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OPPO Reno 2 Review: The Better Reno

Should you spend money on OPPO’s newest phone?

After releasing their new, premium line of phones dubbed the Reno back in June, OPPO surprised everyone by announcing new, refreshed models a scant 4 months later.

The Reno 2 has more cameras, marginally better performance comes in a host of new colors, though the price, as always is a huge consideration especially if you take a look at the competition in the same price range.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

The OPPO Reno 2 looks visually similar to the first phone, which isn’t a bad thing considering the original was such a looker. Biggest change here is that the Reno 2 comes in different striking colorways, with our review device coming in a very feminine Sunset Pink.

The main difference that you’ll pick up right away will be on the rear. Instead of two cameras that were on the original Reno, you’ll now see four, with a wide-angle shooter and a portrait sensor joining the main camera and telephoto lens.

The camera modules don’t protrude from the body, and OPPO’s O-dot – a small bump that sits right below the quad-camera module – makes sure that the glass of the quad-cameras don’t contact the surface when you lay the phone down, screen up.

The phone’s curved design makes it easy to use one-handed, though the phone’s a little taller this time around thanks to a new 20:9 aspect ratio to go with the slightly bigger display.

The phone also has one of the biggest features that audiophiles will love: a 3.5mm headphone jack. We appreciate the fact that OPPO opted to retain the headphone jack when so many other companies are racing to delete it.

Shark fin pop-up

The Reno 2 still comes with that motorized, shark-fin, pop-up camera that houses the 16-megapixel front camera.

The selfie snapper is quick to deploy and can be used in lieu of the fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone, and retracts automatically when the phone detects it’s falling.

Bigger, better display

The Reno 2 has a slightly larger display than the first device, clocking in at 6.5-inches large. Resolution is still full HD+, though as we mentioned earlier the aspect ratio is now 20:9 instead of the regular 19:9 on the previous device.

This makes the Reno 2 slightly taller, but overall it doesn’t really impact use of the phone in any significant way.

As for the display quality of the phone, well, it’s pretty good. The AMOLED looks great, with vivid colors, deep blacks and excellent contrast all around.

Processor has enough juice to keep everything smooth

Powering the Reno 2 is a mid-range, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, paired with 8GB of RAM. There’s only one storage variant available for the Philippines, and that’s the 256GB version.

Qualcomm’s mid-range processor didn’t give us any headaches while we were using it, and in fact the phone ran rather smoothly during its time with us. Gaming performance was good, as you can see in the benchmarks. The Reno 2 isn’t a one-trick pony – it can game pretty well aside from taking great photos.

Quad-cameras are great, video stabilization is pretty good too

The main upgrade for the Reno 2 are the quad-cameras on its back.

The quad-cameras consist of a 48-megapixel f/1.7 aperture main camera with a Sony IMX 586 lens that has OIS and EIS, 13-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS and 2x optical zoom, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel dedicated portrait lens.

Images taken with the main camera look great, which is to be expected, thanks to the 48-megapixel sensor. The Reno 2 managed to take good photos with both bright light and low-light.

Wide-angle shots look good as well, though these suffer in low-light thanks to the fairly low aperture opening.

The phone also has a dedicated telephoto lens, but you’ll probably be using the wide-angle and regular lens more.

The Reno 2 also has an interesting super-smooth stabilization feature that virtually eliminates most of the shakiness of the video, at the expense of more crop for the EIS. It makes for some extremely stable video footage, but again there’s quite a bit of crop in the footage taken.

Battery endurance isn’t so great

We had high hopes for the battery endurance of the OPPO Reno 2 thanks to its 4000mAh capacity and power-efficient Snapdragon 730G processor, but alas, we were left disappointed.

PCMark’s battery benchmark recorded a time of just 8 hours and 54 minutes, which is well below the industry average for phones with a battery capacity such as this.

Thankfully the phone has VOOC 3.0 quick charging to quickly get it back up to 100% when the battery gets drained.

Verdict: It’s a great phone, but there’s plenty of other options in the price range

The second-generation Reno 2 addresses all of the issues of the first one – the quad-camera setup on the rear take fantastic photos, EIS takes rock-stable videos and performance is solid from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor.

Here’s the thing: at Php 28,990, it faces stiff competition from a variety of brands. Xiaomi’s Mi 9T Pro comes in under that price range, armed with a flagship Snapdragon 855 processor.

Competition is really tough in the space where the Reno 2 plays in, though, for a lot of content creators, the quad-cameras and rock-solid video capabilities of the Reno 2 is enough to warrant a purchase.

OPPO Reno 2 Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor
  • Adreno 618 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6.55-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 6, DCI-P3
  • 256GB internal storage
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Quad rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.7 Sony IMX 586 main camera with OIS and EIS;13-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with OIS and 2x optical zoom; 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel dedicated portrait lens; with PDAF, LED flash, 20x digital zoom, Ultra Dark Mode, Ultra Steady Video, Bokeh Video
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 pop-up front camera with bokeh video
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, GameBoost 3.0
  • Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.1
  • 4000mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 quick charging

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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