REVIEW: OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G
The Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G is a smartphone that takes you close to a flagship experience. We’ve been playing with OPPO’s first official handset to launch in the Irish market for a few weeks now so we can deep dive into what is good and what needs improvement. Right now, the Reno4 Pro 5G has an asking price of €799 which puts it in tricky waters when it comes to its competition such as the new Galaxy S20 SE and OnePlus 8T. All this considered, does the Reno4 Pro do enough to overcome it?
Design & Build Quality
The Reno4 Pro’s 7.6mm chassis and 176g weight is fits and sits very nicely in the hand for daily use and is something we wish more manufacturers were able to do. Its compact form factor has made one-handed use easy and its ‘Galactic Blue’ colour is a nice touch too.
Something we were concerned about initially was also its power button placement. It felt a bit too high for every day use but, having used the handset for a few weeks now, my hand has gotten used to it.
We are also impressed with the phone’s toughness. It sports Gorilla Glass 6 on both the front and rear panel with an aluminium frame which makes for a great in-hand feel. If you are someone who likes compact yet sturdy smartphones, you will be happy with the Reno4 Pro 5G.
Unfortunately, there are some caveats to its overall build and robustness and the lack of an official IP rating sticks out like a sore thumb. By placing the smartphone in the higher end of the mid-range spectrum, OPPO has brought this scrutiny upon itself. Although the phone may be unofficially resistant to small splashes of water flecks of dust, having an official claim gives users that added cushion which the Reno4 Pro 5G fails to do unfortunately.
One of the things that really makes the Reno4 Pro 5G shine is its display and overall brightness levels. It clocks a peak brightness of 1,100nits and with this, you should have no trouble using the phone outdoors. In fact, sometimes the brightness feels a bit too high when you want it to be lower in a darker environment. We have noticed that even when the brightness is toggled down all the way, the Reno4 Pro 5G’s panel is much brighter than the competition.
As for its specifications, it is a 6.55″ AMOLED display. It has a 1,080 x 2,400 pixel FHD+ resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio and HDR10+ support. Above all, it also sports a high 90Hz refresh rate. For both daily use and multimedia watching, the smartphone really delivers.
Scrolling feels smooth and watching videos is a pleasure, given the punchy vibrancy of the panel. We have had no trouble with HDR inconsistencies, black crush issues or banding so the quality of the display is great as well.
It is also nice to see that OPPO has opted to incorporate stereo speakers. These compliment the display perfectly with rich sound both for music and movies. The speakers are loud and adequately clear to use although not the loudest for its smartphone category. Rounding up on display and multimedia, it is also worth noting the that phone has an in-display fingerprint scanner. It is an optical scanner that is positioned well but seems a tad bit slower than the competition, although this should only translate to a few milliseconds of a difference in real world usage.
Performance & Software
This is where things start getting interesting for the Reno4 Pro 5G. Inside our unit, we have 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Unfortunately, it does not come with any micro-SD card expansion support but 256GB should be more than enough for most users. With this, the smartphone houses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor clocked at 2.4GHz.
Whether you are editing small video clips, multitasking, browsing the web or playing games, the Reno4 Pro 5G has you covered. On the 5G part, I was only able to use it properly 2-3 times as the connectivity is still slightly hit or miss where I live on Three Ireland. When it did work, I was getting 500-700mb download speeds on average which is very impressive, I just wish Three’s coverage was more consistent.
The Reno4 Pro 5G comes running ColorOS 7.2 on top of Android 10. The phone is likely to get an update to the new ColorOS 11 and Android 11 in due time however nothing about that is detailed so far.
But I mention this because I believe the smartphone does need an update or two. Coming over from another smartphone with the same Snapdragon 765G, there was a hint more stutter when using the Reno4 Pro 5G. For instance, quickly switching between two applications resulted in a pause of 2-3 seconds before the phone abruptly switched. This is not something you should see especially at this price tag. Considering the previous phone I used with the same processor had no such issue, we think this stems down to software optimisation.
With its triple-camera setup, you get a versatile camera experience on the Reno4 Pro 5G. Firstly, its primary 48MP Sony IMX589 sensor comes with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF), Auto Focus (AF) and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). This makes real world usage easy and consistent.
I found myself being able to take quick pictures whenever required with no problems with regards to focus hunting. Next up comes the secondary 13MP telephoto lens. Once again, my experience was all about consistency and how easy it was to use. It gave me decent zoom coverage when I needed without irrational quality loss. These cameras also do a good job at night however you need to stay a bit more patient to avoid any blurry photos.
Lastly, we have the 12MP ultra-wide lens, which also becomes the dedicated video camera on the phone. While there is an inconsistency between the colours on the primary and ultra-wide lens, it really becomes hard to spot in good lighting conditions.
Using the video camera in both the day time and night time, it gives you some good results as long as you remain stable. The phone is capable of up to 4K 30fps footage so there is no high refresh rate option at 4K. However, it does give you a lot of video options to make video capture smoother.
To round up on the camera experience, you find a 32MP hole-punch selfie camera. Once again, it was nice to see the camera being so responsive and reliable, showing some excellent dynamic range capabilities. Even at night, the camera should be able to do a decent job with selfies either of yourself or in groups.
One area where the Reno4 Pro 5G absolutely gets it spot on is when it comes to battery life. On the smartphone, you find a 4,000mAh battery which does not sound too big on paper. However, OPPO has done well to optimise it. Since I first started using the device as my every-day phone, there has not been a day where I have managed to completely drain the battery. Whether you push connectivity, the screen or the camera, the battery stays with you which is extremely impressive.
To top it off, the Reno4 Pro 5G comes with 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charging. With this, the phone is able to recharge from 0-100 per-cent in just 32 minutes. A quick 15 minute top-up also gets you about 60 per-cent. With this sort of charging technology, you can easily forget overnight charging. But if you are invested in the wireless charging ecosystem, you will be disappointed to know that the Reno4 Pro 5G does not support it. Personally, this is not a big deal but it might be for someone who has had it on their previous smartphone.
Looking at the OPPO Reno4 Pro 5G as an overall package, there is a lot to like about it. Its display, design, camera and battery life all do well when required. Even performance with the processor on-board is flawless aside from a few hiccups that OPPO can definitely fix with updates. Is its price slightly on the ‘too high’ side? maybe, especially with recent smartphone launches from other manufacturers, but this is not OPPO’s fault but more to do with the competitive market we live in.
For those who are still keen to see what OPPO’s latest handset has to offer, this is a great buy and if you happen to find the Reno4 Pro 5G on a deal for less than €799, you should definitely snap it up.
The Reno4 Pro 5G is arriving in Ireland next week. November 2nd on Three Ireland and eir’s networks with an RRP of €799.