laser/PDAF, OIS. Ultra wide: 8MP, f/2.2 aperture, 16mm equiv. focal length, autofocus.
Front camera: Motorized pop-up 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 26mm equiv. focal length.
Video recording: Rear: up to 4K 2160p@60fps, EIS up to 2160p@30fps, slow-mo up to 1080p@240fps. Front: up to 1080p@30fps.
OS/Software: Android 9.0 Pie, ColorOS 6.
Chipset: Snapdragon 855 (7nm): octa-core CPU (1×2.8GHz & 3×2.4GHz Kryo Gold & 4×1.7GHz Kryo 485 Silver); Adreno 640 GPU.
Memory: 6/8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, shared microSD card slot.
Battery: 4,065mAh, Li-Ion (sealed), 20W VOOC fast charging.
Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, 6-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.18 (1.2Gbps/150Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax MU-MIMO; GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0. USB Type-C.
Misc: Optical under-display fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers.

Design

The phone looks like a regular glass-sandwich flagship. The front is all screen glass, no notch; the back is all frosty glass with many cameras; and a one metal frame holds everything together.

But the closer look reveals the maker’s own touches and it’s personal take on the design.

The whole front is occupied by a 6.6″ AMOLED with nicely rounder corners and minimalistic bezels. There are no eyesores around, be it a cutout or a punch hole.

Keeping the OLED panel safe is the latest Gorilla Glass 6, also known as the toughest glass on Earth as per Apple’s PR claims. It’s almost completely flat, aside from the almost unnoticeable 2.5D edges existing only ensure smooth sliding of your fingers towards the edges.

In the lower part of the screen is an optical fingerprint reader, which is the fastest we’ve tried to date. It’s super accurate and is a good match for the conventional sensors in terms of speed. We’d guess it’s the same one used on the OnePlus 7 Pro, though in our experience it behaves a little bit better on the Reno even if at this point the differences are small enough not to matter.

The back of the Reno 10x zoom is really interesting as well. It’s made of Gorilla Glass 5 and is slightly curved towards its longer sides. Most of the glass on the Green model has this very familiar frosty finish, which we’ve grown to like for the past two generations of Oppo and OnePlus phones. It almost feels like metal, but it actually is glass and the feeling on touch is pretty cool and unique.

The Reno 10x is available in two colors – Ocean Green and Jet Black – only the first of those has the frosted finish we talked about, while the Black is just regular glossy black. Both options have some special layer that adds up for gradient effects under different light, so the Reno would be pretty cool either way.

Display, Battery Life, Loudspeaker, Audio Quality

The AMOLED screen is of 1080p resolution or 1,080 x 2,340 pixels to be exact, making for a very tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 387ppi density. The matrix beneath is a Diamond PenTile, but you can’t really tell that unless you are looking at it under a microscope (as we did).

The Reno screen is bright enough for an AMOLED at 440 nits, but it can’t go beyond like Samsung’s OLEDs. There is no brightness boost in Auto mode, so 440 nits is what you will get in both manual and auto brightness modes.

The screen is pretty accurate for both DCI-P3 and sRGB with an average deltaE of 3.5 and maximum deviation of 9.7 at point white (noticeable blue tint). If you drag the temperature slider in Display Settings to Warm, you’ll get one very accurate color presentation with an average deltaE of 2.4 and a maximum deviation of 5 and thus get rid of the blue tint on white screens.

Battery life
The Oppo Reno 10x zoom is powered by a 4,065 mAh battery. The phone supports Oppo’s 20W VOOC 3.0 fast charging and you get it within the retail box. It refills about 45% of the Reno’s depleted battery in 30 mins.

We ran our battery tests, and the Oppo Reno 10x zoom posted an excellent overall score of 107 hours. That’s among the best we’ve squeezed from a flagship, especially one with such a large screen.

Speakers
The Reno is the second Oppo smartphone to have two loudspeakers, and it’s been more than five years since we met the first one – the Find 7. Unlike the Find 7 and its two large speakers, the Reno uses the new way of delivering the feature – meaning one speaker at the bottom of the phone and the earpiece serving as the second one.

Unlike Apple’s latest iPhones, the Reno’s earpiece is not powerful enough to match the bottom speaker. The sound coming from the earpiece is quiet, flat, and often squeaky, and it’s mostly used to create the stereo feel and nothing else. Unfortunately, due to its poor quality, sometimes it may be an immersion breaker rather than booster.

Audio quality
The Oppo Reno does not come with a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. This means we couldn’t test the audio quality because it very much depends on what kind of headphones or adapter you have – each has its own DAC and has to be tested individually.

Camera

The main camera relies on the increasingly popular 48MP Sony IMX586 Quad Bayer sensor that outputs 12MP images by default. It’s a big imager – type 1/2.0″ with 0.8┬Ám individual pixels. The 26mm lens in front of it is pretty bright, sporting an f/1.7 aperture and it offers OIS too .

Then there’s the ultra-wide cam. It has an 8MP sensor behind a 16mm-equivalent lens with an f/2.2 aperture. Now, the press materials state a 120-degree field of view, which would normally equal 12-ish millimeter lens while the 16mm one gives you more like 107 degrees. We assume the 16mm is the output following the distortion correction.

Side by side with the 16mm Huawei P30 Pro, the Reno has the same coverage, and much like the P30 Pro, the 10x offers no option to disable the correction and get the full field of view. Not that 16mm/107 degrees isn’t plenty wide, of course.

And the star of the show – the telephoto camera – feature periscope optics similar to the Huawei P30 Pro’s. The lens on the Reno is slightly longer (130mm vs. 125mm equivalent) and brighter (f/3.0 vs. f/3.4), and the sensor has more pixels (13MP vs. 8MP). There are no details on its size, however, and we’d speculate it’s a smaller one for Oppo to be able to pull off the lens brightness without making a huge bump.

Alternatives, Pros and Cons, Verdict

The Oppo Reno 10x zoom is a niche flagship not only because a minority of people are interested in the periscope zoom camera, but also because Oppo isn’t a major player on the international market. Having less popularity and narrower reach than Huawei will make selling Reno 10x a tough job for Oppo.

Pros
Brilliant design
Excellent AMOLED screen, large and notch-free
Intriguing sharp fin notch
Class-leading battery life, VOOC charging
Cutting-edge performance
Overall excellent photo and video quality

Cons
Not waterproofed
No 3.5mm jack or adapter in the box
Camera UI doesn’t have 5x toggle, which aligns with focal length, suggests digital zoom instead

Verdict
The Oppo Reno 10x zoom camera experience isn’t as polished as the Huawei P30 Pro’s. Some odd choices were made along the way, which have favored numbers on a flashy presentation over user experience. A pity too, because once you manage to navigate around all the unnecessary complications you can get properly impressive shots.

Getting this out of the way the Reno 10x zoom certainly has enough other things going for it. Great looks – arguably the best in the H1 2019 flagship class, no unsightly cutout on its AMOLED screen, and impressive battery life.

The phone’s availability is still comparatively limited, but if your market has it it’s certainly worth giving a shot. Oppo isn’t afraid to innovate and do things its own way – a risky strategy that has often backfired, but it paid off handsomely with the Reno 10x zoom.

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