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OPPO Reno3, Reno3 Pro Review: The New Selfie Experts?

We review OPPO’s new mid-range phones

OPPO has officially refreshed its Reno series of phones in the Philippines today. The Reno3 and Reno3 Pro come packing new cameras, new tech, and a new design language, all aimed at enticing picky buyers to the fold.

OPPO has its work cut out for it though – both phones are facing tough competition from traditional competitors and tough financial times – will OPPO’s new mid-range champions be a hit?

Pros:

  • Flagship design
  • Great photos from the rear cameras
  • Good screen
  • Great selfies

Cons:

  • Plastic bodies
  • The Reno3 Pro is expensive for what it is
  • Middling mid-range processor
Reno 3 Pro

Flagship looks with a plastic body

OPPO’s been hitting home runs when it comes to the aesthetic of their phones, and the Reno3 series is no exception. Both variants have incredibly elegant and sleek designs, and can easily be mistaken as flagship phones based on their designs alone.

Reno3

OPPO’s still sticking with gradient finishes for their phones, though both phones utilize a deep, glossy gradient. The phones will be available in three main colors: Midnight Black, Auroral Blue and Sky White.

Overall dimensions are nearly identical for the Reno3 and Reno3 Pro, with the main differences being the processor, camera, and a few design features.

Despite the phones’ stunning exterior, we were a little bummed to find out that the glossy colorways were made from plastic, and not glass. While that’s acceptable for phones around the Php 15K mark, plastic phones for phones that hover around the Php 20K are a little hard to justify, at least for casual users. Long-suffering fans of the headphone jack will be delighted to find out that both phones still have that particular feature, thanks to a 3.5mm jack in the chassis.

That being said, both phones are well built and put together, and feel good to hold. While people with small digits will still have to re-adjust their grip to reach the top part of the phone when using it one-handed, it’s not as bad as using a phone like say, the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Display looks great

Both phones ship with 6.4-inch full HD+ panels, though the non-pro model gets a regular AMOLED display while the Pro model gets a Super AMOLED variant instead. Naturally, the screen on the Reno3 Pro looks better than it’s non-Pro brother, with better screen saturation, deeper and richer colors as well as better overall brightness. That being said, the regular Reno3’s display also looks pretty good as far as phone displays go, and both phones have Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

The Reno3 has a waterdrop notch on the front, while the Reno3 Pro has a hole-punch, pill-shaped notch tucked at the upper left side of the display, holding a 44-megapixel f/2.4 main camera with Ultra Night Selfie unit and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor. The Reno 3 only has a 44-megapixel selfie unit.

Both phones use an in-display fingerprint scanner for log-ins and biometric security.

Great shots from both phones

While both members of the Reno3 family have quad-cameras, the Reno3 Pro obviously has the better set of shooters, thanks to the 64-megapixel “Ultra-clear” camera with a 1/1.72-inch sensor and f/1.8 aperture lens. The regular Reno3 gets a 48-megapixel “Ultra-clear” camera with a 1/2-inch sensor and f/1.8 aperture lens.

No matter what phone you get, the rest of the camera module will come with three other cameras: 13-megapixel telephoto lens, 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2-megapixel mono lens.

Both phones have very good cameras in them, and both benefit from OPPO’s enhanced night shooting capabilities. Both phones took excellent shots in both day and low-light shooting, though obviously the Reno3 Pro produces consistently better shots thanks to its higher resolution camera.

OPPO Reno3 Pro:

Ultra-wide photos do tend to lose a bit of detail and dynamic range thanks to its lower megapixel count, though that’s pretty much standard across most mid-range phones regardless of brand and isn’t something that OPPO only suffers from.

OPPO Reno3:

Selfies from both phones are excellent in most lighting conditions. The added depth sensor on the Reno3 Pro gets you better separation when you’re adding bokeh (or filters depending on what program you use).

