OPPO Reno2 Review – A Stylish Smartphone for Photography!
The OPPO Reno2 is one of OPPO’s best smartphones released this year. It has a unique “shark fin” design and quad-camera system optimized for low-light photography.
I have used the smartphone for three weeks and here are my thoughts on its design, display quality, performance, cameras, connectivity, battery longevity, and overall value. Each aspect will be rated as poor, bad, average, good, or excellent.
GOOD: Unique Design and FullView Display
Most smartphones nowadays have similar designs. Thankfully, OPPO is brave enough to pioneer the ‘shark fin’ motorized pop-up selfie camera with the first Reno smartphone. This unique design continues with the new OPPO Reno2.
It also has a symmetrical design at the back with all elements including the four cameras and OPPO logo lined-up vertically in the middle. There’s no camera hump but a small circular node called O-Dot is added below the cameras to prevent scratches when the phone is lying down.
I used an OPPO Reno2 Sunset Pink for this review but my preference is the Luminous Black color variant. The ladies might prefer this one though especially since there’s a FREE pink phone case included in the package.
Here’s a run-down of the ports and buttons. The power button is on the right side while the volume buttons and SIM card tray are on the left side. A 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, USB Type-C port, and loudspeaker are all at the bottom. There are also three pin-hole microphones on the device – one at the bottom, another at the back, and a third one at the top.
When using a smartphone, you’ll be looking at its display for the most part. The OPPO Reno2 has a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen which is bright, vibrant, and responsive.
The lack of any obtrusion such as a notch or punch-hole also makes it more immersive than its competitors. This comes at the expense of having moving parts for the pop-up camera which could be an issue when it comes to durability. OPPO has added an automatic retract function when it detects a drop to protect the pop-up camera module.
Overall, the design of the OPPO Reno2 is unique, modern, and functional. You can flaunt it bare or with a case and then have the “shark fin” camera casually swivel up to take a selfie.
EXCELLENT: Impressive Rear and Front Cameras!
The camera quality of the OPPO Reno2 isn’t as good as flagship smartphones such as the Huawei P30 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S10+. Nevertheless, the pictures produced by its array of cameras are impressive for its price range.
It has quad rear cameras composed of a 48 Megapixel main camera, 13 Megapixel ultra-wide camera, 8 Megapixel telephoto camera, and 2 Megapixel depth camera.
Let’s start with a sample picture using the default camera settings of the phone. It uses the 48MP main camera to produce enhanced 12MP pictures since it combines 4 pixels into 1 in the process. The camera software also has an AI scene recognition feature that automatically changes the saturation, contrast, or other properties of the picture depending on the scene such as sunsets, flowers, food, and more.
Next, we have a sample picture taken with the default camera settings too. This time, we’re focusing on the image quality when the subject is a few meters away such as that palm. The colors look natural and details are sharp but it could use more dynamic range to lighten up the dark areas.
We’ll also use the previous image to compare the OPPO Reno2’s ultra-wide camera.
The device captures good-looking ulta-wide pictures. The dynamic range and contrast are decent while the color saturation is a little bit enhanced. It’s a good choice of enhancements since the best subjects for ultra-wide photography are landscapes.
Let’s now view three consecutive images taken with the OPPO Reno2 using three different zoom levels. It’s equipped with a telephoto camera capable of up to 5x hybrid zoom.
The difference in detail between the 1x photo and 2x photo is undeniable. The 13MP telephoto camera has 2x optical zoom so it’s more powerful than the main camera when you need to zoom in to a faraway subject.
However, the 5x photo is only slightly more detailed than the 2x photo. You can check this by magnifying the 2x photo to match the size of the objects in the 5x photo. Nevertheless, having the 5x zoom function aids in framing and produces a better white balance for the final picture compared to a simple crop.
The OPPO Reno2 can still zoom-in up to 20x by pinching out in the camera app but it’s just pure digital zoom. Let’s move on to the more interesting photographic capability of the device.
The best aspect of the OPPO Reno2’s cameras is low-light photography. It supports three low-light functions – Night mode, Ultra-Dark mode, and Tripod mode.
Night mode is the one I used the most since it only shoots for a few seconds and works well when the phone is hand-held. Meanwhile, Ultra-Dark mode seems to magically brighten up a very dark scene but it’s a hit or miss. Lastly, Tripod mode needs a tripod since it uses exposure times in minutes.
For more Night Mode sample pictures from the OPPO Reno2, here’s a separate article called OPPO Reno2 Sample Night Mode Pictures.
Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the quality of selfies from the OPPO Reno2.
