Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Review; A Shark Fin Camera, But Is The Reno All Gimmicks?

The Reno is Oppo’s attempt at a new form factor, and their new flagship. The phone in and of itself looks, feels, and performs well. But that doesn’t mean that it comes without it’s faults. It was an innovative way of Oppo, to at least try and create something new. New however, doesn’t always equal better. The phone is a solid performer for the price, and I’ll get to why soon. For now, sit back, relax, and enjoy our review of the Oppo Reno.

(For context, the Reno unit that we received came directly from China, so the Google Play Store wasn’t available at our disposal.)

Display; A Bright Vibrant Display With No Distractions

The first thing you’ll probably notice about the phone is the display. The phone has a 6.6″ AMOLED, ‘Fullview’ display. We’re not really sure how Oppo themselves refer to the screen form factor, but that’s the standard these days. And that’s in part due to the ‘shark-fin’ selfie camera, which admittedly is a pretty cool feature. It’s unique, and no one else seems to be trying to emulate what the Reno is done. In that way, they’ve created their own, one of a kind device.

The display is otherwise bright, it performs well even with the sun beaming down on it. Not particularly a surprise with a 1080 x 2340 resolution with 387 ppi.  Thanks to that, colours on the device look vibrant, and almost pops out of the screen. And that’s just a few of the reasons why the display on the Reno, is one of my favourites. The Reno 10x also boasts a 93.1% screen to body ratio, which is pretty wild. Overall, there’s nothing I can say to diminish the value that the screen has for this device. It wouldn’t be the same without it, and Oppo really put their money where their mouth is with this one.

Design And Aesthetics; A Thicccc Phone

One thing I can say about this phone, is that it’s one of the heaviest, bulkiest devices around. It weighs about 215g, which for a phone, is pretty big and heavy. There’s nothing wrong about it, but it’s just something to keep in mind if you were planning on buying a new phone. For a quick comparison, the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 weighs in at 205g. And that’s a gaming phone. So, the Reno is one of the thicker, heavier devices around. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but prolonged use can tire you out. One handed use isn’t a thing you can do for long with this device. I would prefer it being sleek, rather than being so bulky. But for the camera, they had to compromise somewhere.
Otherwise, the Reno is aesthetically a good looking device. It’s covered in glass front to back, there’s no camera bump, and of course the display. The pale green/turquoise look doesn’t usually work for me, but the Reno makes it look pretty good. Speaking of camera bumps, there’s a reason that there’s a little bubble on the back of the device. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was, but I found out it’s the “O-Dot”. It basically is a little bubble, that protects the camera sensors. It’s a cute little feature, but I thought it was the fingerprint sensor my first time holding the device.

Performance; Snappy Performance/ Questionable Experience

The phone actually is a pretty strong performer. It comes equipped with a Qualcomm SDM 855, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. On paper, the phone ran everything I needed to. It could run PUBG (Guns For Peace) on high settings, with no problems. Something I should mention though, is we that we got a unit directly from China. This means that we weren’t able to access the Google Play store, and that makes our review of the phone kind of skewed. Something I noticed quite often were a lot of notifications in Chinese, when I had set the phone’s language to English.

That costs the device a few points in the review, as I wasn’t able to fully experience the potential of the phone. There were apps that were missing from the Oppo market on the phone, and just general sloppiness I noticed in the UI. It’s operating system is ColorOS 6 which is based on Android 9.0, so it does theoretically stack up. But I just wasn’t totally happy with my experience with it. But it’s skins is one of the better ones around, but the whole language fiasco was a burden to deal with.

Other than that, the phone has a 4065mAh batter which got me through the day, and sometimes even a day and a half on moderate-little usage. Safe to say, it’s strong enough of a device to get you through the day-to-day activities.

Camera; The 10x Zoom 

I used the Reno 10x Zoom as a daily shooter for a while now. I was confident enough to do so with the camera, because the Reno 10x Zoom has a pretty sharp shooter. It comes with 3 camera sensors on the back, a 48MP main cam, 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, and 13MP periscope lens for the optical zoom. And honestly, it worked great. It’s up there amongst one of the better smartphone cameras, but there’s still something missing in their zoom when we shot side by side with Huawei’s P30 Pro. Check out this side by side comparison of pictures taken with the Reno, and the P30 Pro:
As you can see, the colours on the Reno look better, livelier, and just overall clearer. The P30 Pro’s shot is dark, dingy, and kinda noisy. But of course, the pictures are not in their original quality, and are compressed. This can be a factor in tests like this, but overall, the Reno seems to win out in this test. The zoom however, you can tell that the P30 Pro wins out because of the sharpness in comparison to the Reno. This isn’t a definitive test, but can definitely serve as a precursor to understanding how both devices work, considering the price similarity.
Of course, the Reno also has a pop camera. Or so they like to call it, the Shark-fin camera. It’s basic premise is that it pops up out of the phone as if it were a shark fin coming out of the water. It’s clever, and it comes with a 16MP sensor with a f2.0 aperture. The selfies it takes are pretty good, but I’m still stumped on what the point of it popping up the way it does. Well I guess that’s just innovation for you. When i reached out to Oppo to clarify why exactly it rises the way it does, this is whats Sophia Xie, Oppo’s Industrial designer had to say;
“The industrial design team and engineers figured that pop-up camera is the solution to achieving a panoramic screen. And during the design process, OPPO always makes sure that its products bring a delightful surprise to users; making users stand out from the crowd. Hence instead of an ordinary pop-up camera, we have put a twist to it, adding more personality to the overall outlook.”

Final Verdict

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is one of the flagships to look out for out there. The phone performs, has good cameras (really good cameras), a decent battery, and overall a good experience. Where it lacks is the size department, as the phone is unnecessarily thick at 0.93cm / 9.3mm. This I assume is to accommodate the shark-fin camera, and I’m not sure if the gimmick is worth sacrificing the size. But overall I’d say, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is definitely worth the money, if you’re looking for a good camera, display, and ‘innovative’ form factor.

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