OPPO Reno 2 Review – The Best Gets Better?

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Review of OPPO Reno2 smartphone: categorized as a mid-range phone, it’s packed with plenty of features, functionalities and great camera. However, does it justify the flagship-comparable price tag? read to know more!

For those of you who have been following my smartphone reviews this year, you all know if there’s one thing I really appreciate is when smartphone manufacturers offer high quality products packed with innovative features at affordable prices. Most of us stick to our devices for about two years now minimum so it’s pretty natural to expect any device to last that long without any hick-ups.

Back in May 2019, I reviewed one of the first Reno’s smartphones to launch in the ‘Middle East’ markets. Boy was I impressed. That shark-fin design was something extra-ordinary. That full-screen bezel free display was stunning. I really didn’t think OPPO could do anything to make it any better for the future iterations of the device.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

OPPO invited us for the launch of their latest second generation ‘Reno 2 Series’ of devices and man was I impressed.

RELATED: OPPO to launch Qualcomm-powered dual-mode 5G smartphone

Highlights 

  • 48 Megapixel Quad Camera Setup with a 13MP Telephoto, 8MP Ultra Wide and 2MP Mono Lens
  • 5x Hybrid Zoom – 20x Digital Zoom
  • Ultra Steady Video that uses OIS+EIS for buttery smooth video recording
  • Word’s first Pop-up 16 MP front camera with Bokeh Effect Video
  • 93.1% Screen to Body Ratio with Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • 6.5inch AMOLED Screen
  • 8GB RAM with up to 256 of Storage (Expandable via MicroSD)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G Octa-Core Processor with Adreno 618 GPU
  • 4000 mAH Battery with VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 (50% Charge in 30 Minutes of Charging)
  • Color OS 6.1 based on Android Pie (Note: OPPO has since upgrade Color OS 7 as on 4th December 2019) 

RELATED: OPPO to push boundaries of Mobile Photography with Reno2 Series launch

What we liked

  • That notch free display is way ahead of its time
  • Battery life is colossal and that VOOC Flash charge just makes life so much more convenient
  • Overall design and color options are phenomenal
  • In-Display Fingerprint Reader

RELATED: OPPO Reno 10X Review: Excellent All-Rounder Smartphone

What we didn’t like 

  • Lack of a flagship processor like the 855 for a flagship device
  • Color OS still has a lot of work to do in terms of software optimization
  • No Waterproof/Water Resistance Rating so bye-bye using your phone in the showers or the pool

Design 

In terms of design, the OPPO Reno 2 won’t look that different from the previous generation apart from the quad camera set-up. Still has the very premium feel to it thanks to the use of glass all around the body. But where there’s glass, there’s always going to be the risk of scuffs and scratches but OPPO opted to use Gorilla Glass 6 in the display and GC 5 at the back so it should be durable to a certain extent.

The shark-fin pop up camera mechanism is still something I get mesmerized by. I mean, come on! Take you phone out for a selfie and boom, something magical pops-out from the top. 

Display 

Oppo incorporated an AMOLED on-cell display for the second generation of the Oppo Reno series. Colors are vivid and carefully calibrated for the best viewing experience. No notch makes watching movies and TV shows on Netflix look great.

You’ve got a 6.5 inch screen with a screen resolution of 1080×2400 and an aspect ratio of 20:9 which is pretty solid for your day to day use. Pixel density sits at 401 ppi making everything look crisp and clear.

Performance 

The Snapdragon 730G isn’t a bad processor for a mid-range device but OPPO positions the Reno 2 as one of their flagship devices so not exactly sure why we aren’t seeing an 855 in the spec sheet. That being said, the 730G has been optimized very well for high intensity tasks and gaming.

We found virtually no lag when it comes to switching between apps. You can have multiple social media apps running in the background and the phone will get everything done buttery smooth. That’s also because OPPO gave the Reno 2 a colossal 8 GB of RAM hence that’s definitely a win for the consumer.

Graphics performance was great for anything you’d expect from a mid-range processor. Fortnite and PUBG gamers, don’t worry. You’re well covered. No drop in frame rates and consistent performance definitely scores brownie points from us.

Camera 

Most phones today sport a triple-lens set up. Huawei decided to incorporate a Time of Flight (tof) sensor in their P30 Pro series launched earlier this year. Now OPPO has packed the Reno 2 with a quad camera setup and that’s kind of a big deal. The additional 2MP lens is meant for those dope portrait shots with an extra blur. Kind of like a 3D Camera for depth sensing.

What many of you don’t know is that apart from the primary 48 megapixel sensor, the 8MP ultra-wide lens actually functions as a macro lens as well. So those close up shots are going to be pretty epic and super sharp.

The Reno series launched earlier this year had a great camera set up. Pictures were amazingly clear and well focused. Noise was only an issue at night. Taking all this into consideration, the Reno 2 has a great camera setup but personally I felt it is only a marginal improvement from the previous model.

Colors look great and no sign of over saturation. The AI based scene optimization seems to balance the colors out properly without any issues. The limited color gamut is no longer a problem as OPPO seems to have fixed that issue from the previous model.

But where OPPO really shines this time is shooting photos in the dark. The Ultra dark mode works as advertised. Pictures are slightly more sharper and the level of noise in the image has definitely come down.

OPPO seems to be putting a lot of focus on the zoom features of the camera which is pretty good. But at 20x I have a rather mixed opinion. Pictures do look a little blurred or grainy at that point. So don’t treat this phone as some kind of binoculars. It’s there if you need it but you’re better off using this phone as a simple point and shoot for your Instagram shots. 

Software and Interface 

Over the years, OPPO has definitely fine tuned their Color OS interface. It’s simple and minimalistic in a lot of different ways but sometimes it does get a little over-whelming. My issue with OPPO devices is the abundance of bloatware. Stuff you really don’t need.

The Reno 2 comes with Color OS 6.1 which is based on Google’s Android 9 operating system. We definitely see Android 10 coming to this device at some point in time so you’re pretty future proofed in that regard.

Battery Life 

4000mAh is a lot of battery which means you should easily last an entire day with intense use. That gorgeous display is the real battery sucker here but you can’t really blame anyone if you’re going to watch Netflix or Amazon for hours. OPPO claims you get about 8 hours of continuous gaming or 13 hours of continuous video playback.

You’re definitely not going to have to carry a power-bank thanks to it’s super fast charging mechanism. VOOC Flash Charging just keeps getting more powerful every year. 51% in 30 minutes is impressive so guess you’re covered on that aspect as well.

Photos

Seeing is believing. So, here are some of the photos that we took on Reno2.

Final Verdict

The OPPO Reno definitely remains as one of our favorite mid-range devices of the year. You’ve got pretty good specs and a meticulous eye-catching design. The processor might be a little bit of a disappointment but OPPO has optimized the software of the phone really well so you really shouldn’t have any issues with intensive tasks. Camera performance is great for a regular point and shoot. You’ve got all the latest gizmos like an in-display fingerprint sensor and fast charging capabilities. So if you’re looking for a smartphone with a rather unconventional design that looks way ahead of its time. The OPPO Reno 2 is the phone you’re looking for.

The OPPO Reno 2 is available at all major retailed for AED 1999 and comes in three colors, Sunset Pink, Ocean Blue and Luminous Black.

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