Both phones have very good cameras in them, and both benefit from OPPO’s enhanced night shooting capabilities. Both phones took excellent shots in both day and low-light shooting, though obviously the Reno3 Pro produces consistently better shots thanks to its higher resolution camera.

Ultra-wide photos do tend to lose a bit of detail and dynamic range thanks to its lower megapixel count, though that’s pretty much standard across most mid-range phones regardless of brand and isn’t something that OPPO only suffers from.

Selfies from both phones are excellent in most lighting conditions. The added depth sensor on the Reno3 Pro gets you better separation when you’re adding bokeh (or filters depending on what program you use).

Middling performance isn’t awe-inspiring

While the two phones technically use different chipsets (the Reno3 has a MediaTek P90 chipset while the Reno3 Pro has a P95) they’re identical when it comes to performance. The only difference that the P95 brings the table is support for 64-megapixel cameras – which the Reno3 Pro has.

It’s not surprising then that benchmarks and actual use with both phones make it feel like you’re using the exact same device, though the chipset is certainly getting a little long in the tooth.

Light use won’t reveal the chipset’s age, though heavy use with gaming and constant multi-tasking will.

Both phones have identical RAM at 8GB, and really the key difference here is storage – the Reno3 tops out at 128GB, while the Reno3 Pro has a 256GB variant aside from the 128GB model.

The battery is pegged at 4025 for both, and the phones come with fast charging tech courtesy of OPPO’s VOOC Flash Charge 4.0, along with a fast 30W charger.

As far as overall battery life goes the devices get sub 10-hour runtimes via PCMark’s battery benchmark (9 hours and 45 minutes for the Reno 3 Pro VS 9 hours and 42 for the Reno3).

As is the case with new OPPO phones nowadays, both devices run ColorOS 7 based on Android 10 which has improved quite steadily in the previous months over the previous iterations. There are things that still bug us as the interface still feels a little clunky and uninspired, but the company has been continually refining ColorOS 7 to fix those shortcomings.

Verdict: the Reno3 is the better value for money

Usually, when we review a pro and non-pro variant of a new phone line, we almost always recommend getting the Pro variant because of the added features and better value for money. That isn’t the case for the Reno3 Pro.

The Reno3 Pro offers few upgrades from the Reno3 that you’ll look for – you can do without the depth sensor on the selfie camera, the slightly improved Super AMOLED panel, and even the 64-megapixel camera is hard to justify the 10K increase in price over the standard Reno3.

If you’re really hankering to get a high-resolution selfie phone with a good screen and good rear cameras, you might want to pick the Reno3 over its Pro sibling instead.

The Reno3 is priced at Php 18990, while the Reno3 Pro is priced at Php 28990  for the 256GB model.

OPPO Reno3 (Global) Specs

  • MediaTek Helio P90 octa-core processor
  • PowerVR GM 9446 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 20:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 6
  • 128GB of expandable internal storage
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Quad rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.8 main camera; 13-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with OIS and 2x optical zoom; 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel mono camera; with PDAF, LED flash, 20x digital zoom, Video Bokeh, AI Beauty, Ultra Steady Video, Ultra Dark Mode
  • 44-megapixel front camera with Ultra Night Selfie
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock, Hi-Res Audio, Dolby Atmos
  • Android 10 with ColorOS 7
  • 4025mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 quick charging

OPPO Reno3 Pro (Global) Specs

  • MediaTek Helio P95 octa-core processor
  • PowerVR GM 9446 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 20:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 6
  • 128GB/256GB of expandable internal storage
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Quad rear cameras: 64-megapixel f/1.8 Sony IMX686 main camera with OIS and EIS; ; 13-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with OIS and 2x optical zoom; 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel mono camera; with PDAF, LED flash, 20x digital zoom, Video Bokeh, AI Beauty, Ultra Steady Video, Ultra Dark Mode
  • Dual front cameras: 44-megapixel f/2.4 main camera with Ultra Night Selfie, 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock, Hi-Res Audio, Dolby Atmos
  • Android 10 with ColorOS 7
  • 4025mAh 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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