The best camera settings for taking good-looking selfies using the OPPO Reno2 include turning HDR to Auto and Beautification to Smoothen with the level selected by AI. Otherwise, you’ll end up with overblown highlights or washed out selfies.
I usually turn off the AI Beautification feature of smartphones that I review. However, OPPO has once again hit the correct balance in making the face blemish free but still looking realistic and natural. I’m not a fan of the Portrait Mode though.
Lastly, the OPPO Reno2 also shoots high quality videos. Colors look natural and details are sharp whether the video is shot during the day or at night. It also has an ultra-steady mode that can be enabled with a tap of a button that enables stabilization.
GOOD: Smooth Performance for Apps and Games
The OPPO Reno2 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset along with 8GB of RAM. It has enough processing power to run different apps smoothly and play heavy games with high-quality graphics.
My general user experience was lag-free. I was mostly using the device for taking pictures, browsing Facebook, watching videos on YouTube, and listening to music on Spotify. It’s not quite as smooth as flagship smartphones though.
In terms of benchmark scores, the OPPO Reno2 got 266,626 points on Antutu Benchmark v8.0.5-OB in my testing. This score is slightly above the published scores of the Huawei P20 Pro (259,248) and Samsung Galaxy A80 (244,168) but below the Huawei Nova 5T (366,883) and Samsung Galaxy S10e (392,389).
I usually test the frame rate of games for these reviews but the app I use, GameBench, hasn’t been working for about three weeks now. My subjective assessment for its gaming performance is GOOD. Mobile Legends 2.0 run smoothly even with the graphics quality set to high and all graphics enhancements turned on.
PUBG Mobile offers an objective rating for the phone’s gaming performance. When the game is launched for the first time, it automatically sets the graphics quality based on the hardware of the device. For the OPPO Reno2, the default graphics quality is “High-dynamic-range graphics” which is the highest among the three options.
Of course, the software of the smartphone also plays an important role in the overall user experience. The OPPO Reno2 uses the company’s own ColorOS 6 software running on top of Android 9 Pie. It has a “neat and clean” design language and several useful features such as OPPO Share, Clone Phone, and Game Space.
An upgrade to ColorOS 7 is also expected to be available next year. It will have an even lighter visual approach with a simplified user interface, improved performance, new photography enhancements, and more.
GOOD: Connectivity, Security, and Sensors
The OPPO Reno2 is a dual SIM 4G LTE smartphone and using mobile data for an internet connection is fast and reliable as long as the area has a decent 4G signal. It can also connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi networks and supports both Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC functions.
It uses a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer but unlike other new smartphones, it retains a 3.5mm audio jack.
For security, the OPPO Reno2 supports face recognition and fingerprint scanning. The first one is cool since the “shark fin” camera rises quickly to scan the user’s face. Its fingerprint sensor is also the new under-display type and works quite well.
This smartphone is truly a modern device with all the “high tech” features it packs.
AVERAGE: Battery Life is meh but Charging Time is yay!
With a 4,000mAh battery, I expected the OPPO Reno2 to have outstanding battery life. However, the large screen and new processor might be too much for it to handle making its battery life just average.
A single charge can last a whole day but that’s with casual usage only and not much playing games and taking pictures.
The OPPO Reno2 scored 10 hours and 9 minutes on the PCMark Battery Life Test 2.0. This is lower than the 12 hours & 8 minutes of the Huawei Nova 5T with 3,750mAh battery and 14 hours & 52 minutes of the OPPO A9 2020 with 5,000mAh battery.
This test simulates a continuous set of real-world tasks until the smartphone’s battery capacity goes down to 20%. I always conduct this test with the phone set to airplane mode and 50% screen brightness so the scores can be compared with other smartphones that I have reviewed.
Even if its battery life is just average, the OPPO Reno2 still impressed me in a related aspect of battery life – charging time. It supports 20W of charging power using the company’s own VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 technology.
Using the bundled fast charger in its box, the OPPO Reno2 can reach full battery capacity in 1 hour and 33 minutes only!
OPPO Reno2 Verdict: A Stylish Smartphone for Photography!
The OPPO Reno2 smartphone is a stylish smartphone that you can flaunt while taking great-looking pictures at the same time.
It’s especially a standout when it comes to low-light photography, having an unusual “shark fin” pop-up camera, and very fast charging time. The phone’s gaming performance is also good although the battery life is just average.
The official price of the OPPO Reno2 in the Philippines is ₱28,990.00. At this price point, its main competitors are the Samsung Galaxy A80 and Huawei P30. Both are slightly older smartphones but also have comparable features.
OPPO Reno2 Review Summary
The OPPO Reno2 is a stylish smartphone with good cameras for both daytime and night time photography.