Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Smartphone REVIEW

Oppo's Reno 10x smartphone.
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Smartphone REVIEW


Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Smartphone REVIEW

PAT PILCHER finds that Oppo’s latest phone has a genuine zoom and lots more to recommend it including fast charging and speedy interface.


Oppo’s Reno 10x smartphone.

In a sea of samey-samey smartphone slabs, Oppo has repeatedly stood out. This is thanks to some innovative smartphone hardware. Their most recent, is covered in this Oppo Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review. And it is no exception.

It has a triple camera setup with 10x zoom capabilities. And a pop-up shark-fin front camera; and blessedly, no notch or punch hole.

As you’d expect given the branding, the camera is front and centre. But what about the rest?

On the specs front, the Reno 10x ticks a lot of boxes. It comes with a fast CPU, a massive 4,000 mAh battery, a sleek and sexy design. And it packs a peeper pleasing AMOLED display. The standout feature, however, is the Reno’s triple rear cameras, which are equipped with a 10x zoom.

“The standout feature, however, is the Reno’s triple rear cameras”

Yes, it’s eye-catching. And most important of all, the design works well on a practical level too. The liberal use of rounded corners and curved surfaces give the Reno a sleek feel in the hand. While lending it a pleasing, almost organic look.

Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review
Oppo’s Reno 10x smartphone.

Further helping things along is its build quality. Crafted out of glass front and back, which has then been sandwiched between a metal frame.

The Reno 10x also has a distinctively premium feel. And is also sturdy, with minimal flex. It comes in the choice of two colours – Jet Black or Ocean Green. Oppo loaned me the Ocean Green model for this Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review, and it boasts striking dark aquamarine tones, with a neat reflective rainbow finish.

“The Reno 10x has a distinctively premium feel and is also sturdy with minimal flex”

The front is all display. Unlike most other smartphones, there’s no notch or punch hole for the front camera.

“What sort of dark magic is this?” I hear you mutter. Where the front camera and earpiece inhabit the top of the screen on most phones, Oppo has instead used a pop-up. As pop-up cameras have been known to catch on pockets, purses and jacket linings, Oppo smartly chose to streamline theirs. Hence the shark fin shape. Its larger size handily means that it also houses an earpiece as well as front/back camera flashes.

In use, it worked a treat. When using the front camera or shooting in low light (with the flash set to Auto), the shark fin would pop up before I was able to scream, “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOW!” (If Oppo had included the Jaws theme as a notification tune on the Reno, I’d have scored it 11 out of 10!)

Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review
Oppo’s Reno 10x smartphone.

Unlocking the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Unlocking involves placing one’s finger or thumb on the In-display fingerprint sensor. These are great for decluttering the rear of phones. But are still an emerging technology, and as such, some work better than others.

Thankfully, the Reno’s was both fast and accurate. Once I’d registered my left and right index fingers, I never experienced another fingerprint recognition issue while testing it during my Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review.

The Reno’s display is an OLED beastie. Which means that on-screen colours pop. There’s also plenty of brightness and contrast. Viewing it outdoors in Wellington winter sunlight was not a problem.

“Once I’d registered my left and right index fingers, I never experienced another fingerprint recognition issue”

Given the very reasonable specs, it looked to be a real performer. I wasn’t disappointed. Everything ran seamlessly and smoothly. There were no noticeable lags. Regardless of what I threw at it. This is mostly thanks to the powerhouse processor Snapdragon 855. Which is crafted using a 7nm process. This confers the added benefit of it being very energy efficient.

The Reno 10x has heaps of storage. And there’s also microSD support. Its battery life also impressed. Not so long ago, getting a full day of use with a bit of charge to get you through the evening was a big deal.

But Oppo has taken things a little further with the Reno. Delivering an astounding two full days of life with moderate to heavy use. That means reading emails, Facebook/Twitter, plus a spot of casual gaming.

Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review
Oppo’s Reno 10x smartphone.

The other pleasing feature is that it comes with Oppo’s VOOC 3.0 fast charging tech. With it, I was able to charge the Reno from flat to 75 percent in under half an hour. For quick top-ups, before I headed out, VOOC repeatedly proved insanely useful.

Photography – A Big Deal on the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Super battery tech and powerful specs aside, photography is a big deal with the Reno. It features three rear shooters, each with different focal lengths. These cover a wide focal range – 16mm wide-angle through to 160mm telephoto. Its 48MP primary camera uses a Sony IMX586 image sensor, which is widely used by other smartphone makers.

“I was able to charge the Reno from flat to 75 percent in under half an hour”

So, how does this 10x telephoto zoom lens magic happen? Zoom lenses tend to stick out, giving most cameras the appearance of having consumed too much Viagra. This is not going to work on a phone you’ve got in your trouser pocket. (Hey is that a canoe in your pocket, a phone? Or are you just really pleased to see me?).

Huawei’s P30 Pro came up with the same solution: the image sensor has been rotated sideways, and a series of moveable periscopic prisms act to provide a zoom. The magic happens you go for 6x zoom. The Reno will zoom to 60x, but anything after 10x is a digital zoom.

Images I captured while testing were good. Picture details are all there; the dynamic range was spot on. And I found exposure almost impossible to flub when using auto mode. Image saturation is punchy, but not over the top. All told, the Reno’s cameras fit squarely in the Goldilocks category – just right.

Oppo’s Reno 10x smartphone.

There is also an Ultra Night Mode. Which Oppo says is a refined version of what they’d developed with the F17. It features an increased dynamic range and smarter exposure management. This translates into highlights not blowing out and extra detail visible in dark areas. It isn’t quite in the same league as the Huawei P30 Pro. But it comes close.

Oppo’s take on Android has a distinctive fruity flavour. While it has its detractors, I like it. It isn’t cartoony or garish, and it doesn’t get in the way. I personally liked that gesture navigation is available, and I found the Smart Assistant (a left swipe from the home screen) to be handy, as it gives weather and appointment updates, and quick access to frequently used apps. The Oppo’s UI is intuitive and logically laid out.

“Audiophiles with wired cans should note that there is no headphone jack”

So, if that’s what’s good, what about the … not-so-good?

The Reno has a few gaps in its features line up. That many would expect at this price point. Audiophiles with wired cans should note: there is no headphone jack. Sports Billys and Wilhelminas should also note that it does not have the water resistance found in so many phones at this price-point. It also doesn’t have wireless charging. Which is not a biggie, given how well VOOC charging works.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review
Oppo’s Reno 10x smartphone.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom smartphone review: summary

These omissions aside, the Reno 10x is an impressive smartphone. Depending on where you shop, it can be had for $1299. Which is slightly more affordable than the Huawei P30 Pro (its biggest competitor). All the bells and whistles on the Reno 10x have been well implemented to make it a top-notch handset.

Smartphone shutterbugs who cannot afford the P30 Pro should check out the Reno 10x cameras. As it’s an extremely versatile shooter that takes solid photos. Add to that a great screen, excellent battery life/fast charging, and zippy overall performance, and you’ve got an excellent all-rounder.

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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