It seems like only yesterday when OPPO announced things we can expect from a flagship device that they committed to release in the second quarter of the year.
That time has come with the Reno’s arrival.
If you’re a fan, you’d know that Reno is not an existing product line from OPPO. It’s a new series that, according to the Chinese company, is the epitome of their creative vision and will serve as the catalyst for OPPO’s smartphone development for the next 10 years.
New design language
Central to this new series is a fresh design language. From the outside, you can already tell that this is unlike any other OPPO phone we’ve seen before.
At the back, everything is symmetrical, and the cameras do not protrude. Just below them is what OPPO calls the Protective O-dot. It’s a small ceramic bump that’s meant to elevate the phone ever so slightly, and protect the phone from surface marks.
The logo and small text that says “Designed by OPPO” are in an unusual orientation for a smartphone. But that’s because the Reno series is made primarily with photography and mobile entertainment in mind. In case you didn’t notice, the OPPO logo got an update as well.
The Reno comes in three variants: the standard model powered by a Snapdragon 710, the 10x Zoom that sports Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855, and the 5G model which is promised to come to Switzerland in May.
They will come in this beautiful matte finish called Ocean Green, as well as a glossy Jet Black finish.
While they all feature the new look, you can tell the 10x Zoom model apart through its bigger display, battery capacity, and the extra periscopic lens.
In front, you get an unobstructed 6.6-inch AMOLED display, topped with Corning Gorilla Glass 6. It has neither a hole nor a notch. OPPO says they minimized the size of the chin to achieve an even higher 93.1 percent screen-to-body ratio.
Switch to selfie mode and up pops what OPPO calls the Pivot Rising Camera. It rises at a maximum angle of 11 degrees in just 0.8 seconds. OPPO says the phone can survive up to 200,000 drops, as the camera automatically retracts whenever the phone is dropped.
In this pop-up module are the earpiece, front-facing soft light, and the 16MP front-facing camera. There’s also flash at the back.
However, what’s most impressive about the selfie camera isn’t the pop-up mechanism or the 11-degree angle; it’s the way the phone processes extremely backlit selfies. With other smartphones, backgrounds usually turn out overexposed. See how the Reno handles this scenario:
Triple camera threat
The selfie camera is just the tip of the iceberg, however. What you should really be paying attention to are the three cameras at the back: a 48MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, and a 13MP periscopic telephoto lens. Both the primary and telephoto lenses are optically stabilized.
Using a prism, OPPO is able to minimize the thickness of the telephoto lens. The periscope structure of the lens uses 13 percent less space, so the camera module is only 6.76mm thick. Because of this setup, the Reno 10x Zoom can go up to 10x hybrid zoom, just as its name suggests.
Take a look at these sample photos we took around Zurich.
The phone can also zoom in up to 20x, if you really want to get in closer. This is how it looks:
The OPPO Reno 10x zoom also has Ultra Night Mode 2.0. Using a combination of a large sensor, fast aperture, and software magic, you can get better detail in low-light environments, and get rid of random lights that are not artsy enough to look like a lens flare.
The Reno 10x Zoom’s low-light performance is not a surprise though, as OPPO’s midrange R17 Pro was also one of the best low-light cameras we tried last year.
Built to compete
The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom is a flagship device with flagship specs that can rival any top-of-the-line smartphone from 2019: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, up to 8GB RAM, and up to 256GB expandable storage.
OPPO emphasizes great gaming performance on this phone. With HyperBoost 2.0, the phone can avoid lag and touch performance issues.
It also uses three heat dissipation methods, including graphite sheets, copper pipe cooling tech, and thermal conductive grease paste to help control overheating when playing over longer periods of time.
We didn’t get to fully test this yet as our review unit is a Chinese version. But once we get an international unit, our full review will definitely include gaming performance.
The OPPO Reno 10x zoom also has a humongous 4065mAh battery which comes with faster VOOC 3.0 charging technology.
Speaking of faster, the in-display fingerprint scanner on the Reno 10x Zoom is one of the fastest we’ve used lately.
If that’s not your cup of tea, there’s still face unlock. Yep, even if the camera is hidden, it will pop up whenever you want to unlock the phone using face recognition. It also happens so fast you’d barely see the magic happen.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
OPPO’s Reno 10x Zoom definitely has what it takes to go against this year’s premium flagship devices: It’s beautiful, fully beefed up, and has cameras you can rely on. The new ColorOS is also refreshingly clean.
While the Reno 10x Zoom costs less than what most of its competition are sold for, at the end of the day, the decision to buy the phone solely boils down to whether you are actually willing to spend EUR 799 (US$ 895) on a phone from OPPO.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Hands-on
Most of the leaks were true after all
Samsung started 2021 early with their newest Galaxy S21 series.
Unlike last year where the S20 models were announced last February, these new S21 units were unveiled as early as January 2021. Although we’ve covered most of the leaks and rumors about Samsung’s latest flagship trio, we still need to confirm them.
Head over to our latest hands-on video to find out more.
ASUS ZenBook Duo (2021) Unboxing and Hands-on: Double The Fun!
Is it still the laptop of tomorrow?
This 2021, the Full HD LCD display might be a drawback from the 4K OLED display. Still, it has a new and improved ErgoLift Hinge that ASUS is proud of. And with power-packed specs, pen support, and dual displays, this laptop might just be for a creative or content creator like you.
More of ASUS’ latest ZenBook Duo in our latest unboxing and hands-on video right here.
Motorola one 5G ace Hands-On: 5G for less!
Surprising specs for its price tag
Last year, Motorola was able to deliver a promising 5G smartphone that costs less than the usual 5G flagships with their midranger Moto one 5G.
This 2021, Motorola has launched a cheaper variant, still with a nifty Snapdragon 765G chipset, 5G support, 5000mAh battery, but lesser cameras. With that being said, will you still consider it over other phones in the same price range?
Click here to watch our Motorola one 5G ace hands-on video.
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