We review OPPO’s new flagship!
While OPPO has managed to carve out a niche for themselves in the mid-range market, the company has struggled to make a dent in the luxury segment of the smartphone space. Their flagship Find X was technically brilliant but wasn’t a commercial success, especially compared to their main domestic rival, Huawei.
OPPO is looking to change that with their Reno 10x Zoom. Their new flagship is cheaper than last year’s model despite stuffing more tech in its beautiful glass chassis.
Despite using eye-catching gradient colors on their previous mid-range phones and flagship Find X, OPPO went for a tamer, more reserved colorway for their flagship Reno. The Reno 10x Zoom has two colors: Jet Black and Ocean Green. While the Jet Black variant looks, well, black, the Ocean Green variant has this nice gloss but not really color composition going on, which is a nice change of pace from the loud gradient finishes that we usually see nowadays.
There’s a metal frame sandwiched in between the glass back and front, which adds to the overall rigidity of the phone. The corners of the phone are rounded and there’s a gentle curve on the back for better ergonomics which is helpful because of the overall size of the Reno 10x Zoom.
The phone is a little taller than what we’re used to, thanks to its towering display and is heavier than your typical smartphone. The Reno 10x Zoom tips the scales at 215 grams, considerably more than Huawei’s P30 Pro or a similar flagship. The phone has a lot of heft, which may be a good or bad thing depending on you.
There’s no fingerprint scanner on the rear thanks to the under-display tech, and the camera module sits flush on the Gorilla Glass 6 glass panel on the rear. To prevent accidental scratches on the three cameras on the back, OPPO put a small, tough nub directly below the camera array that raises the camera module a few mm when the phone is laid flat on a surface. We’re impressed at the simple and elegant solution to a serious problem, to be honest.
Aside from the 10x optical zoom camera that we’ll be talking about later, one of hero features that the Reno 10x Zoom has is its shark-fin, pop-up camera. OPPO opted to use an unconventional design with the Reno series for the pop-up shooter, which allows the device to use a full-screen display without a notch. That sharkfin camera certainly looks quite different from the regular rectangular ones we see on other flagship phones, though it works much the same way. A motor raises and lowers the 32-megapixel selfie camera when required, and retracts quickly when the phone detects its in freefall to protect the mechanism. OPPO boasts that it takes less than a second (0.8 seconds actually) for the camera to go up so you won’t have to wait long to take a selfie.
The shark fin module also holds the LED flash for the main camera as well. The pop-up camera also does double duty for facial recognition duties, though you’d probably be better served with the on-screen fingerprint scanner instead.
Despite its flagship design chops, there are still flagship elements missing from the Reno 10x Zoom though. The phone lacks an IP rating, so it’d be best if you keep an eye on it especially when it’s raining. It also doesn’t have wireless charging, a tech that’s increasingly becoming standard on flagships and is still missing on most OPPO phones. You also don’t get a 3.5mm jack which is pretty par for the course nowadays for smartphones.
All-screen display looks great
The entire point of using a pop-up camera in a phone is to relocate components like the front camera so users are left with a large display unmolested by a notch. That’s exactly what OPPO has achieved with the Reno: that shark-fin pop-up module allows the phone to have a 6.6-inch full HD+ resolution display with a 93.1 percent screen-to-body ratio.
The phone uses an AMOLED panel which has vibrant colors, good saturation, and deep blacks. You can tweak the colors of the display a little bit if you wanted to, though we would have liked deeper color calibration if it was possible.
Just like with most flagship phones nowadays, the Reno 10x Zoom has an on-screen fingerprint scanner which removes the need for a physical fingerprint scanner. The one on the Reno 10x Zoom works well enough, and we’ve never really had an issue where the scanner wouldn’t pick up our fingerprint on the first try.
The only issue we have with the display is its lack of an always-on option for notifications, which is a bummer, especially when you consider that the phone uses an AMOLED panel.
Hella fast thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset
Beating underneath the Reno 10x Zoom’s glass body is Qualcomm’s flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 855. That’s paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for the variant sold in the Philippines.
That’s a heck of a lot of RAM and storage made available for you, especially for a flagship phone and the good news is that you can expand storage further via a microSD card if you still need more space. Performance-wise Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset is currently the fastest performing SoC right now based on AnTuTu, and we guarantee that the Reno 10x Zoom is capable of running whatever app or game you throw at it as this review is published.
The phone has stereo speakers thanks to speakers on the bottom and top, right behind that shark-fin module.
A zoom monster
Before Huawei unveiled the P30 Pro, OPPO was one of the leading names when it came to zoom tech. The company unveiled concepts of their zoom technology during two Mobile World Congress events, and it’s probably bad luck that Huawei beat them to the punch when it came to actually implementing that tech into an actual phone.
That being said, the zoom tech on the Reno 10x Zoom works similarly to the one on the P30 Pro. A prism directs light to fixed camera sensors laid horizontally on the phone’s body, which gives the phone impressive zoom capability without the added bulk.
The phone’s optical zoom capability actually tops out at 5x much like the P30 Pro, with 6x zoom to 10x zoom being a composite of both digital and optical zoom.
Of course that 13-megapixel f/3.0 telephoto lens isn’t the only sensor on the phone. There’s a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor on there as well that’s paired with an f/1.7 aperture lens, as well as an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide angle camera.
Images shot with the main camera look absolutely fantastic, with plenty of captured detail and excellent dynamic range. The wide-angle camera performs similarly, capturing excellent images in bright light, though it suffers a little bit in low light thanks to its lower aperture.
As for quality on the zoom lens, it’s good, but it still lags behind a little bit in terms of image capture compared to its main rival. OPPO says that the Reno 10x Zoom is able to zoom up to 60x, but at those zoom levels, the image you’re getting is purely digital and isn’t something you’d want to use on your social media channels anyway.
Good for a day’s worth of use
The Reno 10x Zoom has a 4065mAh power pack keeping the lights on. Most flagships nowadays pack 4000mAh batteries as standard, which we like since top-tier chipsets usually end up consuming a lot of power compared to mid-range ones.
In any case, PCMark’s Battery Benchmark pegs the battery life of the Reno 10x Zoom at 11 hours and 51 minutes, which is pretty good considering what’s in the phone.
The Reno 10x Zoom also comes with OPPO’s VOOC fast charging tech, though it tops out at 20W.
Verdict: A beautiful and versatile flagship
OPPO has been working its butt off to try and get to the same level as their competitors when it comes to flagship phones, and despite their missteps with the Find X, it looks like the company finally has a solid flagship in the form of the Reno 10x Zoom.
The Reno 10x Zoom isn’t quite there yet missing a few essential flagship features. That being said, it’s impressive how much OPPO has accomplished with the new phone.
While people will undoubtedly snicker at the idea of dropping Php 45,990 for a phone made by OPPO, the Reno 10x Zoom really has a lot of tech under the hood that justifies that price tag.
OPPO Reno 10X Specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor
- Adreno 640 GPU
- 6GB/8GB RAM
- 6.65-inch Full HD+ OLED display, HDR10+ compliant,19.5:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 6
- 128GB/256GB internal storage
- 4G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- Triple rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.7 Sony IMX 586 main camera with OIS;8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide angle camera; 13-megapixel f/3.0 periscope camera with 10x Lossless Zoom and OIS; dual LED flash
- 16-megapixel f/2.0 pop-up front camera
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- Dual band GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
- In-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, Dolby Atmos, Game Boost 2.0
- Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6
- 4065mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 quick charging