Oppo Reno 10x Zoom initial review: Plenty of bang for your buck, but a few compromises
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is an intriguing new phone. Taking the concept of the standard Oppo Reno and upping the ante, it’s the non-5G version of the Oppo Reno 5G we looked at a couple of weeks ago.
As well as the wedge-shaped pop-up “shark fin” front camera, the other key feature is the addition of a 10x hybrid zoom. The Reno takes the concept of last year’s Find X and improves all round.
There is Face Unlock on the device – again thanks to the pivoting camera which will pop-up when needed – as well as an in-display fingerprint reader. We were very impressed with the facial recognition in the Find X when we reviewed it and we’re expecting the same results here after we’ve used it properly for our full review.
Design and display
- 6.6-inch Gorilla Glass 6 display
- Pop-up “shark fin” front camera
- A little thicker than many top-end phones
The punchy 6.6-inch 1,080 x 2,340 Gorilla Glass 6 display covers 93 percent of the front of the phone and it does make a difference. Notches have never really bothered us, but there’s definitely something to be said for a full-size nicely rounded display when you’re looking at pictures or watching the video.
Black and emerald green are the colors available at launch, although we believe other colors will be available in due course.
The shark fin pop-up is well designed and isn’t at all flimsy. When you invoke the 16-megapixel front camera, the fin pops-up from the top edge of the phone in 0.8 seconds. It really isn’t a limiting factor at all. It then slides away seamlessly.
If you mistakenly press down on it (we did it on purpose of course), it retracts a bit like a CD or Blu-ray player tray when you go to push it back in. The sides of the phone are metallic and, unlike the standard Reno, there is no headphone jack.
Oppo says it believes the shark fin pop-up will last for at least 200,000 openings (presumably as a result of some lab testing).
If you open it even 100 times a day, it will last for five years. We’re intrigued why Oppo has plumped for this solution rather than the small pop-up from the F11 Pro and incoming OnePlus 7 Pro, but it certainly marks Reno out apart from the pack.
It does mean that there’s no waterproofing possible with this device and also adds a little to the weight (210g) and thickness (9.3mm) of the phone.
- Based around the Snapdragon 855 platform
- 4,065mAh battery should provide plenty of life
- 8GB of memory
Oppo is a long-time partner of Qualcomm’s and didn’t hesitate to put the top-end Snapdragon 855 into this handset (there’s also 8GB of memory). Although the handsets we tried didn’t have a lot of apps or photos on them, everything seemed extremely snappy performance-wise.
Obviously, we didn’t get a chance to test battery life, but the 4,065 mAh battery will power you through more than a day we’d expect. Although there’s no wireless charging on this device, we do know that Oppo’s VOOC fast charge tech does work very well.
As we mentioned, there’s no face unlock but there is an under-display fingerprint sensor based around optical tech. This works
- 48-megapixel primary lens
- 13MP telephoto, 8MP wide
- 16 MP front cam
We’ve already covered the 16-megapixel front camera above, but the Reno 10x Zoom boasts three cameras on the rear – a 48-megapixel primary lens (f1.7) using Sony’s IMX586 sensor plus 8 megapixels ultra-wide and 13-megapixel telephoto lens.
There’s also dual-optical image stabilization. As you’d expect, the camera supports 4K 60fps video recording while Oppo is claiming an improvement in its night mode tech. Verdicts on night image quality will need to wait for our full review, but the images we saw and took were of very good quality.
We saw the 10x hybrid zoom camera for the first time a few months ago since which we’ve seen the similar zoom on the Huawei P30 Pro. In our time with the Reno 10x Zoom, going right into 10x using the AI-powered zoom doesn’t lose a great deal in terms of quality. Of course, when you go beyond that the noise and shake effect increases.
Impressively the rear lenses don’t protrude from the back at all of the devices at all, everything remains under the Gorilla Glass back of the device – there are, however, a couple of tiny protrusions around the camera lenses to prevent them getting scratched when you place the device on a surface. The flash isn’t on the back of the phone though, it’s in the shark-fin pop-up.
- ColorOS 6.0
- On top of Android 9.0 Pie
- Now has an app drawer
The Reno series features the latest version of Oppo’s ColorOS software, ColorOS 6. It runs on top of Android 9.0 Pie. The OS makes a great, overdue improvement in the addition of an app drawer. From our brief time with the phone, it’s a definite improvement.
There’s also a newly-designed settings and notifications drop-down shade with easy-to-use widgets. We’re looking forward to using the phone for an extended period of time to see how ColourOS has improved day-to-day.
Overall we’re very positive about the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom. It’s well-designed, well-made and looks the part in terms of what you’d expect from a flagship device. Because of its price point, you can’t expect top-end specs across the board – the lack of wireless charging is a niggle (hello VOOC), as is the increased weight and thickness compared to many rivals.
But Oppo has put the Reno’s strength where it matters – in terms of the Snapdragon 855, the storage options and generous RAM. We also do really like the potential for that hybrid zoom.
Oppo really can make an impression in the gap between the mid-range and top-end flagships – if you’re comparing between phones on bang for the buck, the Reno 10x Zoom will be a compelling choice for the remainder of the year.